Trump’s Dangerous Views on Asbestos

Donald Trump will easily go down as one of the most polarizing Presidents in the history of U.S. politics. In the eight months since he has held the Oval Office his administration has been plagued with accusations of corruption and disorganization, and the ‘talk first, facts later’ attitude he had on the campaign trail has morphed into a reckless style of legislative governance that is both unpredictable and often, misinformed.

Amongst the many outrageous claims Donald Trump has made over the years, are a number of dangerously ignorant comments about asbestos.

Donald Trump’s pro-asbestos sentiment can be traced all the way back to 1997 and his The Art of the Comeback book, in which he claimed he believed the anti-asbestos movement was rigged by the mob.
Within the pages he also calls an anti-asbestos law “stupid” and inaccurately claims asbestos is “…100 percent safe, once applied.”

Trump also supported the 9/11 asbestos conspiracy theory. The conspiracy theory suggests that the Twin Towers would never have collapsed if asbestos had been used for the entire structure, rather than just the first forty floors. As recently as 2012, Trump was lending the conspiracy theory credence, tweeting “If we didn’t remove incredibly powerful fire retardant asbestos & replace it with junk that doesn’t work, the World Trade Center would never have burned down.”

Considering many 9/11 first responders have suffered respiratory complications due to the clouds of toxic asbestos dust which lingered over downtown New York City, these comments seem crass and insensitive. But many experts believe it is not just first responders who were at risk while the city was engulfed in the hazardous fumes, 90,000 everyday citizens showed up to assist with the search for survivors amongst the burning rubble of the twin towers. These people also inhaled the noxious fumes. Some experts have estimated that the death toll from 9/11 will rise into the millions over the next few decades, as symptoms related to the effects of exposure to asbestos and other poisonous chemicals begin to manifest in the population.

Trump has also been a proponent of “safe asbestos” or the chrysotile-defense. Which argues that it is the amphibole-containing products which are dangerous. This claim is widely disputed by health and medical professionals, as 95% of the products used in the United States historically were mostly chrysotile.

Countless scientific studies have linked the substance with various forms of cancer, a 2005 study from Yale University’s School of Medicine even linked asbestos with colon cancer. The World Health Organization has recognized the risks of asbestos for decades, stating “all types of asbestos cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, cancer of the larynx and ovary, and asbestosis (fibrosis of the lungs).” The carcinogen has been banned in over 50 countries.

Asbestos can be both inhaled and ingested, and the material has been used for everything over the years, resulting in citizens gulping down microscopic fibers in their water, as it ran through asbestos cement pipes. Or breathing it while they slept thanks to asbestos based ceiling insulation.

Court evidence has revealed that multiple companies contributed to a cover-up of the dangers of asbestos as early as 1929. A chilling example includes the largest manufacturer of asbestos based products in the USA, Johns Manville and company president Lewis H. Brown. Brown was made aware of the chilling effects of asbestos on his workers, by local physicians as early as 1949. However, Johns Manville continued to produce products containing asbestos up until the early 1980’s. The EPA did not classify asbestos as a hazardous air pollutant until 1971.

Donald Trump’s ill-informed views are a slap in the face for those sufferers of mesothelioma and other cancers caused by asbestos, who are now facing renewed concern about the toxic substance and the ban on its use in the USA. Thanks to a combination of Trump’s pick for the role of director of the USA Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Scott Pruitt and the proposed budget cuts to the Agency’s funding.

Pruitt has been accused of a non-committal stance toward the banning of the product. When pressed for answers he’s cited the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act as a reason to spend three years reinvestigating the risks that asbestos may pose. In response to senators’ questions regarding his position, Pruitt suggested that “prejudging the outcome of that risk evaluation process would not be appropriate.” He’s also been accused of approving other toxic products with little regulation by several environmental groups, and members of the democratic party referring to his appointment as a disaster.

In the United States, asbestos litigation is the longest and most expensive mass tort in all of US legal history, involving over 8000 defendants and costing millions in legal fees. Analysts expect costs in the USA alone to reach over $200 billion. The lengthy proceedings and costs involved with Asbestos proceedings in the USA several firms dedicated to providing legal support to those affected like The Ledger Law Firm who provide legal advice to claimants and offer fee-free representation to those whose hearings are unsuccessful.

Today about 125 million people worldwide are still exposed to asbestos in the workplace, and occupational exposure to the carcinogen has been responsible for over 107,000 deaths. New cases of mesothelioma are constantly diagnosed each year, with over a thousand cases diagnosed in 2015 across America, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Safe asbestos may be an ‘alternative’ fact that Trump supports. But the risks and the science behind the dangers are clear, and to grave to be ignored in the name of profit, or convenience.

What’s Next For Malaysia’s Najib Razak?

 

The arrest of Najib Razak, the former prime minister of Malaysia, on Tuesday represents a clean break from the past for all of Malaysia. The end of one-party rule has opened up the possibility of a new era of good governance in the country.

The arrest of Najib Razak, the former prime minister of Malaysia, on Tuesday was widely expected. In fact, many Malaysians were hoping he would be arrested immediately after the ruling party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), was defeated in the May 9 election.

Najib was the main reason why UMNO lost – he was widely seen as corrupt and the main person behind the scandal at 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a state investment fund.

US prosecutors have accused Najib of diverting US$731 million from 1MDB into his personal bank account. Many people assume Najib’s arrest is connected to this fund, but legally speaking, he faces charges relating to a company called SRC international, a one-time subsidiary of 1MDB.

SRC took a loan of about US$1 billion from a state-run retirement fund and Najib is alleged to have siphoned off about US$10.5 million from the top. The money allegedly ended up in his bank account, the same account that was implicated in the 1MDB affair.

