TJ Johnson Sleep Science Coach

How a Sleep Science Coach Uses Hypnosis To Help Clients Find Restful Sleep | TJ Johnson

According to the CDC, more than 1 in 3 Americans are sleep-deprived. Sleep deficiency leads to injuries, chronic diseases, mental illnesses, poor quality of life and lost work productivity. And yet, it is rarely addressed adequately in healthcare. Sleep Science Coach TJ Johnson is trying to change that. By using Neurolinguistic Programming, she empowers her clients to approach sleep in a new way.

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Visual Effects Artists Speak Out Against Marvel Mistreatment 

Media outlets have reported first-hand accounts of individuals who have worked for Marvel’s visual effects department, stating that the company constantly had high demands and would overwork employees for little money to create the movie magic we’re all used to when we turn on a Marvel film. 

Dhruv Govil, a visual effects artist who worked on a handful of Marvel films, tweeted: “Working on Marvel shows is what pushed me to leave the VFX industry. They’re a horrible client, and I’ve seen way too many colleagues break down after being overworked while Marvel tightens the purse strings.”  

“The issue is Marvel is too big, and can demand whatever they want. It’s a toxic relationship.” 

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An anonymous visual effects artist told New York Magazine’s Vulture site:  “When I worked on one movie, it was almost six months of overtime every day. I was working seven days a week, averaging 64 hours a week on a good week. Marvel genuinely works its workers really hard. I’ve had co-workers sit next to me, break down and start crying. I’ve had people having anxiety attacks on the phone.”

Joe Pavlo, an Emmy award-winning visual effects artist who worked on Guardians Of The Galaxy stated that working for the company was a “crazy mess.” 

“The visual effects industry is filled with terrific people with lots of goodwill who really care but, at the end of the day, there’s nothing in place when their backs are up against the wall and Disney is making crazy demands,” Pavlo told The Guardian

“All the goodwill in the world just evaporates when everything gets changed and they decide they’re replacing that character with a different actor or changing the entire environment – they’re now in a pizza restaurant instead of a cornfield. It can be that extreme at the very last minute,” Pavlo continued. 

“It can be characterized as bullying but filtered through multiple layers of management and supervisor and hierarchy. It’s not like the executive from Disney is grabbing someone and swearing at them or something like that. It’s more like an atmosphere where everybody feels like this is the most desperately important thing and, if we don’t do it, we’re all f*cked.”

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“The average artist doesn’t even have any contact with the clients. It’s really just the people at the producer and the supervisor level and then they pass it on to their crew. So you could say, oh, the supervisor’s a real bully, but actually it’s a knock-on effect and then the people who are the team leaders, once they can’t handle it, end up being bullies,” Pavlo exclaimed. 

“Bullying is a huge problem in our industry because everybody’s so desperate sometimes. It seems like there’s such a high level of stress and pressure on these jobs to complete on time, to change everything at the drop of a hat.”

Pavlo is also the chair of the animation and visual effects branch for Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theater Union (BECTU). 

“Disney-Marvel is very famous for wanting multiple versions running parallel so that they can decide what they want. A strong union would be able to reel that in a bit.

“If you imagine you get the art department to design a set, you wouldn’t get them to tear down the set and rebuild a completely different set 35 times. Because it’s digital, people don’t see it as the same thing but it is: it involves work and creativity and long hours. It doesn’t create itself,” Pavlo explained, adding that the recent union organizing efforts from Amazon and Starbucks workers have offered a “possible blueprint” for how VFX artists can follow suit. 

“Disney is going to have to utilize their visual effects teams more and they need to be compensated for their contribution and working conditions. Ultimately they’re going to get to that point but it takes one person like that article from Vulture to say, hey, it’s time for somebody to step in and protect this side of it, as have all of the other departments been protected as well.”

best places to live

The Best Places To Live In America This Year 

Real Estate company Niche has released their fifth annual report of the Best Places to Live in America, which includes a number of different categories including the most affordable places in the nation to live. 

“The pandemic triggered a new set of possibilities—suddenly, many individuals and families found themselves more mobile than ever before, and in the past two years they have continued to think hard about where they really want to live,” says Luke Skurman, CEO and founder of Niche.

