Top 13 things you should do during summer

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   Spring is almost done, summer is going to be here soon, and you may plan or not how you are going to enjoy it. Schools and colleges are going to be out, the weather is going to be warm, pools are going to be open every day, etc. A lot of people love summer but ultimately end up doing the same old things. Why not make this summer a little different? Here are some awesome things you should do during this summer time! Some people like the spring season but Others no. I don’t fall into either of those categories.

   They may enjoy it for the first few weeks, maybe even a month, but after that you’re basically waiting for summer to come around. Spring is a great season… but only once it starts to feel a bit more like summer. Early spring is still chilly and rainy. However, once it starts to get warmer outside and the sun starts to really shine, we are happy. Summer is to be enjoyed. If you don’t enjoy summer while it is around, then you are really doing yourself an injustice. Find some time to enjoy your summer and take a lot of photos because those memories are very important to remember during winter or the end of the year. Here are 13 things you may want to consider:

1. Go for a run or a bike

   Obviously, depending on where you live, you may be getting more summer than you hoped for. If you live in a slightly less intense climate, going for a run or bike ride in the summer is as good as it gets. I suggest running/biking somewhere around the city. It’s bright enough for you to still see and you will get a nice breeze going your way.

2. Go to beach

   Last year, I told myself that I will make a trip out to the beach every two weeks… I didn’t go once. I know you know that going to the beach in the summer is a good idea, you really have to do it to have fun. It is one thing to promise yourself like I have and it is another to actually force yourself to go. You will be thankful you did. Go to the beach!!! Beaches and summer go together like fashion and anorexia; you really can’t have one without the other. Let the sun delete  two years off of your hard work and stress, leave feeling like a baked clam who just took two muscles relaxers. 

3. Spend time with a lover outside

This could mean doing whatever, if you catch our drift. Everyone should enjoy the outdoors in the summer. Why? Because you can. . . Don’t be shy.

4. Have a barbecue

  Invite your family and friends. Invite your neighbors. Invite a lot of people. If you do not have a grill then buy one of those small and cheap ones. Sure, it may take a while to cook dinner, but beer is best served cold. Let’s be honest, Barbecues are really just excuses to get together and drink during the day. Fire up the grill and the smoker because it is summer! There is no better time to have a BBQ and invite your friends, neighbors, and family. It is a fun time and it is a great way to bond with the people you care about. BBQ is also delicious and with all of the other activities you will be doing, it will be easy to keep the weight off too.

5. People watching.

   Summertime is far the best time to people watch. Why? Because everyone is half naked especially women. I am always amazed by how many beautiful women there are in the world. As soon as the clothes come off, all the pretty people look so much hotter. Unfortunately, this works the other way for those not so pleasant looking people . . .

6. Connect with your real-life.

   Everyone is on the Internet these days. Some people will keep their face pointed directly at their phones even when they are outside. Sometime this summer, make sure you set the phone down, step away from the computer, and experience life without the Internet. Make sure you stop by and see your family and friends, do things that you used to do before the Internet became a dominant force in our lives. Your brain will thank you because sometimes, you just have to get away from the any device.

7. Walk somewhere.

   We have legs that we are using less and less these days. Do your body, your cardiovascular system, and your health a favor and pound some pavement this summer. Find a park or a trail and walk around. If you live close enough, hoof it to your local shopping center. Whatever it is, just get off your behind and walk around outside for a while. Did we mention that the sun gives away free vitamin D?

8. Try something you have never tried before.

   When we were kids, summer was the time of exploration. We took the time off of school to try a lot of new things and begin to compile the experiences that would eventually become treasured memories. Why does it have to stop now that we are grown up? There are a lot of things left to experience and you have three whole months to do them! Go skydiving or water skiing. Take a road trip to a place you have never been before. The possibilities are endless and they will be your treasured memories years from now.

