Homebuilding Slump No More In San Diego

For quite some time now, the country has struggled in rebuilding America’s economy and saying it is more than just shaky until today is not at all far from the truth. Wherever you are in the nation, there is some sort of crisis felt by the people and many homeowners struggle the most in getting their acts together when jobs are closing and basic services aren’t always given for free. Homes have become more expensive, which is actually good for existing homeowners but bad for prospective buyers as they can no longer afford to buy one for themselves and their families. And as such, people could not afford to build homes or buy ones because the cost of materials has skyrocketed and human labor does not cost cheap either.

However, it seems that business is picking up in San Diego where the construction of new homes has increased as of late. Other parts of the state and even of the country still suffer from the continued real estate slump but you can see some work in progress going around the San Diego area although not that much but definitely better than nothing. It sparks a ray of hope amidst San Diego locals despite the many factors making home building doubly harder like government barriers, a slowing market for rentals and houses, and land issues.

New home construction in San Diego County has picked up slightly but is still substantially down from the same time last year.

Building permits for all types of homes — condos,

A Big Blow For Religion

Religion is at the very core of society – organized religion that is. It is even as powerful as the state. The church is even exempted by the state to pay taxes because of the separation of the powers of the two and the extent of the influence they have to society. Morality is still a big issue in our modern world, though. Some people can be so uptight when it comes to their religious beliefs and they would even give up their lives when necessary. That’s the case of religious extremists that eventually become terrorists. It’s probably the problem with the world today. Religion has been taken in the wrong context and interpreted however you like aside from being used to manipulate people to hurt others.

No wonder that even atheists openly attack organized religion in today’s world when it fails to uphold a strong sense of morality among the people and prevent the endless violence and persecution that sows hate and divisiveness among the people. If the church really wants to make a difference in this world, they can do so because they have the resources and the power to make a positive change in other people’s lives. But no, they don’t always act righteously. With all the money and assets of most churches, they can afford to save the homeless people from living on the streets and they can feed the hungry but they don’t and that is a problem most of us are noticing quite increasingly now.

Though the specific sect

The Fight Against Climate Change

The planet is warming up at a scale never seen or experienced before. Changes are taking place at a rapid rate and they are not always a good one. The planet is definitely our home but it does not mean we are always safe from all the (raging) elements. There are times when natural weather systems act up and we end up on the losing end.  The truth is, human activities have triggered climate change. If you want proof, just simply take a look at the world around you. If you live in big cities, pollution is a common issue and there are fewer trees and plants as well as the land is utilized as residential, commercial, or even agricultural spaces. Even in rural areas, forests are going bald as illegal logging and mining are thriving more than ever.

While global warming and climate change have already arrived, it does not mean we can’t slow it down for our own sake (and safety). People die when Mother Nature runs amuck and properties get destroyed too not to mention our natural resources are fast depleting and they happen to be non-renewable too. It is easy to feel discouraged upon seeing the extent of the problem but that does not mean we should not do anything about it at all. Even in our own little ways, we can fight climate change by changing the way we live our lives one day at a time.

The greatest impact individuals can have in fighting climate change is to have

What It Takes To Be A Good Teacher

Teaching is perhaps the noblest of all professions. Whatever your career is, there are teachers that educate everyone about all the essentials to help us function at our best in whatever job we land after graduating. They’re the ones who teach us what we know of from an early age (aside from our parents) and help us better understand the various complexities of life. But not everyone is born to teach, it takes a real passion for teaching and the genuine desire to impart your knowledge to young minds hungry for new knowledge and skills.

You are perhaps wondering then what it takes to become a good teacher (if not the best)? And whether we like to admit it or not, teachers are instrumental in a student’s success or failure. But let’s face it that teachers alone aren’t the only ones who contribute to the child’s learning. The school itself, the rest of the faculty, the instructional materials, and the rest of the things that you can see within the four corners of the classroom and the school all influence a child’s education. But let us not ignore the fact either that teachers are at forefront of education and that they facilitate all aspect of a student’s learning from learning their ABCs until their post-graduate studies.

The key to successful education is to attract good teachers. We can try to do so by raising teachers’ salaries (as commonly advocated). But this strategy also seems to fail, partly because higher incomes go to both good

Paris Tourism In The Wake Of Terrorist Attacks

The world is a pretty big place to stay rooted in one place during your lifetime. They say it is better to have seen a place once than read or hear about it for a thousand times. And yes, how aptly said. Those who give in to their wanderlust know pretty well the exhilarating feeling that traveling gives them. However, money is a big issue especially for those who can barely survive in their day-to-day lives. You spend money in everything you do and the expenses double or triple when you travel somewhere far away. Traveling to great historical locations, or even checking out a great venue is indeed a gift to be thankful for that only a few get to enjoy.