Niche creates their reports using data from reliable sources such as the US Census and other government agencies, in addition to citizen reviews and reports. When it comes time to put there report together, they look at factors such as affordability, diversity, local housing economies, and other integral factors that buyers would look at when it comes time to buy a home. 

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For the second year in a row, Niche reported that The Woodlands is the top place in America to live. Ryan Bell, the principal strategist at Niche, discussed why it’s been able to top the list two years in a row. 

“When you look at all the factors we chose for our best cities ranking, The Woodlands is extremely well-rounded. It had high scores in each category, including weather, overall affordability and the quality of its public schools.”

Niche’s best cities rankings also incorporate real ratings from people who live there, so the residents’ love and appreciation for their home certainly helped The Woodlands hang on to the number one spot for two years running,” says Bell.

Gil Staley, CEO of The Woodlands Area Economic Development Project, also spoke to the perks that The Woodlands has to offer leading to its top ranking on the list. 

“Our county, as a whole, is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation and our community has turned into a regional center for jobs,” Bell explained, adding that the highly ranked school districts in the county also make the Woodlands a desirable place to live. 

Niche listed Fort Wayne, Indiana as the most affordable place to live in the US, a title which it also earned in 2018, 2019, and 2021. 

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“To take the number one spot, Fort Wayne had to have strong performance in several factors we take into account for the lowest cost of living rankings. In particular, housing and rental affordability in comparison to incomes in the area, are Fort Wayne’s strongest factors for affordability this year,” says Bell. 

Forbes Magazine reported on why citizens in Fort Wayne also believe it’s such an amazing place to live: “Fort Wayne is a lovely place to visit and live. I’ve lived here for six years now and still haven’t seen everything. It’s family friendly and just friendly in general. It’s a small city compared to most, but there’s much to do. It’s full of history and rivers.”

The Top 10 Best Places to live in America according to Niche are ranked as follows: 

  1. The Woodlands, Texas
  2. Cambridge, Massachusetts
  3. Naperville, Illinois
  4. Arlington, Virginia
  5. Overland Park, Kansas
  6. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  7. Columbia, Maryland
  8. Berkeley, California
  9. Plano, Texas
  10. Irvine, California

For the rest of the rankings from Niche, check out their full report here.

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Amazon Acquires Roomba Maker iRobot For $1.7 Billion

On Friday, commerce titan Amazon announced it acquired iRobot, the maker of the Roomba vacuum, for $61 per share in an all-cash transaction that will equal a total of $1.7 billion.

“We know that saving time matters, and chores take precious time that can be better spent doing something that customers love,” Amazon Devices Senior Vice President Dave Limp said in a statement.

“Over many years, the iRobot team has proven its ability to reinvent how people clean with products that are incredibly practical and inventive – from cleaning when and where customers want while avoiding common obstacles in the home, to automatically emptying the collection bin.”

iRobot CEO and chairman Colin Angle, who will hold his position upon completion of the acquisition, explained he couldn’t think of a better way for the company to continue its work than Amazon, which promotes “building thoughtful innovations that empower people to do more at home.”

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iRobot is the latest — and fourth-heftiest price-wise — in a long line of big-money Amazon acquisitions. In 2017, it purchased grocer Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion, while it acquired film studio MGM for $8.5 billion last year. Last month, the company announced a $3.9 billion deal for One Medical.

The deal will still need approval from regulators and iRobot shareholders in order to go through. Following the news, iRobot’s midday trading rose 19%, while Amazon was down 1.4%.

The circular, self-guiding Roomba became a household name after its debut in the early 2000s, selling more than 40 million units. Thanks to that level of success, iRobot continued to work the market by introducing its robot mop, in addition to other products like purifiers.

The company has planned to expand to lawn work by debuting its robot lawnmower — known as the Terra — though plans for it were canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unfortunately for Roomba and its maker, sales prior to the Amazon deal had been significantly waning due to a variety of issues. Its third-quarter revenue saw a 30% drop to $255.4 million, with a net loss that jumped from 2.8 million a year ago to $43.4 million.

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Meanwhile, the company said it would be cutting 10% — 140 employees — from its workforce in order to combat rising costs.

For Amazon, Roomba adds to their impressive arsenal of smart home appliances that includes voice assistant Alexa and Ring security cameras. Perhaps the best companion for Roomba will be the $1000 Astro home monitoring robot, which Amazon brought into the fold last year.