9. Relax on vacation.

   This one is self explanatory but nevertheless it is important. The routine of day-to-day life can be stressful. Going on vacation allows you to get away from all the stress of your every day life. You can decompress, recharge, and give yourself a mental and emotional makeover. It also does not hurt that vacations are fun.

10. Go hiking and camping.

   Enjoying the great outdoors is always a good suggestion. Grabbing the old tent and sleeping bag, trekking out to the middle of nowhere, and sleeping there can be a liberating and refreshing experience. You will be away from civilization, away from the Internet, and bonding with nature. It is great exercise too!

11. Volunteer.

   It is never too late to help those in need or to volunteer in places around your community. Volunteer to be a life guard or to help clean up trash out of your local parks and woods. It is your community, so why not help keep it safe and clean? We are sure your local church and school have an activity list long enough to fill your entire summer.

12. Visit the zoo.

   Going to the zoo can be a fun activity, even if you are an adult. You can visit the animals and learn a little bit about wildlife. If you have kids then this is practically a mandatory event. There is practically an entire day’s worth of activities to take part in and going to the zoo is not all that expensive either.

 13. Watch a sunset from an epic location.

   Everywhere is within an hour of a great spot to watch a sunset. You may have hills in your area that you can climb where you can watch the sunset over your town. You may live near a beach where you can watch it happen over water. Sunsets are among the most popular computer and cell phone backgrounds ever because they are absolutely gorgeous. You have seen the high resolution photos, but there really is nothing like experiencing the real thing.

 

   There are a lot of things to do during summer time, but the important thing is to enjoy as you can before summer end.

 

Am I saving enough?

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   Just like any adventure, committing to living frugally can come with its pitfalls. When it comes to budgeting and taking care of debts, sometimes it is not so much about making more money as it is about saving the money you already have. The tricky part is knowing where to start! What savings can we make right now that could make a lasting difference in the future or affect our live at the moment? Sometimes the hardest thing about saving money is just getting started. It can be difficult to figure out simple ways to save money and how to use your savings to pursue your financial goals. These simple ways guide you to saving money and the habits can help you develop a realistic savings.

   The first step to saving money is to figure out how much you spend. Keep track of all your expenses that means every coffee, newspaper and snack you buy. Ideally, you can account for every penny. Once you have your data or note, organize the numbers by categories, such as gas, groceries, rent or mortgage, . . . and total each amount. Once you have an idea of what you spend in a month, you can begin to organize your recorded expenses into a workable budget. Your budget should outline how your expenses measure up to your income so you can plan your spending and limit overspending. In addition to your monthly expenses, be sure to factor in expenses that occur regularly but not every month, such as car or house maintenance.

   Now that you have made a budget, create a savings category within it. Try to put away from 10 to 25 percent of your income as savings. Pay yourself first. The easiest way to save money rather than spending it is to make sure that you never get a chance to spend the money in the first place If your expenses are so high that you can not save that much, it might be time to cut back. To do so, identify non essentials that you can spend less on, such as entertainment and dining out.

   One of the best ways to save money is to set a goal. Start by thinking of what you might want to save for a down payment for a house or a car, emergency fund, retirement, your child’s education, or project, . . . then figure out how long it might take you to save for it. if you have the option to refinance your mortgage to a lower interest rate. On a 15-year $100,000 fixed-rate mortgage, lowering the rate from 7 percent to 6.5 percent can save you more than $5,000 in interest charges over the life of the loan. And, you will accumulate home equity more rapidly, thus increasing your ability to cover large emergency expenditures.

Saving tips:

  • Designate two or three days a week a “no spending day”
  • Pay off credit cards in full each month
  • Remind yourself to think through every purchase by covering your card with a savings message, such as “Do I really need this?” Write the message on a piece of masking tape or colorful wash type on your card.
  • Don’t just save money but save for your future. There is a difference between saving money and saving money for your future. So don’t just spend less, put the money you save into a savings account.
  • Don’t waste any money on things that you don’t need or already have.