There is another problem that has shaken travelers more often now over the past decade. The problem with terrorism is growing and even major cities in progressive nations like Europe aren’t safe from terrorist attacks. If you regularly watch the news, you probably have seen for yourself many of these breaking news stories that involve bombings and intentional attacks against innocent civilians. For instance, Paris has witnessed its fair share of terrorist attacks over the past few years and there have always been casualties. As a result, tourism in France has been down in the dumps for a while but it seems that the tide has turned and the Parisians are back to business once more.

High-kicking dancers are enthralling full houses again at the Moulin Rouge and art lovers are swarming

The Evolution Of Biologic Drugs

Humans have various needs in their daily lives – the right to food and shelter are among the most basic of human needs. After all, survival instincts are innate in all of us and the human body can only function well without food and water for a limited period of time. Then, there are other secondary needs also requiring our attention. Our health, for instance, needs as much tender loving care from us if want to live a long quality life for all the years of our lives.

There’s a catch, though. The more our technology progresses, the more complex diseases and ailments that affect humans have become. These microbes also evolve and have even rendered some antibiotics useless as they have grown resistant to the drug’s therapeutic effects. In a way, it has contributed to the rising costs of medicine and health care but there is also another reason why drugs keep getting more expensive through the years – medical/scientific research. More extensive and expensive researches and studies are done in various parts of the globe for various issues that mankind faces. Those that pertain to health are the most costly and require the most effort too.

Conventional medicines are stitched together by chemists in large factories using other chemicals as building blocks. Their molecular structures are well defined and relatively simple. Aspirin, for example, contains just 21 atoms (nine carbons, eight hydrogens and four oxygens) bonded together to form a particular shape. A single aspirin tablet – even kid-sized – contains trillions of

Making Money Out Of Technology

The modern world is ruled by technology. It is a no-brainer fact that even school kids understand very well. It’s such a lucrative market with billions of people owning tech gadgets like smartphones, laptops, computers, and other household and communication appliances that come at a hefty price, so you can always be sure there is a demand for it. Most big businesses nowadays are related to technology like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Samsung, etc. They have been shaping society over the past few decades and they sure have made lots of money all this time despite being involved in a handful of controversies over time.

But despite the big profits these companies are making, there are undeniable losses too. Not all their gimmicks click to people and they often have to incur millions of losses on a few business risks they have taken. The drop in tech shares in the market as of late is a testament to how unstable the technology industry is and any small changes can have big implications on these businesses and millions more who rely on their products and services in their daily lives.

U.S. stocks are mixed Monday as Facebook and other technology companies open the week with losses. Media companies are rising following a report that Charter Communications might be bought by a Japanese technology company, and cable network companies Scripps Networks and Discovery Communications agreed to combine. Banks are also trading higher.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to

Why The Children Need To Be Exposed To The Arts

Adults today can only fondly reminisce their childhood years of day-long frolic under the sun and countless hours playing outdoors and getting dirty and all. Kids today don’t lead a life as active as most adults once did. They are exposed to a digital world overruled by technology. Kids won’t have a hard time navigating a smartphone or any tech gadget, unlike most adults. Meanwhile, they lack the psychomotor skills to engage in active play and usually don’t spend as much time playing outdoors than kids before did.

One more thing children today miss out on is the opportunity to really dabble in the arts despite the abundance of art materials, supplies, and opportunities. They can even get inspiration from the web but still, they’d rather spend all their free time glued to their smartphones and tinkering with all those apps that were unheard of in the past. Indeed, a lot has changed and in a way, new opportunities open up to children but they also miss out on others that are actually better for their health and well-being.

As much evidence will support, drawing has significant developmental benefits for young children. It gives them space to represent what they think—territory within which they can exaggerate what is important to them or express ideas they are not yet able to verbalize. Through art, children are able to describe and reveal their notions about themselves, the world, and their place in it.

The role of drawing in enhancing childhood development has been acknowledged since art education

Appreciation For The Arts Beyond A Disability

Equality will always be the subject of many heated debates and arguments from then until now. While there are many things that divide people these days, there are still apparently some common denominators that bridge the gap between the rich and poor, gifted and not, or healthy and sickly. The arts will always be that bridge that continues to connect and inspire people of all walks of life.

Who says that you can’t appreciate the arts if you have a disability? You may be lacking in a sense or two but other senses are heightened to make up for what you don’t have. Dabbling with the arts gives differently-abled individuals a newfound freedom to express themselves without being limited by their disabilities. It also allows them to experience a sense of belongingness to the craft and other artists especially to the ones with disabilities themselves.

Being blind yet creating visual arts is just one of the many achievements made possible thanks to the work of the disability charity Open Arts.

And now as part of its 25th anniversary celebrations this year, the charity is giving everyone a chance to see the great work being produced at its art classes with a unique exhibition throughout the month in the Black Box, Belfast.