Najib has denied any wrongdoing, and on Weddnesday pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Why was Najib not charged in the 1MDB probe?

The simple answer is that the 1MDB investigation covers multiple jurisdictions. At the last count, money involved in the 1MDB affair is believed to have passed through the following financial systems: the United States, United Kingdom, Singapore, Switzerland, Australia, Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, among others.

It is simply not possible to put such a complex case together in such a short amount of time following the election of opposition leader Mahathir Mohamad two months ago.

The good news is that, under the new Mahathir administration, foreign governments will now have access to Malaysian documents related to the 1MDB probe. The US, Singapore and Switzerland are among the countries investigating the scandal. When Najib was in power, all financial institutions in Malaysia refused to cooperate with these foreign probes.

Why is SRC International different?

The key factor here is a star witness, a former director of SRC International who decided to come forward to testify for the prosecution. This individual was too afraid to come forward when Najib was prime minister. That is no longer the case.

There are several key witnesses in the 1MDB scandal who may be thinking along the same lines as the former SRC director. With Najib no longer in control, some of these witnesses may now turn against him, as well.

Top of the list is Jho Low, the accused mastermind of the 1MDB scam. He is believed to be dividing his time between Macau and Taiwan, both places where extradition to Malaysia is not possible.

Another important witness under tremendous pressure to come forward is Tim Leissner, the former Southeast Asia chairman for Goldman Sachs, the bank that handled most of the 1MDB bond sales. He was pushed to resign from Goldman Sachs in February 2016, and both Singapore and US securities regulators have banned him from working again in the financial industry.

An interesting side note is that he is better known in the US as the husband of Kimora Lee Simmons, an American model and fashion designer and the former wife of hip hop mogul Russell Simmons.

What’s next in the Najib case?

By charging Najib, the Mahathir administration is keeping an electoral promise to take action against the former leader. But more importantly, the new government is also sending a strong message to Malaysians and the international community that it is serious about cleaning up the mess left by Najib’s government, especially when it comes to corruption.

For Najib, this will likely be the first of many trials he will face, as more charges are expected in the 1MDB case. It’s also likely that Najib’s family members, including his wife, stepson and son-in-law will face charges, as they are alleged to be direct beneficiaries of the stolen funds.

And this will likely bring an end to the Razak political dynasty in Malaysia for the time being. Najib’s father was Malaysia’s second prime minister and many of his immediate relations used to hold political office. Until the election in May, Najib’s cousin, Hishammuddin Hussein, had been Malaysia’s defence minister.

UMNO will also need to shed its associations with Najib in order to rehabilitate its image among the Malaysian people. Last weekend, the party elected a new president, former Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

All in all, Najib’s arrest represents a clean break from the past for all of Malaysia. The end of one-party rule has opened up the possibility of a new era of good governance in the country, which was unthinkable just three months ago. In today’s “new” Malaysia, anything is possible – even calling to account a former prime minister who was just defeated.

More importantly, going forward, the Malaysian public will demand full accountability from their leaders, both past and present.

Authored by Professor James Chin

This article was originally published as “What’s next for Najib Razak, Malaysia’s disgraced former prime minister?” in The Conversation on 5 July 2018, and is republished with permission.

The Rise of Online Tutoring And How It’s Bringing Tuition To The Mass Market

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The increasing usage of digital media has opened up multiple avenues for expanding the education sector’s reach. At a time where nearly most connected users shop, order groceries, book tickets and even consult doctors online, the education space has not taken a backseat. An increasing number of users are starting to bank on online tutoring services, be it english tutoring, subject-based tutoring or skill-based tutoring. The benefits of technology and online connectivity are trickling down to some of the most remote places, enabling them access to high-quality education. This removes the friction that borders and lack of infrastructure bring with it. Today, parents and students can access the best of educational resources through various platforms, ones that provide ample benefits including self-assessment tools, studying at the student’s own pace, access to tutors across the globe and the ability to tap into a supportive peer network. Better yet, most of these platforms come packed with inexpensive subscription options, free trials and sometimes even provide access to free resources.

This has helped provide multiple options to parents who are looking for better ways to improve their children’s score, particularly for students who are seeking a group study environment or for those who are lagging behind in their academics. A popular choice is to try out economical and creative methods of teaching their kids – mostly enabled through online tutoring services.

Personal attention is pivotal

More often than not, personal attention can play a huge role in transforming the way a student learns and approaches the subject. In a classroom setting, the kids to teacher ratio can be much higher, which does not give the teacher ample room to provide individual attention to each student’s needs and correct their learning gaps. With personalized online tutoring, it’s a different ballgame. Students have their time completely allotted to a single tutor, helping them gain a better understanding of the subject and cater to their issues surrounding the subject.

Enhanced study tools and methodologies  

One of the bigger advantages that come with online tutoring is the access to top-notch teaching methodologies. With technology, tutors are focusing more on providing advanced methods of teaching – stepping way ahead of the current traditional system followed in schools. Instead of resorting to rote learning, online tutoring methodologies can help them access concept-based learning. This carries huge perks for the student – better understanding of the subject, greater retention and it opens a world of opportunities for them. It helps them approach problems creatively, frame an effective solution and master the topic through highly productive methods.

Growth has not remained elusive in the market, either. According to market data, the annual rate of students who will be enrolled across online tutoring services is expected to more than double in the next couple of years and is forecasted to be worth a significant $120.67 billion by 2021.