 

   If you’re saving for retirement or your child’s education, consider putting that money into an investment account. While investments come with risks and can lose money, they also create the opportunity for compounded returns if you plan for an event far in advance. After your expenses and income, your goals are likely to have the biggest impact on how you save money. Be sure to remember long-term goals it’s important that planning for retirement does not take a back seat to shorter-term needs. Prioritizing goals can give you a clear idea of where to start saving. For example, if you know you’re going to need something in the near future, you could start putting money away for one immediately. Almost all banks offer automated transfers between your checking and savings accounts. You can choose when, how much and where to transfer money to, or even split your direct deposit between your checking and savings accounts. Automated transfers as soon as you receive your salary or paycheck are a great way to save money since you don’t have to think about it and it generally reduces the temptation to spend the money instead.

 

   Check your progress every month. Stick on your personal savings plan, it also helps you identify and fix problems quickly. Saving money may even inspire you to save more and hit your goals faster.

This is amazing

 

   What comes to your mind when someone talks about technology? New computers, smart phones, gadgets, etc. Is that all?

   No, it is not. Today, we are surrounded by technological evolutions which encompass every aspect of our life. Need to talk to people? Get on with your phone, use WhatsApp, Hike, Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Need to know about something? Google it. Need to locate something? GPS, Google Maps is going to help. Need to go somewhere? Use public or private transport. Need to apply for a job? Use email, or online portals. There isn’t a single aspect of our life where we don’t take the guidance of technology. But what about new technologies that is more amazing than the normal ones? What about the most amazing technologies in the world? here, we have three most amazing technologies at the moment.

. Graphene

   Graphene is completely revolutionizing technology. Created at the University of Manchester, UK, graphene is a layer of graphite that is one atom thick. It is very strong, an excellent conductor of heat & electricity and is predicted to transform mobile devices. Imagine a flexible cellphone or tablet. The Gates Foundation has given $100,000 to research the development of a super thin and durable condom made of latex and graphene. It is also being tried to use it over the metal shield of various transport vehicles to increase their durability. Research is also being conducted to use it in making supercomputers of much lesser length due to its conduction properties. This is one of the most amazing technologies believed to revolutionize the tech world in a couple of decades.

. Brain Mapping

   Neuroscientists have worked for decades to better understand how the brain functions. Recent advances in brain mapping technology have made that ambitious task easier. An international team of researchers at the Human Brain Project have created a three-dimensional atlas of the brain. The maps resolution is fifty times better than previous efforts. The atlas creators digitally stitched together thousands of brain cross-sections. The map shows details up to 20 micrometers in size—the estimated size of many human cells. While this is a huge advancement, scientists still aim to create a map that shows details at 1 or 2 micrometers, rather than 20.

   . Genome Editing

Researchers in China created a pair of monkeys with specific genetic mutations. The scientists used a new method of DNA engineering known as CRISPR which allows scientists to modify fertilized eggs. This innovation has great implications for the field of biomedicine. The ability to alter DNA at specific locations on chromosomes makes it easier to study diseases. Researchers at MIT have expressed interest in studying brain disorders like autism and Alzheimer’s disease. CRISPR has the potential to aid researchers studying such ailments, allowing them to identify what genetic mutations actually cause the disorders. This is indeed a great achievement because if we know the source genes, we could actually treat these problems in a much better way.

 

   Those were the Amazing Technologies. If you know about some amazing technologies, please share them with us.

 

Morning routine by 2026

You are just waking up in the spring of 2026. Your Internet of Things bedroom opens solar powered e-windows and plays gentle music while your smart lighting displays a montage of beachfront sunrises from your recent vacation. Your shower uses very water and soap. It recycles your grey water and puts the excess heat back into your home’s integrated operating system. While you dress, your artificial intelligence (AI) assistant shares your schedule for the day and plays your favorite tunes.

