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Stendhal Disorder


By: Gene Carla Chua


StendhalHave you ever seen something so beautiful, you thought you might faint or suddenly fall to the ground? Have you encountered such beauty, that your heart began to palpitate and you started to hallucinate? Most people answer no or even think that such question is very bizarre, but there are actual people who have experienced these sensations when presented with beautiful pieces of art, or confronted with the spectacular beauty of the natural world. These are the individuals who have Stendhal Disorder – also called Florence Syndrome, or Hyperkulturemia.

Stendhal Disorder is a psychosomatic illness. A psychosomatic illness means that this illness involves or relates to both mind and body. This causes fast heartbeat, extreme dizziness, and confusion. In worst cases, it may even cause hallucinations when the affected individual is exposed to art. It worsens when the person is exposed to particularly beautiful works of art, large amount of art or even beautiful natural sceneries.

It has been long debated by psychiatrists if this disorder even exists. We can’t actually blame them because this illness sounds fairly profound to many. They have not even found what causes this reaction within the human brain or anywhere in the body. Surely, this disorder has to be further studied and tested. There has been proof though, that it is really a serious disorder. After touring inside the Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence, Italy some tourists have experienced the symptoms of Stendhal Disorder. Some of the affected tourists even needed serious medical attention and treatment in a nearby hospital. The employees at Florence’s Santa Maria Nuova hospital are accustomed to dealing with tourists suffering from dizzy spells and disorientation after admiring the statue of David, the masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery and other treasures of the Tuscan city.

This illness is named after the renowned nineteenth century French author more commonly known as Stendhal. Stendhal is a pseudonym for his real name, Henri- Marie Beyle. It was named after him since he described his experience with the phenomenon during his visit to Florence in 1817 in his book Naples and Florence: A Journey from Milan to Reggio. Although there have been a lot of descriptions of people becoming dizzy, fainting, and getting confused while admiring and taking pictures of Florentine art, especially at the Uffizi, dating from the nineteenth century onwards – surprisingly it was only named in 1979. It was named when an Italian psychiatrist named Graziella Magherini described the phenomenon. She has observed and described more than a hundred of similar cases among the many tourists and visitors in Florence, Italy.

Since not a lot of information about this illness is known to us, researchers are currently using hi- tech instruments to record and measure the reactions of the visitors as they survey through the treasures exhibited in the Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence.

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The Superpowers of Candy


By: Gene Carla Chua


CandyYes, candy has superpowers. It can’t make you fly, it won’t make you invisible, but it can make you live longer. A study in Harvard School of Public Health revealed that people who consumed candy lives longer than people who don’t. Modest candy consumption (one to three times a month) provides that most benefits, but even to those who has a daily habit (but not overindulgent) proved to live longer. Who knew a little sweet treat once in a while can give you a few extra years?

It’s not just that! A little bit of sugar can restore your willpower. Studies show that people who consume sugar, focus harder, and persevere longer on a difficult task. A little bit of candy while doing a big project, a really hard math homework, or just some chores can go a long way. Sugar is sucrose that becomes glucose when we ingest it. This glucose is where our energy comes from. Glucose is also vital in the formation of elastin and collagen, which are two of our skin’s main components. Without sugar/ glucose, our skin ages. In fact, without sugar, our body ages so much faster.

Chewing gum can also improve mental health. Chewing gum of any kind, can improve your mood, help reduce stress, increase your mental focus, and even lessen pain. This is because it increases serotonin levels. Serotonin is a hormone. It plays an important part in regulation of learning, mood, sleep, and vasoconstriction or the constriction of blood vessels. Serotonin is found in antidepressant medication. Chewing gum can also help in losing weight. When you crave for a dessert, chew a stick of gum instead. Since gum contains very little calories per serving, which means it will not ruin your diet. The act of chewing the gum and the flavor can also help you fight your cravings for other food that contains more calories.