Law and the Future

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Law has been intertwined with the evolution of human civilization and social history, with the ancient Egyptian law dating as far back as 3000 BC. English law, which has been a precursor to much of modern jurisprudence, originated much later in the 10th century and has done well. But the legal services industry is in the throes of a profound transformation today. Various factors are propelling this growth, including a new global perspective, advances in computing and changing lawyer-client dynamics.

We are living in a global world. Tom Friedman had published ‘The World is Flat’ in 2005, which stated emphatically that globalization was ‘the next big thing.’ The legal space has not been left untouched by the wave of globalization as law firms have moved legal and countless other jobs across oceans. Globalization has swept the legal space within a short span of time due to the mushrooming of internet, automation of legal processes and developments in data security. As law firms expand their footprints worldwide, globalization will continue to reshape the legal landscape in coming years.

Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) marks a paradigm shift in the delivery of legal services. The work of attorneys and other legal professionals is being transferred to external vendors within the country of establishment and overseas as legal firms rush to minimize costs and enhance productivity. LPO firms will continue to grow in the foreseeable future as companies gain confidence regarding lingering confidentiality and security issues.

A multi-generational workforce is an unprecedented reality in today’s work environment. Four generations are working in unison, encompassing traditionalists, baby boomers, Generation X and Generation Y. Many law firms are experiencing a generation gap of more than 50 years as attorneys and paralegals are working beyond their retirement age and a new generation of legal professionals is taking baby steps in the profession. Four generations employed under the same roof present new dynamics and challenges galore. In a related development, the millennial generation has surpassed the boomers and Gen X to emerge as the largest clientele today. The millennial generation is constituted of people born between 1980 and 2000 and estimates suggest that by 2020, millennials will possess spending power nearing $2 trillion.

Virtualization is turning into a norm in the legal space. Virtual law firms have a miniscule physical office and their legal team operates either from home or a virtual law office situated anywhere in the world, thanks to ubiquitous mobile devices and secure cloud-based technologies. Team members often work on a freelance basis and retain a major proportion of their earnings, unlike the traditional legal firms. This alternative method of legal practice leads to decent cost-reduction and healthy work/life balance.

Online communities play a vital role in nourishing the professional lives of attorneys today, helping them to mentor each other and potential clients. For example, car accident lawyers can use the online community platform to guide people about insurance matters. Social media is playing a pivotal role in binding online communities and transforming the practice of law. Social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, are changing the process of recruitment, job search and client interaction in the legal profession. These social media are also doubling up as marketing tools, helping the legal professionals to accomplish branding, advertising and marketing goals. They are also playing a crucial role in customer/client relationship management

The golden age of the legal entrepreneur is here, thanks to convergence of globalization and technology. Advances such as cloud computing, smart phones and social media have redefined professions across the world, and the legal career is no different. An agile workforce, mainstreaming of gig economy and greater human-computers collaboration have been a fertile ground for the birth and nurturing of law firms and legal operations. There is a spurt in lawsuits due to greater awareness of legal rights and grievance redressal mechanisms. No-fee deals between attorneys and clients are enabling low-income claimants to approach courts for resolving conflicts and claiming compensation. A stream of LPOs and other legal service delivery companies have arisen in response to the rising demand for legal services.

Lawyers are losing their sole monopoly on law, thanks to the arrival of alternative legal service delivery models. Clients are seeking legal assistance from non-legal professionals such as paralegal technicians, offshore legal vendors, legal document preparers and virtual assistants. This alternative model would not dent the professional space at the top as the best legal brains will continue to be in demand and command premium professional fees.

Change is a good thing. Legal firms that embrace the rapidly changing environment of rising competition, technological advances and changing sociological dynamics, will face the future with confidence. Legal professionals will have an opportunity to live fuller and balanced lives, working from remote locations, rendering part-time services and taking career breaks as per personal needs and priorities. The new legal environment would also empower the citizens to take control of their legal matters and provide affordable legal services to disadvantaged segment of the population.

The Over 80 Rule

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If an individual chooses to consume an alcoholic beverage, but still has to drive afterward, it is important that they remain cognizant of the legal limit, which is 80mg.  Driving while under the influence is an incredibly serious and important matter. Due to the grave implications that driving under the influence of alcohol can bring, it is necessary to be aware of the over 80 rule.

Alcohol consumption affects others differently depending on their weight and whether they are male or female. When referencing a standard drink, there are three different types to acknowledge. Firstly, a 12 oz. beer constitutes as one drink, secondly, a glass of wine at 5 oz. is considered to be one drink, and thirdly, a drink containing 1.5 oz. of liquor is recognized as one drink.

These volumes of alcohol may affect people differently depending on their size and whether or not they are male or female. Although individuals may be affected more greatly if they are female and smaller, that does not mean that 80mg of alcohol shows up in the bloodstream as a lesser amount if you are a large male. Therefore, no matter your size or gender, it becomes pertinent to adhere to the 80mg of alcohol rule.

Alcohol primarily impairs judgement. Even though a person may feel as though they have built up a tolerance to alcohol and therefore the over 80 rule does not necessarily apply to them, or it can be applied more loosely, that also is not the case. Tolerance to an alcoholic substance does not change the amount of alcohol found within a person’s blood. Regardless of a person’s tolerance, 80mg of alcohol translates to a Blood Alcohol Concentration (or BAC) of 0.08, which puts an individual over the legal limit. If someone has a BAC of 0.05 to 0.08, this area is called the “warn range.” The warn range can still put a person in a situation where they may be reprimanded with serious consequences.