Embroidery, watercolour and action painting are just some of the techniques which will be showcased in the Three in One exhibition, featuring artwork created by people attending three weekly visual arts groups run by Open Arts.

Eileen Branagh, chief executive of Open Arts,

Why Society Treats Women As Second-Class Citizens

Women are God’s gift to mankind. It may sound a bit like a feminist rant but that is the truth as mankind will perish without women. Most women often put their own personal dreams aside once they have a family because of family obligations and the responsibility of raising children. Unfortunately, as if women’s sacrifices aren’t enough, the society, in general, considers women as second-class citizens who have to prove their worth first before they are even given the chance to try.

A fine example is the right to vote. It took a long while before most women all over the world were recognized to be equals of men and were allowed to help shape the future of the nation by exercising their right to suffrage. But until now, there are still many instances where women don’t get the same treatment as men. Also, violence against women has never waned despite the many advances in technology. It just took off on different platforms like the web. For the most part, women existed for the pleasure of men and it is something that many feminists detest considering many women can even outsmart men in school or at work.

Yet we’re seeing a lot of warning signs that global progress on women’s rights is in real danger of being thrown into reverse. Whether that’s new legal loopholes allowing child marriage in Bangladesh, where ActionAid works, or President Trump reinstating the ‘Global Gag Rule’, restricting access to abortion for some of the most vulnerable women in the

The Pros Of Going To IT Conferences

The world is continually changing. Nothing was and is ever constant. Everyone and everything keeps on evolving as the years go by. These changes are even more evident when it comes to information technology. Everything is high-tech now. And one thing is for sure, whatever technology we now have will definitely get better as the years pass by.

The best place to learn about these tech advancements is attending IT conferences. You’d get the chance to see first-hand up and coming technologies and futuristic innovations that are not yet available to the public. Concepts and theories come to life during these conferences and you can have a new appreciation for technology once more. It’s really different seeing something for real than just hearing about it during discussions and academic arguments. Aside from that, you can also rub elbows with like-minded individuals who have a thirst for knowledge and want to know all about the latest advancements even before they are officially launched to the public.

For the first time in years, Apple Inc. will use its annual developer conference to tout not just its software, but hardware too.

When the Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off Monday in San Jose, California, the iPhone maker is likely to unveil iPads and Mac laptops along with new versions of the operating systems for those devices, according to people familiar with the plans. Cook may even lift the cover on a smart speaker based on the Siri virtual assistant.

It will be the first time Apple

Smoking Pot For Leisure Is Now Legal

 

Smoking pot is frowned upon in most societies for years now. It is considered illegal, which is why many people smoke it away from the prying eyes of the public than risk being caught, reprimanded, and persecuted. Generally called as pot, it actually is marijuana leaves or cannabis that is often smoked by people. Cannabis oil and flowers can also be used and its smoke or vapor is inhaled and is consequently absorbed into the bloodstream. You can also put it under your tongue or apply it on your skin aside from smoking and still enjoy the same high results.

Pot smokers smoke cannabis using bowls or bongs or in a cigarette form. Recent discoveries show that cannabis can help treat various medical conditions, which is why medical cannabis is gaining popularity in various US states and even countries abroad. However, it is not a perfect science and there are many contradictions to these findings that lead to confusion and conflicts. It’s the reason that up to now, legalizing marijuana use still raises the eyebrows of many and remains to be the subject of on-going debates.

Vermont’s Legislature become the first in the nation Wednesday to approve a recreational marijuana legalization bill.

Vermont’s bill, which would legalize small amounts of marijuana possession in 2018 and anticipate the possibility of a taxed and regulated legal marijuana market, was approved in the Vermont House of Representatives on Wednesday afternoon by a vote of 79-66. The state Senate already passed the bill, so it will go 

Making A Career Out Of Playing Video Games

Education is crucial to one’s success. However, other opportunities have also opened up for people who are gutsy enough to take risks and take the less traveled road. Parents used to reprimand their kids who got hooked on video games saying that they can’t make a career out of it. Who would’ve thought you can make a fortune just from playing video games now? It was probably unheard of back then but it is a reality for some really talented and skilled video game player now.

Professional video game players are such a hit now because of technological advancements that make the world go round today. And you are not just limited to becoming a DOTA player, for instance. You can also make money by developing new gaming technologies or sell it if you have the flair of a salesman. You have to be genuinely interested in the technology itself and know your way on the screen using a game console.

Attention Indiana Tech is looking for video game superstars who aren’t necessarily the Mountain Dew-drinking, Cheetos-eating, stay up with the lights off until 3 a.m. stereotype. But they’re welcome, too.

The university has made video gaming a varsity sport starting this fall and is actively recruiting players of two games, League of Legends and Hearthstone.

And, attention parents: Indiana Tech is offering scholarships to gamers with the right stuff.