You start your day with coffee or tea but it comes from you’re the refrigerator which is capable of providing a coffeehouse or teahouse experience in your home. A hot breakfast tailored to your specific nutritional needs is waiting for you in the kitchen. When it’s time to leave, an on-demand transport system has four cars waiting for you, your spouse and your kids. On the road, driverless cars and trucks move with mathematical precision, without traffic jams, routine maintenance or road rage. Accident rates are near zero . . .

This is the future life routine and it will be here sooner than you think.

VOICE ASSISTANTS

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   In two years, the majority of American house are expected to own a voice assistant device like an Amazon Echo, Google Home or an Apple Homepod. Thanks to the power of artificial intelligence (AI), voice assistants are going to grow increasingly helpful. Everyday, Amazon, Google and Apple release regular updates to Amazon Echo, Google Home and Homepod in order to help owners get more from the technology. Companies recently reported seeing larger-than-expected gains from their voice assistants, which are why Amazon, Google and Apple are now doubling on the technology. Voice assistants are making a significant impact in markets across the globe, and its only the beginning. Some observers expect that in the future we are going to communicate with technology through voice rather than text.

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Voice-controlled digital assistants are being incorporated into a wide range of consumer products, and nearly half of U.S. adults say they now use these applications to interact with smartphones and other devices, according to Florent Sekouo. Voice assistants are present on a wide range of devices, but the most common way for Americans to use them is on a smartphone: Most of U.S. adults use voice assistants in this way these days.

Google-Home-main

Applications are relatively popular among those ages 17 to 48: 58% of Americans in this age group say they use voice assistants, compared with 40% of those 49 and older. Presented with a number of reasons why they might use voice assistants, 55% of users say “a major reason” they use the assistants it is because these applications allow them to interact with their devices without using their hands. Smaller shares say that they use voice assistants because they are fun, because speaking to the assistant feels more natural than typing, or because these programs are easier for children to use. Voice assistants can also be used as “remote controls” of other connected systems such as home lighting, heating systems, etc. A majority of users say the performance of the assistants accurately responds to their commands most of the time.

 

Is the Galaxy S9 or S9 plus worth the upgrade?

   It is getting easier and easier to stick with last year’s model than upgrading to the latest one. New phones are only getting incremental upgrades over their predecessors these days. Therefore, the Galaxy S9 and S9 plus are the best smartphone you can buy at the moment but if you have a Galaxy S8 or S8 plus, is it worth to upgrade? The Galaxy S9’s and S9 plus design, screen and batteries … are exactly the same as the S8 and S8 plus and you are not missing out on any features. The Galaxy S9 and S9 plus currently running with Android 8.0 and the S8 and S8 plus with Android 7.0 but you will not really see or feel much a difference between the two. But if you like take photos, stand the fingerprint sensor and use facial or Iris recognition, you should upgrade to the Galaxy S9 from the Galaxy S8.

Technology Addiction

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Outside the U.S. it may be a lot easier to find a treatment center specifically for addictions to various types of technology: technology addiction and Internet addiction disorder (IAD).

In the U.S., though, there are only a handful of digital detox facilities that treat patients who are unable to put the brakes on texting, tweeting, surfing, gaming and the like.

Even if there’s not a nearby, dedicated facility, you or a loved one can still get help. Most addiction specialists and treatment centers can tailor their treatment methods for addictions related to technology. In fact, some of the principles used for treating other types of addiction, especially cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), have been shown to be effective for treating Internet addiction. Treatment options for technology addicts can include inpatient, outpatient, aftercare support and self-help support groups, as well as individual, group and family counseling and workshops for addicts and their families.

While there are no official steps recovery groups specifically for tech or Internet addicts, at the Center for Internet Addiction: Depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder is common among Internet addicts, as is an addiction to alcohol or drugs. Therapists oversee a 45 to 90 days outpatient program to help addicts wean themselves from pathological new devices use and “reprogram” their social skills.