Now let’s get started on chocolate. Chocolate is the most famous sweet-tasting delicacy in the world, and it also has a lot of health benefits. Chocolate has been used to treat depression, bronchitis, and insect bites for centuries, in civilizations from Mexico to Europe. Chocolate is also famous for being an effective aphrodisiac. Dark chocolate is also proven to improve blood flow, blood vessel function, and it may lower blood pressure. This is because dark chocolate contains more cacao and, less milk, and sugar. Cacao contains vitamins A, B1, C, D, and E, as well as potassium, sodium, and fluorine.

See! Candy has a lot of health benefits. So the next time you give yourself a little treat, don’t be too guilty, because you probably deserve it. Everyone thinks everything that tastes good is not good for your health. Candy in large amounts is really not good, but just in the right serving, you will see, it does have superpowers. This does not mean that you can abuse it though. Too much of one thing is always a bad thing.

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Your Struggles – Your Success


By: Gynn Flores


SuccessYour success comes from your struggles. Achieving your dream just does not happen. “Rome was not built in one day” so they say. We cannot just rely on luck to achieve our goals and our dreams. Achieving what you have been dreaming of would be sweet if you struggled to be able to achieve it. Here are some inputs that might be helpful for you:

  1. Identify a goal. There is no limit to this provided you think it is achievable. Making unrealistic goals will only make you discouraged, exhausted and uninspired.
  2. Believe you will achieve your goal. Stay positive at all times. There are endless ways on how to achieve your goals. You might fail at times but never give up and persevere.
  3. Make a plan of action. This will give you directions on what you should do given a certain scenario. Prioritize what is in your plan. Explore other options only when you have tried everything as planned.
  4. Be realistic with your actions. Do not over exaggerate things. Sometimes it does not turn out the way you wanted it to. Try and try until you succeed.
  5. Choose your battles. When it is quite obvious that a certain proposition is bound to fail, then change your plan of action. It can cause you all your resources and energy when you pursue something that has no chance to succeed – just for sentiment sake.

  6. Know how to appreciate the little successes you make. Congratulate yourself every time something positive comes out of your efforts. Patience is vital to gain bigger successes. Take it a day at a time. Sometimes hurrying into something big right away can make you prone to mistakes.
  7. Stay inspired and motivated. This will boost your spirit to persevere in whatever endeavor you are in.
  8. Know how to enjoy your success. Reward yourself when you achieve something. Small successes should be acknowledged by simply recognizing it or maybe treating yourself to a good meal or a relaxing activity.

Success is sweet when you work hard to achieve it. Some people may be lucky to achieve bigger things at a very short time while others achieve a little at a time. Things are not always the same. Do not give up right away and make yourself motivated and inspired at all times. Continue to be creative and be open to other options. Life is full of opportunities and a simple shift on your strategies can spell success. Before you know it, it is harvest time and you will be reaping the fruits of your labor.

Struggles in life are mandatory to spell success. When you have already achieved your goals, you can start making higher goals but do not forget to share your success story – as it might be a source of inspiration for other people. Real experiences are always inspiring and lessons you actually learned from the experience may benefit others as well. Above all, be grateful to the One who bestows all blessings.

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Ways to Illicit Attention to Your Website


By: Gynn Flores


Web TrafficMarketing online is an in thing these days. People like to click when they need practically anything at all. This is very convenient for them as they can do it on their own time and on their own pace. No wonder websites for practically anything are created. Your Company needs to be advertised on the net to make it more visible to “netizens”. Now it is up to you to make ways to increase traffic to your website. Here are valuable “call to actions”:

    • “Bookmark This Web Site Now” tell your visitors to bookmark your web site. They may see your web site listed in their bookmarks and visit again. You should also give them a good reason to bookmark your site. Tell them you add new contents regularly.
    • “Subscribe to Our Free E-zine” tell your visitors to subscribe to your e-zine article submissions. When they do, you’ll capture their e-mail address and every time they read your e-zine, it will remind them to return to your site.
    • “Participate on Our Discussion Board” Ask your visitors to participate on your online discussion board. By participating, they will meet other people. By meeting other people, they will revisit your web site on a regular basis to stay in contact with them.
    • “Sign our Guestbook” Ask your visitors to sign your guest book. When people sign your guestbook, you may get valuable feedback or constructive criticism on how to improve your web site. This may help you increase traffic to your own web site.
    • “Use our Free Content on Your Site or in Your E-zine” Allow your visitors to use your articles on their own web site or in their e-zine. Just ask them to include your resource box. This will spread your advertising all over the internet.