Driving under the influence does not only apply to driving a car. In fact, a person can receive a DUI while operating a vehicle, a motorboat, a snowmobile, a ski-doo, or an off-road vehicle. Often times, people will assume that just because they are not driving a vehicle that they are exempt from being charged with a DUI by the police. However, it is just as important for an individual to adhere to the over 80 rule whether they are driving a car or even a ski-doo. No matter what you are driving, the police are able to pull you over and conduct a series of sobriety tests in order to ascertain a person’s level of intoxication.

If a policeman or policewoman believes that a certain individual is overly intoxicated, there are a series of steps that they must complete. In fact, they are more likely to choose to conduct a sobriety test if a person has been charged with a DUI in the past, if they are able to smell alcohol on a person or their vehicle, if a officer notices an open container of alcohol within the vehicle, or that the officer believes the individual was driving dangerously or erratically.

If they concerned about any of the reasons above, they must first bring the suspect to the police station in order to conduct a sobriety test. This test includes two different breathalyzer tests, each 15 minutes apart from one another. Although an individual does have the right to refuse a breathalyzer, if one does not blow hard enough in order to “trick” the test and blow a lower BAC, or if a police officer believes the suspect is avoiding taking the test in order to increase time and decrease their BAC, they can be charged with a failure to comply.

In order to avoid receiving a DUI, it is important to always apply the over 80 rules. But, sometimes, mistakes can be made and a “driving under the influence” sentence can be given. So, what happens if a person receives a DUI? It is important to find legal representation so that a person is able to exercise all of their legal options. A DUI attorney has the experience to discuss legal options, request additional evidence, and negotiate with the prosecution. Therefore, it becomes almost essential to employ a defense attorney.

Often times, a defense attorney will provide a free consultation in order to assess the situation and provide a cost estimate for their legal services. Although a DUI can seem incredibly overwhelming and almost the end of the world, that is not the case. In fact, there are some instances in which a criminal record can be completely avoided. If not, roughly  2% of DUI cases actually go to trial. This is often due to the fact that a plea bargain is made by the defense and prosecution. Even though receiving a DUI can be daunting and even upsetting, employing a defense attorney will provide a large leg up when tackling a driving under the influence charge.

The effect that sleep has on physical health

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The industry of sleep has experienced quite the upheaval in recent years. Shopping for a mattress is higher than ever before, people are more invested in ensuring that they get a good night’s sleep, and the world is more obsessed with the sleep industry than ever. On all counts, it seems like sleep is finally getting the attention it so desperately needs. However, a lot of this newfound emphasis is built on people simply wanting to feel better, and they know they will if they sleep more soundly. We have all felt the difference in our energy levels and even out attitude when we sleep soundly as opposed to when we have a bad night’s sleep. We all recognize that there is a distinct advantage to ensuring we initiate and maintain solid sleeping patterns, but we rarely (if ever) consider the impact sleep has on our overall health on a deeper, more fundamental level. What about the actual health benefits? Why is sleep so fundamentally important to our overall health, or more specifically even, our physical health?

Sleep is crucial for the body to function at its best, but it is also important for the body to look and feel its best. When a person experiences fractured sleeping patterns, bodily functions like one’s metabolism are impacted significantly. Over time, if left unchecked, these changes in bodily functions can manifest in unhealthy representations in the body. In the case of affected metabolism, the results manifest in weight gain. It really is quite simple. The less sleep one gest, the higher their levels of stress hormone cortisol are. The body literally needs sleep, and without it, the body becomes stressed, overworked. Cortisol increases your appetite. A lack of sleep hinders the body’s ability to process things properly. And if you oversleep, your body does not get the chance to burn off the energy as you are awake. Either way, the unhealthy fats and sugars remain in the body, taking longer to break down. And so, weight gain often ensues.

There are more studies and research than ever that showcase how getting less than six hours sleep can actually hurt your blood vessels as well. This is bad news for obvious reasons. High blood pressure and obesity can and do occur in individuals who have issues with their blood vessels, and so it becomes fundamentally important for people to understand and practice healthy sleeping habits to give their bodies the best likelihood of being at their healthiest. The jury is in. The research keeps pouring in, as do the countless studies. Sleep is just as important – if not more so, in some cases – for overall health as diet and exercise are. We are now in the position of having the awareness to make the necessary changes, and it is crucial that we do so. As it stands, we have the fundamental knowledge that sleep is important for practically all the body’s physical systems.

From weight distribution and blood pressure, to cognitive functioning and memory, the body needs sleep. It really is as simple as that. When we sleep, our bodies have the chance to repair themselves from the day’s labors, and replenish and revitalize for the day ahead. Sleep is an important factor in achieving the best results for our bodies on a long-lasting level, and we can no longer ignore this fact. Perhaps more than anything else, sleep is fundamentally important to our physical health, as well as our mental health and overall health. There has never been so much information, so much knowledge and overall awareness surrounding the topic, and we are in the position of having the power to instill positive change – and to maintain it. To ignore all that would be irresponsible, and so the responsibility to not only change our sleeping habits, but to instill a healthy view of sleep and its relationship to our overall health in future generations, has never been stronger, more prominent.

We have all felt the phenomenal difference in our energy levels, and even our attitude to the world around us, when we get a good night’s sleep. However, what many of us fail to consider deeply is the effect that sleep has on our overall health. We rarely, if ever, consider the impact that our sleeping habits have on all aspects of our bodies, and the result of that failure to understand is that we are locked in a collectively unhealthy pattern – but not for long. We all want to feel and look our best, but sometimes people lack the awareness. And this is when the studies start, and the research piles up. Sleep is crucial to our health. There are many reasons why, but ultimately it comes down to one thing: what our body needs, not what it wants. This is what is most important, what ultimately controls it all.