Since technology addiction is an emerging problem and one that’s not very well-studied to date, it’s best to talk to your health care provider about treatment options. A person’s mental health history; what kind(s) of technology they’re addicted to; and personality can all play roles in deciding on the best approach.

We live in a world where most of our life essentials are one click away. Food, clothing, companionship, entertainment, and even sex can be attained by just a click. More and more we are giving our vital life energy to electronic devices. The bent head, focused-non-blinking stare, the raised hand holding an electronic device, with the other hand probably tapping or swiping the screen. We have been becoming electronically fed addict with new technology. Our interactions with one another are becoming less in person and more facilitated by an electronic device. It is reported that four in ten Americans suffer from problematic internet use and an estimated 38.5 percent of the population in China is highly addicted to the internet. Individuals who struggle to form real-life connections are more likely to turn to social media sites to connect with others in an impersonal and non-threatening way. Other studies show that people with anxiety, depression, ADHD, OCD, or Bipolar Disorder have an increased chance of developing an addiction to technology.

We are becoming programmed to be at the beck and call of our technological devices. A recent study noted that 70 percent of emails are checked within 4 seconds of arriving in the inbox. Further, on average people click, tap, or swipe their phones 2804 times a day. The heaviest smartphone users touch their phones 5417 times a day. An electronic device has taken up moments of your life. Can you imagine what you might have missed in those moments? Life is too fleeting and fragile to be spent staring at a smartphone screen.

We have to stop and wonder what impact this is having on our children. When smartphones were first introduced they were considered a luxury and few children had them. Now it appears that every child has a new electronic device. Children mimic adult behavior. They are spending less time playing with each other in order to spend time in isolation with their phone. They are not developing the important social skills necessary with friends and family. We are creating a generation of individuals who will have trouble connecting with each other in a real-world.

Technology addiction is not yet a disorder recognized by the DSM-5, but it is an umbrella term that may include addictive behavior such as cybersex, online pornography, video gaming, gambling, social media, emails and excessive texting. It is an information overload that is causing a world wide disconnect from one another and most importantly from ourselves. Social isolation, loneliness or living alone is a significant factor contributing to premature death. Each of these factors were shown to be a more significant risk factor for an early death than obesity. It is estimated that 43.9 million Americans over the age of 45 are suffering from loneliness. Marriage rates are declining and the number of people living alone is rising. Technology is robbing us of time we could be spending forming healthy connections with one another, in person. Do you find yourself wishing you had more time to do the things you love? If you do, don’t worry… you are not alone.

We are social beings and perhaps this love of sharing about ourselves is helpful to form social bonds and a sense of community even if it is only a virtual reality one. The need to share and in some cases over share becomes a problem when it begins to interfere with our lives. The constant stimulation of the dopamine system becomes an exhausting never ending loop of clicking and tapping when we receive notifications about the latest posts. Much like we are being trained to respond to cues from our electronic devices to check and recheck our phones.

Be honest with yourself about the time spent on technology. This includes emails and any form of social media . If you have a child, it is important to be mindful of the amount of time they spend on their phones, computers or other devices especially new. An electronic device is being used to disconnect people from the world.

When it is not absolutely necessary to have your phone by your side, put it away. Take the phone away from your child. If you must have it with you, turn off the notifications so you are not being prompted to check and recheck it. You might start off checking your email and then an hour later start to wonder where the time went. As with any addiction, you may find some of the behaviors seem impossible to break and are interfering with the quality of your life.

It is important to remember that there was life before social media and there is more life to be lived and experienced outside of technology. Technology is good but …  We are learning to pacify ourselves with the use of social media. Bored, angry or upset we turn to social media to soothe us. Perhaps we should take a cue from Rene Sekouo, the Florent Sekouo’s father. He has wisely limited the amount of time his own children spent on technology.

Allow yourself to have at least one or two days a week without social media. Interact with your love ones and real-life friends.

   “Remember, happiness is to enjoy the present with family and friends … without any devices.”