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Museum Of London Docklands Seeking Iconic Pieces Of Fashion For Show Spotlighting Jewish Designers

The Museum of London Docklands is making a public appeal to find various iconic pieces of fashion history to put in an upcoming exhibition spotlighting Jewish designers in history.

candle

How Fragrance And Scents In The Home Can Impact Your Overall Air Quality 

We all can relate to the desire of making our space smell good. There’s a multitude of fragrance options currently on the market that can make any home smell good and fresh. However, it’s important to understand the potential dramatic impact on our home’s air quality that these scent options can have.

According to Svetlana Stevanovic’s recent research and reporting for The Conversation, people spend, on average, 85-90% of their time indoors, and inhale around 20,000 liters of air daily. Air pollutants that exist within our homes can arguably become much more harmful than the ones existing outdoors due to how much more time we spend in our houses. 

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These stagnant indoor air pollutants from seemingly harmless fragrance options can have a major impact on our health and wellbeing, and can lead to issues such as eye irritation, respiratory issues, headaches, and more. 

The US Environmental Protection Agency has also reported that levels of indoor air pollutants can get up to three times higher than outdoor pollutants. 

Home scents are made to fill a space with a particular smell that will make our air smell nice, but it also can mean that we’re intentionally releasing a mixture of chemicals in a closed indoor environment, which can lower the overall air quality in a given space. 

According to Stevanovic, air fresheners alon emit more than 100 different chemicals, some of the most harmful being classified as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). 

“These VOCs will react with ozone and other indoor oxidants to generate a range of oxidation products, which are potentially toxic molecules. The level of exposure and concentration determines the potential toxicity,” Stevanovic wrote

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The type of product and its composition determines the type and amount of pollutants being emitted into the air in your home. All air fresheners produce a high level of VOCs, and legally speaking, air freshener companies don’t have to disclose the chemical composition of their products.

There can be tens or hundreds of chemicals in your air freshener that you wouldn’t even know about because they’re not listed on the product itself. 

“In a study across the United States, Australia, Sweden and the United Kingdom, 32.2% of people were reported to have a sensitivity to fragrance. In those who are sensitive, fragrances are a risk factor for asthma and headaches.”

The best advice when it comes to avoiding an increased level of pollutants in the home is to use fragrances in moderation. When it comes to candles, using soy, beeswax, and any candle that’s labeled as “non-paraffin” and maintaining proper ventilation in the home throughout the day is generally considered to be safe. 

Removing chemical air fragrances, fresheners, and scented candles will have a lasting overall impact on the quality of air in your home. Overall, maintain a level of moderation when it comes to adding fragrance to your home, and consider using air purifiers in combination with ventilation to keep airflow consistent in your home. 

tree

US Forest Service Initiative Encouraging People To Cut Their Own Christmas Trees

Christmas tree prices in recent years have been on a steady rise, motivating many people to branch out, and cut their own. A decades-old initiative run by the US Forest Service is encouraging individuals to cut their own trees during the holiday seasons as a means of maintaining healthy forests throughout the nation. 

doctor

‘Health In Her Hue’ Platform Helps Black Women Find Supportive Healthcare 

A new platform from co-founders Ashlee Wisdom (CEO) and Eddwina Bright (CPO), Health In Her Hue, helps Black women find culturally sensitive healthcare options tailored to their specific wants and needs from medical professionals. 

Wisdom and Bright created the platform as a means of combating issues in the healthcare system that leave many Black women in America feeling helpless and without answers. Initially launched in 2018, the New York City-based co-founders were able to secure $1 million in pre-seed funding last summer, according to The Guardian, who recently interviewed the two entrepreneurs.

“Fundraising is never a walk in the park, especially as Black women. No matter how credentialed you are, it’s hard for everyone. But then you add on the layer of the fact that there aren’t many Black women who are building venture-backed companies or get funding. We’ve experienced some challenges throughout that journey,” Wisdom explained

Wisdom and Bright explained that they intend to use their new funding to develop a new web platform with membership experiences to offer a multitude of care and support for each individual’s specific needs. 

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“Ultimately, our vision for Health In Her Hue is to be the first touchpoint for women of color managing their healthcare.”