The new collegiate sport, taking hold at a handful of other universities around the country, can be traced to a modest beginning at Indiana Tech 

Doing Retail On Amazon

Business is a risky endeavor. Sometimes you hit the jackpot, most of the time you don’t. And it is undoubtedly such a big market in America. Over 24 million people make money from retailing, so the competition is tough, to say the least. When you think of retailing, you often relate it to fashion and apparel when the truth is that almost all sorts of goods and services are provided by the retail industry. Examples of which are electronics, appliances, auto parts, food and even other aspects of skilled labor.

An entrepreneur can build a retailing empire in the world today because it is one of the fastest growing sectors in the market. As long as you can offer the consumers something they need or possibly want, you can make it big. Unfortunately, competition is tough as already stated above. Some risks pay off while others can lead to bankruptcy. Many physical stores are actually closing today because people rarely shop in malls these days. They prefer doing it online like almost everyone else does.

 Amazon recently posted its eighth straight quarter of growth. In fact, in the first quarter of 2017 its revenue grew by a jaw-dropping 23 percent, hitting net income of $724 million. Amazon Prime subscribership jumped to over 80 million members, representing a gravity-defying increase of 36 percent. And, while slowing marginally, Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud computing cash cow, continued to post growth in the mid-40 percent range, giving Amazon plenty of cash to burn on furious innovation.

The Artistry Of Art Aloud

Most of us associate the arts to actual artworks and art pieces commonly seen in museums and parks. But what many are not aware of is that there are different forms of artistic expressions. The truth is that there is no limitation when it comes to the art. Artists are free to express their artistic talents and share them with the world. As the world becomes globally interconnected, we realize how diverse we all are in different aspects of life. An example of which is Art Aloud, an art to poetry collaboration.

While many of you probably haven’t heard of such a collab, it has been happening for ten years already in some states in the U.S. and even in other countries throughout the world. Artistic poetry is a great way to revive the interest and passion in poetry in a very artsy way.

The idea came into being thanks to Paul Dahlston and the Big Picture Discussion Group, a cadre of artists and thinkers who used to meet at the Business of Art Center (now the Manitou Art Center). Even after the group disbanded a few years ago, a few dedicated community members kept Art Aloud alive.

Cas Foste of Academy Art & Frame Company, who now organizes Art Aloud, says: “We get some really dynamic stuff, and we are totally all about collaborations, getting writers and artists to work together on pieces.”

Art Aloud began as a strict art-to-poetry collaboration, but over the years it has evolved to include all manner of

A Visual Appreciation Of The Arts

There is so much more to the arts than meets the eye. And for years, the arts have helped shaped the world in ways that you can’t imagine. Even until today, it has helped us understand the world that existed before us. We try our best to decipher what the images on ancient cave walls mean to give us a glimpse of the life led by our ancestors centuries ago. And these paintings might actually be the inspiration for visual artists to come up with their own various works of art today.

We see and appreciate beauty with our eyes. Whether it be an elegant painting, a striking sculpture, a unique photo, a moving video, or a breathtaking architecture, the visual arts is a rich expression of human talent at its finest. Dance, in my opinion, qualifies as well.

From a young age, we learn how to doodle even though we know so little about the spoken word itself. It only goes to show that this artistic talent is innate in us and a crucial aspect of human nature. After all, you don’t need to be brilliant to be able to appreciate the beauty of the visual arts.

Every two years, a curator comes to Venice with a mandate to rally the world’s greatest artists and unite them in a great enterprise on behalf of humanity. That may sound like a premise out of J.R.R. Tolkien, but it captures the heady, high-stakes spirit of the event, and the organizers rarely stint on ambition. In the

Samsung Galaxy S8 Software Features

For the past ten years, smartphones have dominated the market and our lives. While Apple introduced the technology to the world, Android users have Google to thank for it. And one of the most popular smartphone brands in the world today is brought to us by Samsung. Just recently, the tech giant introduced its newest line of to-die-for smartphone gadget, the Samsung S8 and Samsung S8+.

The company has made various changes to the phone’s design and features over the years. And it seems that Samsung favors the curved display design that is seen in some of the previous Samsung Edge phone models. This new phone line is far different from models previously released by the company and is probably the reason why the tech industry is buzzing with excitement for its arrival. So, what sets apart the S8 and S8+ from the rest? Let us all find out.

Being handsets this ambitious, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ each have a well-stocked bag of tricks. Notable tidbits like iris/fingerprint/face recognition security, Samsung DeX (the ability to use the handset like a computer by connecting it to a screen and periphery), and Bluetooth Dual audio for streaming sounds to two separate headsets are niceties that push the Galaxy S8 and S8+ a level above the competition!
There’s plenty more where that came from, so check out the complete list of key software features below. Are you hyped?

Always On display – View various information, such as a clock or calendar, even when the screen is off.

Quality Education: Is Cloud Computing The Answer?