Adequately addressing the global epidemic that is mental health strain

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Health is a topic that the world has grown to become definitively obsessed with. Over the years, as we have conducted more studies, done more research, and gone further out of our way to discover more about the world of health, we have gotten to the point where we are positively immersed in all the information we have learnt over time. More than any other aspect of health awareness, is the knowledge of our physical health. We live in a world that has placed so much emphasis on taking care of our physical health, that we have become positively obsessed with ensuring our physical health is given the utmost care. While this is of course a positive, there is a shadow cast over other aspects of overall health, with arguably the most affected of all being mental health. It is not exactly difficult to understand why this is. Physical health often manifests on the surface. On the other hand, mental health is quite the opposite. Couple this with the fact that mental health is often (incorrectly and unfairly) treated as a pinpoint of weakness in individuals, and it is not at all difficult to understand how or why mental health strain has reached epidemic proportions on a global scale.

Mental health has been a topic of struggle for centuries. And over time, the topic of mental health is one that has been subject to much debate. While even now there is a lingering stigma that suggests that mental health struggle is a circumstance that affects the weak, the reality is that mental health strain can (and does) affect anyone, anywhere, any time. Anything can set off a chain reaction of mental health challenges, from the results of an STD test, to disappointment when one does not get the results from themselves that they wanted in a school examination (or any other manner of things). If left unchecked, it can often evolve, effectively morphing into a snowball effect that becomes exceedingly difficult to escape from. The reasons behind mental health struggle differ drastically from person to person, but ultimately what it comes down to is a chink forming in an individual’s armour. Mental health strain is not a symptom of weakness, but rather a sign that a person has been strong for too long in challenging circumstances.

Not only is mental health as a broad topic of discussion a serious issue, but it is one that is unfortunately immersed in a stigma that still remains to this day. In 2019, it is frankly astounding that there is still a stigma surrounded such an incredibly serious health issue. Unbelievably, we live in a world that is still struggling to change its views on mental health, and the effects of this lagging shift are devastating, even fatal in some cases. People are reaching out for help more than ever before, but they must be met with understanding and willingness to help, for any assistance to have any lasting effects. Thankfully, the tides are finally turning, but there is a lot of work still to be done. The outdated (and frankly never warranted) stigma surrounding mental health is on the way out the door, but there is still a lot of ground work to be done before it dissipates entirely. The stability of mental health is so overwhelmingly negative that it has reached epidemic proportions, and now it is our job to work towards reversing the damage until it disappears entirely.

Mental health is an incredibly important topic that does not get nearly as much attention or basic awareness as it should. When there are literally millions of individuals all around the world who are grappling with their mental health, there is no excuse not to be anything but honest and open about it. We live in a time where we have more of a platform to raise awareness, raise our voices, and make them count towards the causes and issues that matter the most to us. And we must use our voices to make lasting, positive impact. Anything less is simply not good enough. There is an overwhelming awareness that mental health is more of a prominent issue than ever before, and it is the responsibility of all of us to do our part to ensure that we are working towards viable solutions, rather than whispering in dark corners where no one can hear us, where there is no way for impact to spread.

The world that we live in today is one that has become exceedingly obsessed with health. It seems that, no matter where one looks, every other day there is a new finding in relation to physical health, a new study on the links between health and wellness. Throughout all this constantly-flurrying activity, one aspect of overall health that is often overlooked – and unfortunately quite often misunderstood – is mental health. Our mental health is just as important as our physical health, but for multiple reasons it has sadly not gained as much awareness or understanding in the media and the public eye. Now, finally, times are changing. Today, there is a growing body of research, in addition to countless field studies, that prove not only that mental health is incredibly important to the balance of our overall health, but also that it is just as dangerous – if not more so – than physical health, when not taken adequate care of. With the awareness under our belts, and the information in our corner, the time was yesterday for change – but better late than never, right?

SEO a leading digital marketing strategy in the digital age

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We live in what is known all over the world as the initial years of the digital age. We are completely and positively surrounded by and immersed in the greatest feats of technological advancement and digitalisation there is, and we are responsible for each and every one of them. In the world of business advancement and management, digital marketing strategies are the new lifeblood of the industry, and they are expanding and elevating all the time. Digital marketing is so successful because of its ability to reach the entire globe with what seems, to consumers, to be minimal effort. There is something deceptively simple about a business being able to place one marketing ad online, and getting hundreds of new consumers, and potentially millions more dollars, in their pockets. The expansion and exponential growth of businesses in this modern world is decidedly so effective because of the way that the marketing strategies bring those businesses to the attention of their respective industries, their competitors, and most importantly, their clients.

One digital marketing strategy that has proven itself to be priceless, time and again (and continues to do so), is search engine optimization (i.e. SEO). Put simply, SEO is essentially a digital marketing strategy that increases the visibility of a web page or even an entire website to all users through online search engines (think Google, Bing, Chrome, etc). The unique nature of SEO means that it thrives on improving unpaid results, making it a highly coveted and utilised (not to mention often underrated) digital marketing strategy for businesses spanning across all industries. Consumers use ecommerce more than they shop traditionally these days (most of the time, anyway), and so rating higher and higher on search engines means that businesses can get more traffic – and potentially more sales – the higher they sit in the ranks. Think of it this way: who regularly searches for anything past the top page of Google, or even two or three pages in? No one. This is why SEO is such a crucial business strategy these days – and why it will likely continue to be going forward.