Wisdom and Bright then explained to Guardian writer Kelli Maria Korducki what led them to launching Health In Her Hue and why they found it so necessary to fill a void that existed within America’s healthcare system and its treatment of Black women: 

“I was working in a toxic work environment, and I was breaking out in chronic hives. So I was going to see an allergist, who happened to be a white woman. She was a great doctor, but because we didn’t have that shared identity, it never occurred to me to tell her that I was dealing with racism and discrimination at work,” Wisdom stated.

“So long story short, she was running all these tests on me and I wasn’t allergic to anything. We couldn’t figure out what was triggering the hives. After I left the job, I realized that they were related to that stressful, toxic work environment. That got my wheels turning, and made me realize that I shared much more with my Black gynecologist. If I was more transparent and felt more comfortable sharing the full picture of what was going on in my life, that allergist would’ve been able to get to the root cause of what was triggering my hives.

At the same time, I was getting my master’s in public health, and got really tired of reading research papers about the disparate healthcare outcomes for Black women. And so I decided I wanted to do something to support Black women and women of color to better manage their health and also better navigate the US healthcare system,” Wisdom expressed. 

Bright explained her own discrepancies with how the healthcare system has failed her in the past, and why it inspired the two of them to launch Health In Her Hue. 

“I’d like us to help the women that we serve to advocate for themselves without having to go through really traumatic healthcare experiences. And the company happens to align with my professional experience in finance and non-profit entrepreneurship. So we definitely have a great balance of health and business expertise,” she said. 

Specifically, Wisdom and Bright wanted to create a directory of Black physicians and doctors of color currently practicing throughout the US so users could easily find individuals in their area who could provide an empathetic sense of care. 

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Wisdom explained how one of the biggest issues they heard from Black women and women of color was how “difficult it is to find a Black doctor, or a doctor of color, on existing platforms. So that was the impetus to build out a curated directory of Black physicians across the country. 

“When we launched that directory in June 2020 – given the pandemic and the racial reckoning – people were ready. Thirty-four thousand people logged in within the first week or two.”

Separately, we also had articles and videos that people could engage with on our website, as well as a community forum where women could talk to each other. So we brought all of those components together to continue the momentum, and realized we had tens of thousands of women in our community. We only had six doctors at first, and now we have more than 1,000,” Bright added. 

In terms of the future of the platform, Wisdom and Bright intend to continue to expand the community on the platform so more individuals can make their healthcare experiences easy and smooth. 

Wisdom stated: “We really want to continue to grow and expand the community so that Health In Her Hue is the go-to, safe space for women of color for all things healthcare-related. That’s my overarching big vision for what we’re building.”

“I’d love for us to also become a resource for BIPOC women to better navigate not only their individual health, but the health of their families: their kids, their spouse, their parents. Because we know that community health is very important for the collective.” 

“I would also like us to help support the talent pipeline of culturally sensitive health care providers. Maybe that means helping with scholarships and internships, putting students into doctor’s offices and teaching them the business of medicine. That’s a major gap in the market, which I’d love to see us fill,” Bright concluded.

movies

Movie Theater’s Across The Country Celebrate “National Cinema Day” With Cheap Tickets

All across the country, movie tickets are only going to cost $3 for National Cinema Day.

The Cinema Foundation noted that this is in efforts to help encourage people to once again return to the movie theaters.

“More than 3,000 theaters with over 30,000 screens will offer tickets for $3, excluding tax, across all formats and show times on Sept. 3,” said The Cinema Foundation. 

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Labor Day weekend has been considered one of the slowest weekends throughout the year for movie theaters. Throughout the summer, movie theaters have seen low attendance even though it has been higher since they first reopened post-pandemic.

“After this summer’s record-breaking return to cinemas, we wanted to do something to celebrate moviegoing,” said Jackie Brenneman, Cinema Foundation president.

National Cinema Day also acts as a gift of thanks due to the high success of recent releases like “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Minions: Rise of Gru,” “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” and “Jurassic World: Dominion” which brought in roughly $1.8 billion. 

“We’re doing it by offering a ‘thank you’ to the moviegoers that made this summer happen, and by offering an extra enticement for those who haven’t made it back yet.”

