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Spirituality & Philosophy: Meditation 

$3.3 Million Harvard Study Proves Meditation Benefits

  • Neuro-imaging and genomics technology demonstrate profound physiological rewards from yoga meditation
  • Meditation and yoga can have positive impact on stress,hypertension, infertility, depression, and even aging
  • Although 12 minutes/day for twelve weeks showed profound benefit, even one session improves metabolism and reduces inflammation

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Education: Online Education

President Obama $750M Closer To Getting 99% Of Students Online

  • ConnectedED is an ambitious plan to connect 99 percent of America’s students to the Internet through high-speed broadband and wireless over the next five years
  • U.S. companies have committed $750 million to the effort; the FCC is setting aside $2 billion from service fees
  • 65% percent of grade school kids will have a job that doesn’t even exist yet, many of which will require advanced technological skills

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Culture & Society: Drugs

Majority of Americans Now Support Legalizing Marijuana

  • National survey finds that 52% say that the use of marijuana should be made legal while 45% say it should not
  • 65% of Millennials –born since 1980 and now between 18 and 32 – favor legalizing the use of marijuana, up from just 36% in 2008
  • Since 1994, the percentage of Baby Boomers favoring marijuana legalization has doubled, from 24% to 50%

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Economy: Virtual Currency

Cryptocurrency Moves Toward Integration with Traditional Services

  • Large U.S. consumer bank and the key state regulatory agency held fact-finding events about Bitcoin
  • Meetings show strong indications that cryptocurrency is moving toward integration with traditional services
  • Both meetings were largely forward-looking; regulators, Bitcoin leaders, and banks are on a path to cooperation

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Entrepreneurship: Creativity

Watching Funny Videos Can Help Creative Problem Solving

  • Laughter releases dopamine, one of the brain’s feel-good reward hormones. That means you grow less critical of your ideas, which allows for more of them to come out
  • A positive mood facilitates innovative thinking and problem solving, due to what psychologists call cognitive flexibility
  • Since ultra-quick startups like Yammer, Square, and GitHub all organize around customer-satiating responsiveness, we clearly needed cognitive flexibility in our working lives

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Design: Maker Movement

Maker Movement To Have A Surprising Impact In USA and Around The World

  • The Maker Movement is democratizing making, creating access to industrial manufacturing tools used to prototype and manufacture world class innovations
  • Driven by the exponentially increasing power, ease of use and reduced costs of “making”
  • Already new products have begun to change the world due to cheap access to powerful tools combined with a platform (makerspace) designed to encourage their success

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Science: Genetics

A Gene Which May Make People More Intelligent Has Been Discovered

  • The NPTN gene may control the formation of the cerebral cortex which plays a key role in memory, attention, perceptual awareness, thought and language
  • Teenagers who had a highly functioning NPTN gene performed better in intelligence tests
  • The findings may have important implications for the understanding of schizophrenia and autism, where impaired cognitive ability is a key feature of the disorders

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Art & Voices: Movies

A Drone Hollywood Cinematographers Can Love

  • China’s DJI Innovations showed off its forthcoming S1000, an 8-rotor drone built specifically to carry Canon’s 5D Mark II or Mark III
  • DJI is hoping that filmmakers and news organizations alike will come calling for its monster drone that dwarfs many of its rivals
  • News organizations like The Associated Press and BBC are already training their journalists to use drones like these

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Life: Cognitive Biases

British Researchers Develop Robots Capable of Cognitive Biases

  • Researchers develop ERWIN (emotion robot with intelligent network) as a potential companion robots for humans
  • Robot could serve as a companion to the elderly or children with autism, using one of five basic emotions
  • “Introducing cognitive biases in a robot’s characteristics makes the robot imperfect by nature, but also more human-like,” said researcher Mriganka Biswas

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Environment: Climate Change

Major Changes in Vegetation Distribution

  • Climate types projected to change in 46.3% of the global land area by 2100
  • Temperatures projected to increase 3- to 10-degree annually
  • “If the surface continues to get warmer, certain native species may no longer grow well in their climate, especially in higher latitudes”

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Corporate Business: Crowdfunding

Several Crowdfunding Niches Expected to Ignite

  • Last year, 308 crowdfunding platforms across the world raised $2.7 billion, an 81 percent increase over 2011
  • Growth expected to reach $5.1 billion raised in 2013, representing an expected 89 percent increase in the dollars raised, the report predicts
  • While women entrepreneurs only get 5 percent of all investment capital, they stand to raise more investment dollars with increased access to crowdfunding

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Health & Wellness: Nutrition

OverdOSE: Eating too much added sugar may be killing you

  • A new study finds that added sugar increases your risk of death from heart disease
  • The risk of cardiovascular disease death increases exponentially as you increase your consumption of added sugar
  • On average, adults in the USA in 2010 consume about 15% of their daily calories from added sugars; the World Health Organization recommends consuming less than 10%

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