Thanks in no small part to the technological advancements and rapid digitalisations that have consistently impacted the modern world, we live in a world that is essentially designed to function and thrive on digital ideology and reach. Throughout recent history, digital marketing concepts like SEO have been paramount in allowing businesses to do exactly that. There is power, even magic in having the entire world as a potential source of loyalty. This is exactly the type of consumer outreach that people have been chasing for years now, and it is finally not only attainable, but in their pockets. Modern businesses are enjoying successes that are well beyond expectations, and it is all thanks to the incredible reach that digital marketing strategies like SEO have. When promise meets possibility, amazing things happen, and the magic of digital marketing is just one recent example of that idea in motion.

SEO is of course just one example of digital marketing and its limitless potential, but it is by far one of the most influential and prominent of all of them. There is a reason that online businesses use search engine optimization so strongly in their content and prospective scopes of reach, and that reason is that they want to be viewed as easy-to-navigate-and-follow businesses in not only the real world, but the digital plain as well. Digital marketing powerhouses like SEO make this possible and hand it back to them on a shimmering silver platter, with all the trimmings one could ever possibly want. The future of business is here, and digital marketing is leading the way with confidence, meticulous attention to detail, and excitement. If this is the future of marketing, it is fantastic to realise that the distant future could excel even further. What a time to be alive, and what a time to be in business.

Digital marketing is a modern marvel, a wunderkind in modern business advancement and management. The power in digital marketing is that it can (and continuously does) give businesses a global potential reach that gives them the direct opportunity to amass consumers from all over the world, not just their immediate areas. Many businesses have had global reach for years now, but this level of global potential has never been so widely attainable. Businesses across various (if not across all) industries are enjoying the exponential reach that they have, thanks to digital marketing. There is something intriguing and profound about harnessing brand exposure and consumer outreach on a global scale. Thanks to digital marketing, this is not just a niche possibility, but a widespread reality. The future of business is well and truly here, and leading it into the bright reality ahead is digital marketing.

Modern marketing a marvel in creative work

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Creativity is something that is special and unique to each of us. For some of us, our creativity is more set, more structured, and for others it is a wild, flowing extension of ourselves. Some people are so creatively-tuned that they turn their creativity into a blooming career. There are so many careers that cater to the creative energy in all of us. When it comes to creative career paths, one that is often overlooked is marketing. It might seem to many like marketing is more of a structured-approach career path, but the entire basis of marketing today is set around creative license and bringing concepts and ideas to creative license for the masses to see and respond to. Creative work is something that we all aspire to in one way or another, but for those of us to turn it into a career, marketing is one of the most powerful ways we can harness our creativity and use it in a professional setting, to propel ourselves forward in our careers. In short, modern marketing is all about harnessing personal creativity to enhance professional reach and further exposure.

There are many different facets of marketing, as well. In many ways, photographers are marketers in their own right. Their work is a means of marketing images in an appealing way to clients, to audiences, and to companies around the world. Similarly, the same goes for videographers, artists, authors, musicians. The list goes on and on. The structure of modern society is that everything pivots and spins in a modem centred around marketing efforts. Everything anyone does is a direct action or response to some effort in marketing – even if not officially. We buy the clothes we see our friends and influencers we follow rocking. We listen to the bands that we find on Spotify. We read the books and watch the films our loved ones love. We buy the cars that companies promise are the most environmentally-inclusive vehicles on the roads. Quite literally, every motion in this modern world is driven by marketing in one way or another.

With this truth in mind, why not enjoy a career in marketing? Being in a career in marketing means that you are consistently working to achieve more ambitious goals, creative directions. But more than that, working marketing ensures that you have a release for all your creative ideas and expressions, while getting paid for it. And realistically, is there anything better in all the world than getting paid to do what you love? There isn’t. Freedom is something that we all crave in the deepest, darkest corners of our souls, and careers with creative cores are the very same professional pathways that bring out the creative energy and the freedom, in one neat little package. Never before has there been such an overwhelmingly positive nature towards these types of careers, and they are drawing in the masses more and more often, as everyone reaches for a career in the creative sector.

Businesses lean so heavily on creative marketing these days because that is the advertising and marketing strategy that modern consumers respond most positively to, and most consistently as well. Consumers run the world, and marketing is the way that businesses and individuals can reach their consumer bases with the most ease and velocity. There is no other branding strategy as concrete and broadly viable as creative marketing in all its forms. Creative marketing is the backbone of modern business success, but it is also one of the most overwhelmingly successful career paths for a creatively-inclined individual there is. Creative minds are the heart of our modern society and the subsequent expectations, and marketing is one of the most influential ways to turn creativity into a blooming career.

When it comes to being in touch with our creative side, for those who are more creatively-inclined than intellectually so, forging a career in marketing is one of the smartest professional moves they can possibly make. A career in marketing is something that is often overlooked when creative minds are considering their career options – until now. As the entire world practically revolves around marketing in all its forms, forging a career in marketing is a strong professional move that can – and often does – prove to be immensely valuable in the long run. There is a lot to be said about creative energy being utilised to bring exciting and unique ideas to the world, and that is the whole point of marketing. There is also a sense of freedom that is often difficult to match in other careers, because in marketing there is quite a lot of creative release that can flow relatively (if not wholly) freely. Modern marketing is often referred to as a marvel in creative work, and it is not at all difficult to understand exactly why. This is the new norm, and creative minds are driving this ideal.