Theater companies like AMC and Cinemark are adding to the mix with concession specials that they are offering on Saturday. 

According to CBS News, AMC is going to offer a fountain drink and popcorn combo for only $5. Cinemark is continuing with the theme for National Cinema Day by offering a medium ICEE, candy or a small popcorn for only $3. 

As a small preview, exclusively on Saturday, theaters will be showing sneak peeks and clips from several major studios with some of the upcoming films that are set to debut in the upcoming fall and winter months.

Movie theaters have taken a notorious hit over the last few years due to COVID and the theatrical releases coming out in “hybrid” form both in theaters and on streaming platforms. 

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Even with the lower than average movie theater attendants, the summer also saw a number of people coming to watch the big blockbusters like “Thor: Love and Thunder” and “Nope.”

According to Comscore, this past summer’s box office was $3.027 billion.

In total, movie theaters have found that the domestic box office has brought more than $5.2 billion and its set to beat 2021.

The organizers of National Cinema Day have noted that the event is set to act as a “trial” to see the response from theatergoers around the country. If the results are successful, it could become an annual event. 

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How To Help Your Pets And Wildlife Stay Cool During The Final Month Of Summer 

Rising temperatures around the world are impacting pets and wildlife greatly this year. Pet owners are doing everything they can to keep their furry friends cool and safe for the remainder of the summer, but it’s important to think about the wildlife animals that are also enduring this heat. 

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a wildlife conservatory based in the UK, which is currently experiencing heat waves and droughts due to the heat this summer. An RSPB spokesperson recently discussed the best tips for keeping pets and wildlife safe throughout the rest of this summer.

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Many water sources throughout the world have begun to dry up due to extreme temperatures, causing multiple species of wildlife to become dehydrated. 

“A garden pond, no matter what size, benefits wildlife all year long, but is especially necessary in the heat. But even a shallow dish of water will help,” the spokesperson explained

“Some animals and birds will want to bathe and cool down, others just to drink, so keep it topped up with clean water and refreshed daily. Add pebbles or some kind of ramp around the edge of any water source to help the smallest creatures climb in and out.”

Dry conditions also cause a lot of vital food sources to become scarce, so the RSPB recommends putting out small quantities of food for wildlife. 

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“Putting out fruit and seeds will help, in small quantities but often, to avoid it spoiling. A bowl of dog or cat food (not fish-based) at night will help small animals. It’s essential to keep anything clean that you’re putting out – whether it’s a feeder or an upturned bin lid of water, as diseases can spread rapidly with different animals using them and in the heat.” 

“We  advise giving bird feeders a clean once a week with soapy water and emptying bird baths daily,” the spokesperson continued. 

If you have the garden space, let plants and trees grow as much as possible to provide multiple shade options for wildlife and your pets. 

“Shade is great for us, for our pets and certainly for our wildlife. A log pile will help lots of creatures to find a cool corner, from tiny woodlice to frogs and toads, as will longer grass. Avoid pruning and tidying up areas where leaves and branches are providing more shade,” the spokesperson explained. 

For your pets at home, make sure you’re consistently providing fresh water. Ice cubes are a great “summer treat” for dogs as well. 

If you happen to find a wild bird or mammal that seems to be in distress due to the heat, contact your local wildlife rehabilitation center for the best possible care.

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How The “Stray” Video Game Is Bringing Benefits To Real Life Felines

A new feline-centered video game has not only made waves in the gaming community but has helped to contribute towards real-life rescue cats.

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US Pools Closing Amid Nationwide Lifeguard Shortage 

According to reports, a nationwide shortage of lifeguards in the US is forcing local pools to close for the summer. 

Major cities throughout New York, Chicago, New Orleans, and many others are announcing reduced hours of operations for public pools, or just shutting down entirely due to the shortage of lifeguards. 

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Experts are estimating that a third of the pools in the US will be affected by overall staff shortages. The American Lifeguard Association estimated that by September half of the pools in the US will be impacted by these shortages. 

“The shortage is real, it’s a crisis.” said Bernard Fisher, the director of health and safety at the American Lifeguard Association. 