Technology is a beautiful thing. It allows us to do things we can only dream of as kids. But now that technological advancement have gone through the roof, are we really prepared to have this much technology in our lives? We already deal with so much technology use in our day to day. From school to work, we are glued to our computers or laptops for hours on end trying to get things done. Kids spend their free time watching videos on Youtube or playing with various gaming apps they have downloaded. You won’t often see kids playing outside anymore.

Now, as news of quantum computing is making its round on the web, we also wonder will this technology ever reach the schools too. It may take years from now before this technology reaches the public but the experts are already using the cloud to improve the quality of education.

When you think about a traditional school workflow, it’s not unlike that of a business: paper is generated and moved in a systematic way between the children and the teacher. Just as cloud computing has transformed workflows in business to make them more collaborative and mobile, that same type of change has been coming to schools. Children and teachers use the power of the cloud to collaborate while accessing, storing, and sharing content.

As with business, this change is ongoing, uneven, and by no means complete. But if schools are at least partly about preparing children for the next generation of work, then the

Modern Living And Its Impact To Our Health

Much has changed over the decades and we owe most of it to technology. Cities are growing and life is becoming more complex. Gone were the days when technology did not make the world go round. Today, we can’t live without our smartphones and other gadgets. It allows us to stay connected to the world in real time. Most household chores can also be done in a snap because of innovative inventions like the dishwasher, washing machine, vacuum cleaner, and many others. There’s also no need to spend hours in the kitchen to whip up a delicious dish because you can just pop one in the microwave just like that.

Despite the benefits offered by technology, it has a major drawback – its negative impact on our health. We start leading a sedentary lifestyle as we continue to rely on technology to make life easy for us. We no longer have the time to stay in shape because we are too busy pretending to have a life online that we end up lacking sleep and neglecting our health and well-being in real life.

“We are the supremely arrogant species; we feel we can abandon four billion years of evolution and ignore the fact that we have evolved under a light-dark cycle,” says Oxford University’s Professor Russell Foster, who worked on the study. “What we do as a species, perhaps uniquely, is override the clock. And long-term acting against the clock can lead to serious health problems.” These problems include an increased risk of cancer,

It’s Not Yet Too Late To Save The Environment

The planet is hurting. It’s too obvious for everyone to see yet many of us turn a blind eye to these drastic environmental changes that are happening everywhere. Even other species on the planet are suffering and many have been completely wiped off from the face of the planet never to be seen again after becoming extinct. However, we are too obsessed with the latest trends and with social media that we rarely give the time of day for these more pressing environmental issues.

Environmental protection and conservation are a must because it is our responsibility as the most superior species on the planet (and the ones that also caused the most destruction). Earth is our only home. We haven’t fully explored yet the possibility of living in another planet nor even found one that is as hospitable as ours. Then, there’s climate change that makes life more challenging for many of us. The heat is trapped on the planet and it is affecting major weather systems and has sped up the melting of polar caps, for instance, which can decimate many island nations in a few year’s time.

Predictions for a planet affected by climate change can sound like they’re ripped from a doomsday novel: stronger hurricanes, intense heat waves, rising sea levels and the disappearance of ice in the Arctic.

And scientists have seen some of those changes already taking place, according to NASA.

Climate change — as well as other environmental issues like deforestation and wildlife extinction — have the potential

Do Teens Still Get Enough Sleep?

Life is what you make it. Sounds cliché but it can’t be any truer. You determine your own course in life. There may be stumbling blocks along the way but it is still up to you make the choices you want. Every little decision you make determines what your future will be like. For instance, you decide whether you maintain a normal sleep-wake cycle or not. Unfortunately, it is easier said than done these days. There are so many distractions that sticking to a fixed bedtime routine isn’t as easy as lying down on the bed and closing your eyes.

From teens to younger adults, the tech and smart gadget obsession can’t be denied. Your every waking moment is probably glued to that tiny device that means so much in your life. However, it’s not nice once this obsession affects your health negatively. For a young teen trying to juggle school requirements, personal and home obligations and social life, it can be overwhelming at times and they end up losing sleep every single night, some even have snoring issues.

Why do children wake up early when they are young but want to stay in bed till noon as teenagers?

Experts say it’s biology. Adolescents’ bodies want to stay up late and sleep late, putting them out of sync with what their school schedules demand of them. So kids have trouble waking up, and they often find themselves feeling drowsy in morning algebra class.

But that chronic sleepiness can affect their health and well-being, their

Children’s Health Suffers From A Poor Environment

It is no joke to live in a place continually exposed to dirt and pollution. Big and crowded cities first come to mind as well as most developing countries. You see all sorts of environmental pollution here. Air, noise, water, you name it. Not only adults suffer from health issues arising from constant exposure but young kids too.

These kids are not safe even inside their homes. Many kids get very sick while some even die from it. They have lost their chance in life at a young age and that is a sad reality for those living in impoverished cities and countries all over the world. The statistics did not escape the attention of the United Nations.