  • “Refer This/Our Web Site to a Friend” Ask your visitors to refer your web site to a friend(s). They may know someone that would benefit from visiting your web site.
  • “Fill Out Our Online Survey” Ask visitors to fill out your online survey or questionnaire. You could use it to get valuable feedback on ways to improve your web site to increase traffic.
  • “Enter Our Contests” Ask your visitors to enter your online contest or sweepstakes. People love to win stuff and they will visit your web site to try.
  • “Give Away Our Freebie to Your Visitors” Allow your visitors to give away your online freebies to people that visit your web site. Include your ad on the freebie and those freebies will multiply your traffic.
  • “Join Our Affiliate Program” Allow your visitors to make money selling your products or services. This will increase your traffic because they will link to your website.

Another way to make your website more attractive and to further increase your traffic is to keep it updated. There should be new items every time – be it promotions, new items and new products. Online marketing should not be taken for granted. It’s a big avenue for selling practically any products. Modes of payment are very convenient as buyers can just charge purchases to their credit cards. As most people are busy, it is crucial to offer the most convenient way to shop.

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Visually Impaired and Blind People – Friendly Phone Choices


By: Gemma Lagasca


Phone for BlindNot all blind and visually impaired individuals are lucky to have lifetime assistants to take care of them wherever they go. In fact, many of them are professionals or have good jobs despite of their conditions. Mobile phones are helpful no doubt helpful for their daily undertakings. Phone technologies are designed to suit the users and their environment – why not for such disabilities? If manufacturers can come up with iPhone spy software for tracking just almost anything, there’s no reason why basic features to aid poor or no vision users can’t be done. Here are some phone features that you should look for:

1. Keypad buttons. Choose the keypad buttons that create sounds when pressed. Buttons that have larger size than usual are also helpful. They can feel the position of the letters easily. Make sure that there is a tactile marker on the number 5 key so that they can easily access and identify the adjacent keys. Keypad buttons that light up when touched are helpful to people with low vision.

2. Screen. Visually impaired people need larger text fonts and coloured screens. The adjustable colour or contrast will make the texts or displayed messages easy to read.

3. Memory and dialing feature. Voice dialing is definitely useful for visually impaired or blind people. They can easily obtain the contact number of the person they want to call just by voice commands. Once they uttered the name of the person, the phone will automatically ring the contact number. Some phones will answer you to you to confirm the status of the call.

4. Consider these minor but essential features.

  • Make sure that the unit is not too small to hold or to look for inside the bag.
  • The screen should be protected with a keypad lock to avoid accidental switch on.
  • A mobile with flip cover or slide up function to answer calls is convenient for them to use.

Appropriate Types of Phones for such Users

Android – The 2.1 and above Android version is not only useful as touch screen phones. They also have physical keypad buttons for Home, Search, Menus and Back function which are helpful for the blinds.

iPhone – has touch screen feature and built-in voice reader or voice over and zoom screen. These are suitable not just for the visually impaired but also for blind users. The good thing is – they are already included in the phones’ software – you need not purchase additional applications to activate them.

Big button mobile phones or popularly known as “senior mobile phones” are also not bad for those who can’t see well or no sight at all. This type of phone is specifically created for the elderly with visual and hearing defects. The displays have bigger font for easy reading. The phone’s basic functions include receiving incoming calls, making calls, contact lists and text messaging. Furthermore, this phone also allows easy access to emergency call switches.

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