Plant-based diet increasingly pegged as chosen lifestyle of future generations

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For centuries, the human body has gotten much – if not all – of its protein and energy from meat consumption. While this diet and lifestyle has increasingly come under fire over the years, it is one that millions of people continue to live by it, citing it as the most healthy whole dietary approach. It is human nature to stick to what we know, and what we [seemingly] know is that, if we eat meat, we can get a significant amount of our daily necessary dietary input. To be fair, meat consumption does give us plenty of energy, protein, and iron (among other benefits), but the reality of how that meat is made available is both disturbing and unsustainable for the planet. Over recent years especially, we have become more aware than ever before about the impact that our dietary choices have not only on our own bodies, but on the environment and the planet. The up and coming generations are growing up in this world of increasingly self-aware ideologies, and if recent projections are anything to go by, the core of the lifestyle of the future is going to be the plant-based diet.

The shocking thing about so many people’s viewpoint on their diet’s impact on their whole health is that they are almost never (if at all) willing to admit that they do not necessarily have to eat meat at all. Simply put, the food system has been shattered by the millions of human beings that maintain unhealthy, unsustainable, and inhumane lifestyles – including their diets. We are so stubborn in the dietary choices that we are comfortable with that we are unwilling or unable to conceive of the mere idea that there could be a diet that gives us everything we need, without unnecessarily taking from other living beings on Earth. Think of it this way: there are roughly 300,000 edible plant species in the United States alone, and only three of them make up almost 60% of American calories (rice, wheat, and corn). It is entirely within our power to fix the way that we obtain our food, and doing so will not only benefit our individual bodies, but the global healthcare system.

From diabetes to obesity, eliminating meat and other common dietary means such as processed sugars and unhealthy fats will have an incredible effect on the healthcare system. The problem is that we do not exactly realise how unhealthy the staples in most modern kitchens are. In modern-day grocery stores, for example, most of the food that surrounds people is not necessarily good for the human body. Even as we browse through the aisles or walk into the shopping centre with a detailed shopping list, some of the foods that are “good for us” are not necessarily healthy. Avoiding meat and dairy can feel like an extreme step to a lot of people who are so used to having these things in their weekly – even daily – diet, but realistically it not only has a significant positive impact on the planet, but it is incredibly beneficial for our bodies as well.

The statistics of the current meat trade are distressing, to say the least. The meat trade is not only unsettling, but it is also unbelievably unsustainable. It takes eight times more land to produce one kilo of protein for meat, as it does for plants. Further, it takes four times as much water to do the same thing. The majority of the land in the US – and around the globe, for that matter – is begging to come to the realisation that, in order to have a more sustainable food system, there must be a stronger emphasis on plant-based diets. The enormous undertaking required to produce livestock is disgusting – providing just 18% of calories, the livestock needed to make up the meat trade takes up 83% of farmland. It is just not sustainable. So, that then begs the question: has it ever really been sustainable in the first place? How far back does the damage go? A whole article could explore that question.

But, in short, for centuries, human beings have obtained a lot of their protein and energy (among other dietary intake necessities) through the consumption of meat.

This is something that people have been – mostly – at peace with, but in the last twenty or so years the relatively small percentage of the human population that is more and more people are turning towards an herbal life and choosing greens on Grasscity over chemicals and today there seems to be more individuals practicing a holistic lifestyle, more than ever – and more of a drive to go plant-based than ever before. When it comes down to it, the shift is really due to the shift in mindset of the current generations. We are realising the impact of our dietary choices and our chosen lifestyles affect more than just us – they affect the environment and the planet. This increasingly common shift in mindset is causing a gravitational shift that, if current projections are anything to go by, is going to result in the lifestyle of the future being centred around plant-based diets. And really, is that really such a bad thing? Is it not more than our turn to instil positive impact for the planet?

Speeding laws around the globe do little to persuade drivers to drive safe

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In the world of law, there is perhaps no other facet that has as strong an impact, or exists as a daily constant, as that of auto law. We have become so used to having instantaneous vehicular transportation at our fingertips that we now take it for granted, in every sense of the word. Not only do we find ourselves in a state of discomfort and shock when our vehicles suddenly are unavailable to us (for whatever reason), but we also tend to bend, or even entirely break, auto laws when we are in control on the roads. This is an ongoing issue that is prevalent around the world. It is not an issue that is unique to a specific country or region. And it is an issue that is becoming worse and worse as time goes on. This is especially true of speeding laws. Regardless of which country someone lives in, speeding laws are obviously put in place to ensure the most secure sense and reality of safety possible. When we speed on the roads, we take our safety, and that of those immediately surrounding us, into our own hands. And this is where trouble often brews chaos.

Day in and day out, drivers speed in traffic, and whether it is intentional or an honest mistake rarely (if ever) matters in the eyes of the law. The reality, the fact of the matter, is that laws are put in place for a very good reason. And the auto laws (not unlike speeding laws around the world) are enforced to ensure the maximum level of safety that is feasible for all on the roads and surrounding the areas that automotive traffic frequents. Speeding laws are essentially a set of enforced defence mechanisms, aimed at providing property and, above all, life with the utmost protect possible. It’s a worthy cause (if not one of the worthiest there is), and it is one of the branches of law that makes undeniable sense. And yet, it is one of the branches of law that is broken most often, and most severely. And here’s the thing. Nobody ever speeds with the malicious intend to kill a person. Nobody wants to speed to cause property damage. But when you take the enforced speed limits into account, and then blatantly ignore the, both these savage realities occur – sometimes in overwhelming fronts.

Let’s look at the specified impact that speeding has had, and continues to have, on people and places. In the United States alone, there was over $90 million in traffic violation fixed penalty notices last year. This is a staggering and yet equally sobering financial deficit, and it is one that has been proven to surge consistently year after year. Despite speeding laws and punishments becoming stricter and more severe over the years, we continue to see these incidents playing out in front of us, around us, or on the latest news reports. Speeding quite literally kills, and it is mind boggling that for some people the possibility is not enough for them to slow down. It is especially frustrating when you take into consideration the fact that nobody is being asked to drive well below the legal speed limit, having to grind along like they are sitting in peak hour traffic, little by little. All the law asks for and requires is that people drive responsibly and to the conditions. That’s it. It really is not a difficult concept to grasp. When will enough prove to be enough?