Unhealthy environments—both inside and outside the home—cause the deaths of more than 1.7 million child under the age of 5 every year, according to two new reports released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday.

Even in their own homes, many children in developing countries have neither clean air to breathe nor clean water to drink, the reports found.

“Almost half of the world’s population is still cooking or heating or lighting their households with very dirty fuels” such as coal or animal dung, Maria Neira, director of the WHO Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health told Inter Press Service (IPS).

Neira describes the smoke that children breathe in from these fuels as a “hidden and very pernicious” cause of ill health, leading to childhood illnesses, such as pneumonia and asthma, as

Bitcoin Hoarding: Do You Need It Against Ransomware Attacks?

The Internet is a delight to many. It can’t be denied with the number of smartphone and smart gadget users these days. We all enjoy 24/7 access to the World Wide Web because there are absolutely endless possibilities when using it. You can finally say goodbye to boredom at the very least or use it for work opportunities, not just simply to connect with family and friends. Unfortunately, dubious people have found another use for the web. No longer do they confine their evil ways to the dark web, cyber criminals also spread havoc to the majority of online users who often only have an anti-virus or firewall to protect them. Some don’t even have some sort of protection at all against these malicious online attacks.

One of the most popular malware these days is ransomware. What exactly is ransomware? Simply put, it is a type of digital extortion malware. This malware locks your computer or keyboard until you pay a ransom usually in the form of Bitcoins. Until then, you can’t access your PC and all the important files you have saved in it. With the use of a ransom cryptware, cyber criminals use a unique private key to encrypt your computer files aside from locking your device. While it initially targeted PCs and laptops, mobile phones are no longer safe from this new tech headache today.

In the age of cyber threats, companies are stockpiling digital currency in preparation of future “ransomware” attacks — which have grown exponentially over the past few

Conflict In Religion

Religion is supposed to promote more love and less hate. After all, they preach to do good and be a blessing to others. Unfortunately, many of the world’s conflict are often rooted in religion. How can we then expect salvation when the religion we swear by does the opposite?

Many people say that if a religion teaches you to hate other religions, then you need to look for a new religion. And it likely has merit. We have more pressing problems right now than to bicker and argue amongst ourselves because of differences in opinions and religious beliefs.

I take great exception to the article “A Scientist’s New Theory: Religion Was Key to Humans’ Social Evolution,” (March 5). The article quotes evolutionary psychology professor Robin Dunbar saying, “Somehow it’s clear that religions, all these doctrinal religions, create the sense that we’re one family.”

If that is so, we are an extremely dysfunctional family. Does religion do good? Yes, without a doubt. As the article stated, religion does help humans create social networks. But these networks, groups, countries, states, empires are not always there to do good. In the name of religion we had the Crusades, the Thirty Years War (although other factors helped that one along), the French Wars of Religion 1562-1598, the Bohemian Civil War 1465-1471, India and Pakistan, Northern Ireland, and Spain and Islam. Well, I hope you get the idea.

(Via: http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/letters/2017/03/12/Religion-has-been-key-in-human-dysfunction/stories/201703120146)

Unfair treatment to women is also a trait shared by many of the world’s religious orders.

It’s sometimes difficult,

The Allure Of Alcohol To Women: Short-Term Solution Or Long-Term Problem

There is nothing more relaxing than drinking a cold glass of beer while hanging out with family or friends. Sharing stories and adventures over a round of alcohol can free your mind from your worries and let you fully enjoy the moment.

Alcohol is a staple at every party or get-together, especially once night has fallen and the party is almost over. It is normal to hear the loud laughter of drinkers and witness them doing things they do not normally do when they are sober like loud singing, dancing, and non-stop teasing.

We think of drinking in two ways: Either you’re a normal drinker. Or you’re an alcoholic. Either you have a serious problem. Or you don’t. But drinking is way more nuanced and much more layered than that.

Maybe you drink a glass of wine every night to alleviate stress or numb the pain. Maybe you drink to temporarily forget your anxiety. Maybe you have a single drink before attending social events because it helps you feel more confident. It helps you to loosen up. Maybe drinking helps to brighten the dark edges of your life. For a few moments. Maybe you’re worried that you look forward to drinking. Too much. Maybe you spend most Sunday mornings worrying about what you said or did the night before.

(Via: https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2016/10/28/are-you-using-alcohol-as-a-crutch/)

Men and alcohol are a given. However, women are also becoming heavy drinkers themselves today. It is not uncommon to see women drinking alongside men – and not just drinking ladies drinks or …

The Legalization Of Medical Marijuana Enjoys Public Approval

If marijuana is as bad as what its detractors say it is, why is it that its legalization is quickly gaining traction among the public and 28 U.S. states already gave it the go signal? They must know something that has not yet been disclosed to all of us about the health benefits this controversial weed offers, right?