The Roomba will likely be undergoing major changes in order to better connect with its new electronic relatives and the general smart household infrastructure Amazon has strived to build.

“It is easy to see how Amazon will integrate products like Roomba into the Alexa and Prime ecosystems, so that people have one central point of monitoring and control for many tasks and activities,” GlobalData Managing Director Neil Saunders told CNN.

Still, the deal isn’t free of concerns. With Amazon’s ever-evolving home device collection comes questions on data collection and privacy, especially since so many of their products are used by the daily consumer.  Additionally, the company’s hold over not just the smart home market, but several major commerce industries, has also faced frequent criticism from anti-monopoly advocates.

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Why Sharks Have Been Roaming Closer To The Shore This Summer 

Summer beachgoers have had to be extra cautious this summer as several reports of shark bite injuries and general sightings of ocean predators off the Northeast coast of the US have become prominent. 

According to Gavin Naylor, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research at the University of Florida, “globally, shark attacks are at similar levels to previous years, but there are signs that the Northeast coast of the US might be seeing an uptick.”

“We are right on trend for this time of year. I think globally, we usually get between 70 and 80 unprovoked bites by sharks around the world. But that’s a global phenomenon. And it’s distributed in a patchy way.” 

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“One year we might have two or three bites in Hawaii in rapid succession. Next year, it could be New Caledonia; it could be in Western Australia. And this year, it’s off the coast of Long Island,” Naylor stated. 

Last year there were 73 cases of unprovoked shark bites, according to the International Shark Attack database, within the past five years the average amount of unprovoked attacks has remained around 72. 

Naylor emphasized that the sharks that swimmers have been encountering this year, especially off the coasts of Long Island, are looking for food, not targeting humans. 

“Most have been identified as sand tiger sharks, which, while fearsome looking, aren’t considered aggressive. They have likely been venturing into coastal waters to prey on abundant shoals of bait fish.”

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 “These bait fish are in schools of hundreds of thousands – or millions, and when they get quite close to shore, the sharks follow them,” Naylor said.

“The sharks are swimming around trying to chase their dinner. The people are swimming around splashing with beach balls in their circle. … The surf zone gets quite murky because of all the energy and the sharks are all jingled up because they’re excited to see all this food – once in a while they make a mistake,” he explained. 

Off of Cape Cod there have been several great white shark sightings this summer, prompting the closure of at least one major beach. During the summer and fall white sharks are known to hunt their preferred prey of seals, which tend to be towards the shore. 

Wildlife research performed a study last year which showed great whites spend almost half of their time in the summer/fall season in waters with depths of 15 feet or less. 

 “Until now we didn’t know just how much time they spent in shallow water close to shore,” said lead author Megan Winton, a research scientist at the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy. 

Naylor concluded by offering swimmers advice when it comes to protecting yourself from a potential attack: “Don’t swim or surf on your own, and don’t swim near big shoals of fish or if you spot seals nearby. Don’t wear jewelry in the water that a shark could confuse for the shimmer of fish scales. If you do spot a shark, back out of the water slowly. Don’t panic and splash around.”

veteran

Inside A Neurologist Professor’s Progressive Research On Traumatic Brain Injuries In Veterans | Dr. James Russell Couch, Jr.

For many veterans, the fight doesn’t end when they step off the battle. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can cause significant cognitive, behavioral, and physical damage. However, thanks to research from experts like Dr. James Russell Couch, Jr., more analysis is being found on these afflictions while providing a pathway for better treatment and awareness.

baseball

MLB Trade Deadline: Which Pitchers Or Hitters Could Be On The Move?

With the MLB trade deadline only a week away, contenders will be looking to cash in players that can help to push them over the line. There are a number of notable names this year, and even one generational superstar, that are seeing their names frequently mentioned throughout the rumor mill.

Luis Castillo, Frankie Montas Headline The Pitching Market

For pitching needy teams, this is an extremely solid market. One of the biggest reasons why is because of controllability: both Cincinnati’s Luis Castillo and Oakland’s Frankie Montas will be eligible for arbitration in 2023 before hitting free agency in 2024, giving teams an extra year of control.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, both will “almost certainly move in the next week.” Passan also notes the St. Louis Cardinals, Seattle Mariners, and New York Yankees have been the teams in the hottest pursuit.