Recipients of speeding fines and other legal repercussions of activities on the roads can always call in legal representation in the form of motor vehicle lawyers to represent them if they feel their speeding fines and subsequent punishments are not in line with their offence, their circumstances at the time of the offence, or the surrounding environment where the offence allegedly took place. And people are encouraged to seek that legal representation if they feel it necessary. However, at the end of the day, there are strict speeding laws in place for the best reason there is, and unless you have the strongest reason in the world to have been speeding (and even then, it is probably not enough), be prepared to pay the piper. Taking accountability for one’s actions involves being willing to fess up and pay up when you are in the wrong. Anything less is, quite honestly, pathetic. Automotive laws are the most constantly enforced and ever-present set of laws in the world. While different countries operate with their own set of automotive laws, it is a constant struggle to reign in citizens always and ensure the utmost safety on their roads.

One of the most consistently presented auto laws that is tested is the speeding laws. This is a constant source of unrest not only for the legal systems that enforce these laws, but for the people who are impacted by the breaking of these auto speeding laws. Laws are put in place for a reason, and when they are tested time and again, always seemingly growing worse, there is something overwhelmingly devastating about that reality. Too often people go a “few kilometres” over the limit, justifying their actions by telling themselves that there aren’t many people around, a little more speed surely can’t do much damage, they haven’t seen speed cameras positioned in the area they are zipping through. The list of excuses is endless, but the statistics are louder than those excuses. Death tolls around the world continue to rise, with too many incidents being the result of speed. The law is not a joke; it is a defence mechanism, a system of rules put in place to protect.

Acupuncture, Massages and Alternative Options for Weight Loss

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The way we typically approach weight loss is flawed. The focus is primarily on changing your diet and incorporating exercise. Although this is important, it does not address the root cause for why we overeat. It’s all a temporary solution, not one with long lasting effects. In fact, many people who lose weight go back to the same eating habits once they reach their goal. Unfortunately, some go on to gain even more weight than they lost. This cycle is taxing on the body and also psychologically. There are some other options that address the behavioral component of why we overeat.

It’s important to answer the question of why you struggle with your weight. Do you eat when you are bored, stressed, when you are not feeling good about yourself, it is an escape? Do you associate food with love? Were you told as a child to eat everything on your plate?  If you have tried traditional methods with limited success it might be time to consider alternatives.

Meditation

Meditation is a healthier way to deal with the stress that comes along with life challenges. When we are upset, sometimes we reach for food to comfort us. We wouldn’t characterize most of those “comfort food” choices as healthy. Meditation helps you to breathe, redirect that energy and calms the body and mind. It can help with resisting the temptation of food. It’s a highly effective alternative to releasing that stress. French research during a public health study showed meditation helped cut the risk of obesity by 50% when practiced regularly. Whether it’s for 15 minutes or longer, there are apps available to use on your own, you can take classes, or you can learn about a number of different options for meditation within the privacy of your home.

Hypnotherapy for Weight Loss

Hypnosis can be an effective option in meeting your weight loss goals. Hypnosis focuses on identifying the root cause of why we overeat. It works at the subconscious level to address the negative thought processes that leads to overeating. It helps determine what triggers your overeating and focuses on replacing those habits with more positive behaviors. Once you determine the root cause, the hypnotherapist can reframe how your mind interprets it and provide suggestions which you are more susceptible to while under hypnosis. It’s remarkable to change the way you have looked at food your whole life.

Diet and exercise don’t address your relationship with food and what triggers you. After struggling with weight for 2 years after giving birth, one of my clients lost 32 lbs. in 10 weeks through hypnosis. Another one of my clients stated “It was completely not what I expected, I was fully awake. By my 2nd session, I haven’t touched anything that would harm my body. I started to exercise. I stopped caring about if anyone was judging me anymore. I’m very comfortable with myself.”

Another client talking about his experience with hypnosis stated “I tried many things with some success and ultimate failure. I was hoping for lasting results. I get into a deep relaxed clear-headed state. The hypnosis through you alleviated all these strong urges I had. I was very obsessed with food. Now I eat sensible bites, I don’t have to have food to socialize. We hosted Thanksgiving at my house this year. Believe it or not, I did not touch carbs, it was not a desire. I was thrilled. As of today, I lost 52 lbs. in 5 months.”

Acupuncture

Although acupuncture alone is not a solution for weight loss, it can complement another weight loss method to help you stay balanced. Acupuncture has been part of Chinese medicine for a very long time. There has been some success in strategically placing tiny needles in areas that help with reducing cravings and control hunger.

Lymphatic System Massage Techniques

A lymphatic drainage massage uses a machine that focuses on the lymphatic system to help eliminate waste, enhance circulation and breaks down fat within the body. The thinking is that these lymphatic system massages may in conjunction with diet and exercise help facilitate and speed up the process.

So many people struggle with their weight. There are many different diet plans out there; it’s difficult to determine what will work. Some people try different diets their entire life with limited success. There are alternative methods that are becoming more popular. Hypnosis has become more mainstream for people that are looking to address the emotional and behavioral components associated with their weight problem. It’s important that whatever method you choose, it helps you get to the root cause of the problem. This helps you can break these unhealthy habits. Making lifestyle changes that refocus our energy with ongoing healthier life choices is key to losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight going forward.