We are talking about the medical use of marijuana here and not for recreation purposes. There are medical experts who support its use in treating patients where conventional medicines and treatment have failed.

Americans are increasingly in favor of legalizing some form of marijuana — especially medical — and a majority across the board think the federal government should leave legal states alone.

A new Quinnipiac poll released Thursday found 71 percent of Americans would oppose a federal crackdown on legal marijuana, and 93 percent are in favor of medical marijuana, according to the survey of 1,323 voters nationwide.

There is a public clamor to have medical cannabis use legalized and it is impossible to ignore their growing numbers.

Public support for marijuana legalization has grown since the November election, in which a historic number of states approved medical or recreational legalization measures. A June 2016 Quinnipiac poll showed that 54 percent of adults surveyed favored the legalization of marijuana use in the United States and 89 percent supported allowing adults to legally use medical marijuana if their doctor prescribes it.

(Via: http://www.thecannabist.co/2017/02/23/quinnipiac-poll-2017-marijuana-legalization-federal-crackdown/74227/)

The public in general, especially the ones with really sick family member or …

How Drugs Affect Mental Health

A normal and healthy person have various coping mechanisms to stay sane in this increasingly complex urban jungle we call home. Unfortunately, not everyone can keep up with all the stresses that they seek refuge somewhere else. It does not necessarily mean you go somewhere far to get away from all your worries. People often resort to drug use to help them detach from their surrounding and experience an internal high only substance abuse can offer them.

If you do drugs, are you still a sensible individual who is capable of making rational decisions? The answer is likely a BIG no. How can you say you are still a normal walking and breathing person when your system is high on drugs that cloud your judgment. It may be that a person first got hooked on drugs before the deterioration of their state of health or they are already experiencing a major identity crisis and anxiety disorders that they find relief when they do drugs.

At least 50 per cent of regular drug abusers can develop problems of anti-social personality, suicide ideation and depression, said Susan Solomon, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences.

While drugs of abuse such as alcohol, amphetamines, caffeine, cannabis, cocaine, hallucinogens or nicotine can lead to health hazards and exact heavy personal, economic and social costs, the long-term consequences of abuse included psychotic disorder, mood swings, anxiety, sleep disorder and sexual dysfunction, she said.

(Via: http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/drug-abuse-harmful-to-mental-health-too/article17388961.ece)

Drug dependence continues to be a menace to society and leaves behind …

The Youth: The Hope And The Future Of The Nation

The youth will be the future leaders of our country and as such needs a good and strong foundation to be good leaders and citizens someday. However, there is too much violence in our surroundings right now that we may want to question whether our youth are seeing good role models to emulate in the future. Conflicts in and out of the country are reported on the news day in and day out – without fail. Divorce is common, leaving behind young kids without both parents to guide and mold them as they grow up.

Also, overexposure to unsupervised hours spent surfing the Internet can lead the youth to believe that certain acts are acceptable when in reality they are not. They can access sites that they are not supposed to visit exposing them to pornography. Hence, teenage pregnancy is no longer surprising. Drugs and alcohol abuse is also a constant threat and many youths are already hooked into it. Does the future still look bright when the majority of our youth are riddled with all these problems on a daily basis?

A Teen Summit exploring violence-related issues and other youth topics will be held April 1 at noon at the Booker T. Washington Center, 1720 Holland St.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Mothers Against Teen Violence, an Erie-based anti-violence group founded in 2010 by community activist Sonya Arrington, in partnership with the Youth Leadership Institute of Erie.

“This is a platform for our youth to

Trump’s New Business Venture: Can He Make America Great Again?

Today is a new era in American politics – the Trump Era. Along with this new presidency are many new policies that are set to shape the future of this country. It will not only affect the common people, and discriminated against minorities, but major business establishments too. After all, President Trump is a renowned businessman himself with multi-million business ventures both in and out of the country.

What can businesses expect from his leadership? Will it propel the economic progress the country has gradually achieved over the years or be the cause of yet another difficult recession because of his outrageous fiscal policies that can affect the many U.S. external relations?

When it comes to President Donald Trump’s constellation of foreign investments, properties, and companies, much of the attention so far has been on his business’s apparent violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which bars officeholders from taking gifts from foreign leaders. According to numerous ethics experts, the clause takes an expansive definition of gifts, encompassing everything from a direct bribe to a foreign official’s approval of construction of a new Trump property. But some of the Trump Organization’s properties raise additional red flags due to the specific partners involved. That’s true in Indonesia, for example, where Trump’s affiliates have been involved in bribery scandals and radical Islamic nationalist parties, and Brazil, where the company pulled out of a branding agreement amid a criminal investigation of a local business partner.

Controversies are surrounding his administration right from the very start.

This,

Is Cannabis Treatment Safe For Pets?