Both Castillo and Montas have impressed despite the below-average teams around them. Castillo carries a 2.77 ERA and 3.04 FIP in 78.0 innings, while Montas comes in with a 3.18 ERA and 3.36 FIP across 104.2 innings.

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With those performances and financial factors comes a much-higher cost. A package centering around a top-100 prospect or two would almost certainly be needed. For teams attempting to boost their talent while keeping the farm system intact, a number of pitchers could be of interest.

Among the potential targets listed by Passan include Nathan Eovaldi, Noah Syndergaard, and Jose Quintana. All have ERAs in the high 3.00s, solidify back-of-the-rotation depth, and wouldn’t cost as much in terms of prospects due to their rental status.

Will Juan Soto Be On The Move? Probably Not

By far the biggest name on the hot stove is Washington Nationals’ star outfield Juan Soto. After rejecting a $440 million dollar contract, it’s clear Washington and Soto have no future together, and recouping as much value for the 23-year-old right now would seem to be a wise, though hard to swallow, decision.

The only problem? It remains to be seen if a team will actually pay.

This year, he’s in the 98th percentile in xwOBA, 91st in max exit velocity, and 100th in BB%. Soto’s stats, age, and career trajectory suggest he’ll be a Hall of Fame player. Naturally, Washington is seeking a package of at least several valued prospects or young, MLB-ready talent.

Only two teams — the Cardinals and San Diego Padres — are seen by league insiders who could be a match with that criteria. While Washington could perhaps let up its value asking price, the reality will likely be the team feels out the market and does the deed in the offseason.

Cubs Looking To Sell Ian Happ, Willson Contreras

The Chicago Cubs are once again in sell-mode. After a solid trade deadline last year — acquiring a bevy of prospects for names like Kris Bryant and Javier Baez — they’ll try to replicate the result with catcher Willson Contreras and outfielder Ian Happ.

Contreras, a three-time All-Star, is having a solid hitting year (14 home runs, .373 slugging percentage) but Passan notes some teams are wary. “Multiple teams, sources said, worry about Contreras — who is not known for his game-calling acumen — meshing with a new pitching staff on the fly,” he said.

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Of course, this is a new-look MLB, which helps Contreras’ case. With DH now in the NL, teams could acquire Contreras for his bat and give him occasional starts at catcher.

Meanwhile, Ian Happ has had a revival, batting .282/.366/.446 with nine home runs and 46 RBIs. Happ is controllable for 2023, is young (he turns just 28 next month), has solid defensive skills, and is a switch-hitter (he’s hitting .346 against left-hand pitching as a right-handed batter).

Among the other batters who could be moved include Kansas City’s Andrew Benintendi and Mike Moustakas (though with the latter likely as a salary dump), Washington’s Josh Bell, and Baltimore’s Trey Mancini.

Mikaya Heart Holistic Healer

How Expanding Our Consciousness Helps Us To Overcome Fears And Develop Compassion | Mikaya Heart

We are frequently held back from realizing our full potential by fear and other negative emotions. According to holistic healer Mikaya Heart, these limiting factors can be overcome if we gather our courage and commit to the process of dealing with them.

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Lost Luggage Seeing A Surge During Summer Travel Months

Think of all the frustrations that could occur at the airport. Check-ins. Delays. Cancellations. All are sure to give you headaches, but perhaps the worst possible scenario is arriving at your destination, only to find that your luggage is nowhere to be seen.

Not only does lost luggage turn countless valuable hours into a full-on manhunt, but in the event that baggage isn’t found, money will have to be spent on clothes and other necessities. And unfortunately, that’s becoming more of a possibility than ever.

According to data by the Department of Transportation, almost 220,000 bags were “mishandled” — either lost, damaged, delayed, or stolen — by airlines in April. That’s 0.55 mishandlings per 100 bags enplaned.

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American Airlines Network led the way in mishandling with nearly 65,000 (0.72 per 100), while Alaska Airlines Network came in second with almost 16,000. Those 220,000 mishandlings are up from around 93,000 in April of 2021.

The crisis of lost luggage could be seen as the result of a number of factors. For one, travel has seen rapid increases since the reduction of COVID-19 protocols. On July 20, 2.2 million passengers were screened by the Transportation Security Administration, up from 1.9 million a year ago.