According to the New Orleans Advocate, city officials in New Orleans said that the municipal government would only open five of its 15 pools, and may be able to open up three more if the city can recruit more lifeguards. 

Chicago typically opens up their pools to the public on June 24th, but missed the deadline this year due to a lack of lifeguards and staff overall. City officials are reassigning lifeguards from local beaches to hopefully open up more pools as the summer progresses. 

New York currently has half the number of available lifeguards when compared to pre-pandemic levels. The state announced last week that they would be increasing the starting pay for lifeguards and developing a training program to staff more of the city’s pools. 

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Experts have stated that they’ve feared a lifeguard shortage for years prior to this summer, but the Covid-19 pandemic and an unstable labor market has made those fears a difficult reality. 

YMCA water safety expert Lindsay Mondick said a “lack of available US student visas has worsened the shortage, because many lifeguards in the country are foreign students. The slow release of more visas is having only a limited effect on the staffing shortages.”

 “We have been concerned about this potential lifeguard shortage for a number of years now. But I would say that Covid and the current tight labor market has really exacerbated this issue.”

Fisher said “simply increasing wages may not solve staffing issues because not enough people are training to be lifeguards.” 

“If cities cannot find ways to recruit more trained lifeguards and open up local pools, people may seek out unmonitored and possibly more dangerous swimming options in order to taste relief from the summer heat,” Fisher stated. 

“It’s such a crisis that if we don’t start resolving it this year, it’s going to be even worse next year, which I just can’t imagine,” Fisher said.

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Pandemic Habits To Maintain Long Term To Prevent Getting Sick

After being in the Covid-19 pandemic for more than two years, experts are emphasizing the preventative measures that we should adopt long term in order to prevent contracting other viruses like the flu.

Healthy Lifestyle

Adopting A Healthier Lifestyle In Your 80s Can Add Years To Your Life 

According to new research from Japan, even when you’re in your 80s you can add years to your life by adopting healthy lifestyle habits. 

Scientists in the research paper discussed how reducing your alcohol intake, not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and increasing sleep can give individuals some of the biggest changes in their life for the better. 

Healthy 40-year-olds in the study showed a life longevity that increased by six years when these specific habits were regularly implemented into their daily lives. The benefits were even more prominent within individuals who were 80+ years old. 

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The gains in life longevity also applied to individuals who were dealing with life-threatening illnesses including cancer, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney disease. 

The study came from Osaka University, and was meant to prove that it’s never too late for someone to give up negative habits that impact their health. The study was based on almost 50,000 individuals from Japan who were tracked for up to 20 years. 

“This is a particularly important finding given the prevalence of chronic disease has increased globally,” said Senior author Professor Hiroyasu Iso.

The team says “taking ownership of your health is key to a pleasurable retirement.”

“Idioms and proverbs about the importance of maintaining good health span the ages. Many emphasize how closely health is tied to happiness and the opportunity to live a fulfilling and enjoyable life.”

The study was published in Age and Aging, and emphasized how healthy behaviors adopted over time, when one is middle aged or older, have a significant effect on lifespan. 

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Specifically, researchers found that adopting five or more healthy lifestyle habits increases  life expectancy for individuals older than 80, including those with chronic conditions. The results of the study were also dependent on socioeconomic status which can increase someone’s access to things like assisted healthcare, and healthy lifestyle brands. 

The study began nearly 30 years ago when participants in the Japan Collaborate Cohort (JACC) Study filled in surveys regarding their diet, exercise habits, alcohol consumption, smoking status, sleep schedules, Body Mass Index, and illnesses. 

The overall goal of the study was to increase common knowledge on what simple lifestyle changes can make a difference when it comes to someone’s quantity and quality of life. It’s known as one of the first studies to measure the impact of improving lifestyle habits among older individuals. 

“The finding that lifestyle improvements have a positive impact on health despite chronic health conditions and older age is an empowering one, especially given the increasing prevalence of chronic conditions and longer life,” said lead author Dr. Ryoto Sakaniwa.

Lead author Dr Frank Hu, of Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston, described the study results as “a positive message for the public”.

“They gain not just more years of life but good years through improved lifestyle choices.”