Pet lovers consider their pets as part of the family and treat them as such. They look after their needs and shower them with love and affection. In a sense, pets are like babies that are the apple of their eyes. Imagine going home to a puppy that is wagging its tail by your doorstep, excited for your return.

But of course, you are free to choose whatever animal you want as a pet as long as you are capable of caring for it and giving it the love and attention it needs – be it a dog, cat, hamster, fish or birds – it is up to you, and not just abandon them or leave animals in shelters when caring for them is no longer convenient for you.

Take responsibility for our pets. No excuses allowed.

Most do. Most are conscientious when it comes to looking after the well-being of their dogs and cats. Most treat them like the family members they are, feed them, bathe them, let them sleep in the house — even on the furniture. Key is, they keep them, to the end. If they can’t, they do their best to find a home for them before giving their dog to KHS.

(Via: http://thegardenisland.com/lifestyles/opinion/responsibility-a-must-for-pet-owners/article_39d2bcf9-248c-58b6-8344-f14fe0ed6306.html)

Like humans, pets get sick too. Both young and old, pet animals can succumb to sickness and suffer in silence. They are not humans who can speak and say exactly what they feel or say where it hurts the most. They can only whimper in pain …

Is Charity Still Practiced Today?

Poverty is not only a third world problem. There are plenty of homeless people even in a progressive country like America. But being poor does not necessarily mean you have to live on the streets.

Entrepreneurs feed on consumerism. Many consumer goods and services are sold and marketed as essential needs when in reality they aren’t. For example, do you need to change your phone every time major telecom companies release a new model?

With the growing need to acquire stuff, people feel that what they have is not enough. Hence, they forgot to share to others who are desperately in need when they themselves feel that they are lacking. It is why the religious sector is stepping in and gives back to the people what the government can’t always provide.

Religious groups are reclaiming their role from the welfare state, says Anne Danks of the Trussell Trust. It does not always make for an easy relationship with government. Their existence highlights the fact that the welfare state is not plugging the holes, she says. “Sometimes we need to speak hard truths to people in power in order to help the marginalised.”

American contemporaries should learn from the Brits and look after their own poor.

One in four British charities—nearly 50,000 in all—is faith-based, says Rachel Wharton of New Philanthropy Capital, a think-tank. Half of all charities working in overseas aid have religious roots. Such groups receive nearly a quarter of the total income of registered charities in England and Wales—about £16bn ($20bn) a

Women And Their Passion For The Arts

Men have conquered the arts since the beginning of recorded history. Most notable artists are males like Rembrandt, Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Leonardo Da Vinci – who all made a name in the field of culture and the arts and forever etched in history books. But how about women artists? I am sure there are plenty of women who made huge artistic contributions but only a handful probably know about them.

As we celebrate International Women’s Month, let us pay tribute to the contribution of women to the arts and how they continue to break out of the norms and share their talent and passion to the world.

Back in the day, it was very unusual for women to become professional artists, they were well known as domestic workers and child bears.

 Things have changed women are taking over the male dominated industry by storm and are doing beautiful work.  We’ve seen Aleta’s work through Yebo Contemporary Art Gallery, Velemseni; the only left-handed female guitarist we have in the country, Bongie’s motion pictures and film, just to name a few.

Discrimination persists and may be one of the greatest obstacles women artists face in their professional career.

Women artists have always been – and unfortunately continue to be – underrepresented in the art world.”

“This imbalance is in no way unique to the arts – it’s evident in all other major international exhibition of contemporary art has achieved gender parity and the highest-level jobs sectors of society where women earn less and

Community Groups And Their Impact To The World At Large

Community groups have a big influence in their community in bringing about a positive change that benefits everybody. Unlike government organizations, they operate independently and support causes that hit home. Often made up of like-minded individuals, community groups offer social support to citizens through various activities, charity work, and in voicing out people’s concerns to make sure it is heard.

Wherever you may be, there are community groups in place that you can tap for support. In California, for instance, community groups met with officials of the State Board of Education to discuss their sentiments regarding the school accountability system.

Parent Revolution, Center for American Progress, and Teach Plus California issued the 18-page report with the support of Educators 4 Excellence, National Council of Negro Women, Students Matter, Students for Education Reform and others. The report offers a variety of suggestions on how to simplify the state’s idea of a color-coded and more nuanced ranking of schools called the California School Dashboard.

(Via: http://laschoolreport.com/community-groups-offer-ways-to-simplify-state-accountability-system/)

Meanwhile, some community groups have a global impact and operate in many countries worldwide. They are a collective body of concerned individuals and professionals that looks after the rights of a child, including the right to an education while working hand in hand with their respective families.

You can likewise visit this page for an example of an active community group that cultivates a community that is evolving and nurtures economic, environmental, and social responsibility among its people.

Community groups are taking the initiative to help citizens in a major …