Airline and airport staffing is also lacking. Those shortages have resulted in putting the industry on track for the most cancellations in a non-pandemic year, and have an equally frustrating impact on baggage handling.

“When you hit a rough patch in your operations, the bags are going to be affected probably even more so than customers,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said, whose airline sent a whole plane to retrieve 1,000 stranded bags at London’s Heathrow Airport last week. It’s a problem some travel analysts expect to carry into 2023.

If you find yourself in this situation, there are a number of actions to take. The first should be to immediately go to the baggage claim office, as some airlines have a certain number of hours you must file a claim within.

One of the most important tips to remember is that airlines are required to compensate you for the bag’s content: domestic flights have a maximum of $3,800 in compensation, while international flights are $1,800. Bag check fees are also refunded.

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“The financial compensation is helpful, because that’s not money you’d have spent ordinarily,” NerdWallet travel expert Sara Rathner told MSNBC. However, you won’t receive the money immediately. Airlines have different timelines for when they deem a bag lost, with some taking up to two weeks.

Traveling light by simply bringing a carry-on is also an excellent strategy, though one that might only work for a brief trip instead of a longer excursion. In the event you do check your bag, make sure to pack an additional set or three of clothes in your carry-on.

If your luggage gets lost and isn’t eventually found, you’ll at least have outfits to carry you over for a bit until you can replenish your wardrobe. The same applies to medicine and toiletries that might be critical to your health and hygiene.

Additionally, ensure that nothing of value, like electronics or jewelry, is placed into your checked bag as airlines are unlikely to cover the costs.

hot

How To Keep Safe And Hydrated During The Intense Heat Waves

While summer lovers might say you can never have too much of a good thing, the weather might disagree.

More than 85% of Americans are bracing for continued days of intense temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, while those in the South and Central parts of the country could see digits rise well into the triples.

If the 100 million currently under heat advisories aren’t careful, temperatures could become a lot more than simply irritating. Yet, no one can likely stay inside all day. So how can you and your family take on the sun while staying active and healthy?

Make Sure To Have The Right Drink In Hand

It goes without saying that fluids are critical to a person’s health during intense heat waves. Drink water throughout the day, even when you aren’t thirsty. That way, you won’t risk dehydration.

Additionally, plain water shouldn’t be your first go-to: coconut water and lemon water are particularly effective. Coconut water acts as an excellent source of potassium, amino acids, and minerals, and is fat-free to boot.

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While this might be excruciating, stay away from caffeine, alcohol, energy, and sugary drinks during the hottest parts of the day. These can help to make you dehydrated much quicker due to their contents not being able to replace fluid lost from sweating.

Snacks are important when it comes to maintaining energy and ensuring an intake of water. Cucumbers are the most water-packed vegetable with 95% and are also a good source of fiber.

Apples are equally solid snacks — with 85.56 grams of water per 100-gram serving — along with celery, lettuce, and watermelon. Avoid food that is high in sugar, like candy or bread.

Take Time To Prep And Dress For The Occasion

In addition to keeping fluid and snacks around at all times, take precautions with what you throw on. Heavier clothes should obviously be avoided in favor of lightweight and breathable outfits.

Darker colors, like black, can increase the heat and sweat you feel, so light colors will be your friend.

The same dress code should apply to children and babies as well, who are more prone to heat-related health risks due to their still-maturing sweat glands, smaller body mass to surface area ratio, and general lack of judgment or knowledge about weather conditions and exertion.

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It’s also beneficial to see how the temperature will vary throughout the day, as well as what that day’s humidity looks like. Understand that some activities should only be done at certain times of the day.

Speaking to The Washington Post, U.S. Soccer Chief Medical Officer George Chiampas emphasized that before 11 a.m. and after 6 p.m. are times you should try to plan your children’s activities for, as these are likely to be the coolest parts of the day.

Keep An Eye On Yourself Or Your Children

It’s important to have an action plan in case you or a member of your family runs into a potential heat risk. Signs of dehydration include dizziness or light-headedness, a dry mouth or lips, tiredness, and darker-colored urine.

Heat strokes show many of the same signs, along with clammy or pale skin, cramping, and a changed mental state. If you notice yourself or a child showing these, you should immediately relocate to a shaded or air-conditioned area.

While seeking medical assistance, drink and apply cold water onto your body, either through the use of a washcloth, a bath or shower, or a body of water.