• THE MOST COMMON CAUSE OF PERSONAL STRESS IS TIME PRESSURE relating to money, work, family, or all three. According to the American Psychological Ass’n, stress leads to anxiety disorders for women at a rate twice as prevalent as men, is linked to high blood pressure, headaches, upset stomachs, insomnia, and “chronic stress can ravage the immune system plus increase unhealthy behaviors (like drinking & smoking) that further raise risks of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.” As the principal contributor to stress is time pressure, DCG offers a courtesy lunchtime workshop in Time Management to help owners & employees alleviate this risk. Call Dennis for more input.
  • TRAINING YOUR BRAIN AS YOU WOULD A MUSCLE – TO WORK AS EFFICIENTLY AS POSSIBLE – appears to be a “nonpharmacological strategy that might keep the brain alert and working at close to its younger pace… delaying cognitive decline in the five million older Americans who live with dementia.” A 3000-person study by researchers at University of South Florida, utilizing a computerized program that focused on ‘processing speed’ over a five-week period, resulted in “dramatic effects – a 33% reduction in dementia or cognitive impairment after ten years, compared with those who received no training.” The program is now available as a smartphone app called BRAINHQ.    [TIME MAGAZINE – Aug 8, 16]
  • AGGRESSIVE DRIVING (aka ‘ROAD RAGE’) is involved more than half the time Americans are piloting their vehicles and involved with 56% of fatal car accidents each year. A survey of 2,700 licensed drivers by AAA Foundation also found that about one in 25 drivers (roughly eight million people) “have gone so far as intentionally ramming other cars or leaving their own vehicle to confront another driver… cutting people off, preventing other cars from changing lanes, or tailgating… Advice: Be tolerant. Don’t engage. Focus on getting to your destination safely.”  [THE WEEK – Aug 5, 16]
  • “THE CURRENT ‘PRESIDENTIAL REALITY SHOW’ playing out in mainstream media with almost 24/7 coverage is nothing more than a distraction, providing entertainment and the ‘illusion of choice’ in what has become hypocrisy and corruption of the democratic process… While the masses enjoy political circus created by the media, corporations are reveling in the hoopla and going about their business of seducing observers into a media-induced coma, thus blindsiding citizens to the real issues of the day… as propaganda continues to bamboozle the unsuspecting citizenry… The main difficulty in distinguishing propaganda from other types of biases is in its subjectivity – presenting facts and information selectively so that the message elicits an emotional response…which keeps people in an endless state of fear (and ensuring they keep consuming news)… avoiding more subtle & meaningful stories for risk of scaring away potential advertisers… So instead of informative and intelligent conversation, the mainstream news media have become an agenda-driven mouthpiece for creating isolation, separation, and obedience… allowing the elite to garner dominance through their commitment to psychological operations that divide-and-conquer the public.”   [COLLECTIVE-EVOLUTION.COM – July 25, 16]
  • A TERMINALLY ILL PERSON’S RIGHT-TO-DIE IS NOW LEGAL IN CALIFORNIA and four other states. Residents facing terminal illness now have an option for lethal medication (with concurrence of two physicians) as long as they are physically capable of taking it themselves. The contentious debate over ‘right’ to die has been waged around moral and religious perspective of how people think they personally would feel if faced with severe illness – versus views of those actually in that afflicted condition. A recent University of Pennsylvania study which asked such patients “to hypothesize whether they would prefer to die than be in progressively worse vegetative states” found: (1) over half preferring death to “being incontinent, unable to get out of bed, or relying on a breathing machine to stay alive”; (2) over a third preferring death to “being so debilitated that they were reliant on food delivered by a tube, were constantly confused, or required round-the-clock care”; and (3) three in ten preferring death to “living in a nursing home.” [THE ECONOMIST – Aug 6, 16] 
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: On average, children now get their first smartphones at around age ten, according to research firm Influence Central, reports the NY Times.

Beer drinkers’ note: solar-powered technology can now turn urine into drinking water. Belgian scientists have invented a membrane distillation process, recently tested at a 10-day local festival where some 1,000 liters of drinking water were “filtered out from attendees’ urine and handed over to a local beer brewer.”