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Is The Internet Changing Our Way Of Thinking?



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By: Gene Carla Chua

 

InternetIf you are always on the internet I’m sure you have heard that it shortens your attention span, it gives you the inability to engage in in-depth thought, and it causes you to have fragmented and destructive thoughts. It would probably surprise you if I say that none of these are exact facts. These are only supported by anecdotes.

“How is the internet changing the way you think then?” Every year science impresario, author, and literary agent John Brockman posts this question in edge.org so that answers may be heard from philosophers, neurobiologists and other scholars. Their answers all vary of course, but it is very refreshing to hear very good feedback from very reliable minds. Neuroscientist John Greene of Harvard said that the internet does not change the way we think, it provides us with unprecedented access to mounds of information, but it doesn’t have anything to do with how our brain works. Cognitive psychologist

Steven Pinker also has the same view. He said that electronic media is not going to revamp the brain’s mechanisms of information processing. He writes “Texters, surfers, and twitterers” have not trained their brains “to process multiple streams of novel information in parallel, “as is commonly asserted but refuted by research, and claims to the contrary” are propelled by … the pressure on pundits to announce that this or that changes everything. ”

The negative thoughts about the internet will never go away though. Communications scholar Howard Rheingold said that the internet promotes shallowness, credulity and distraction. Evgeny Morozov, an expert in internet and politics said that our lives are based too much in the present – it has been completely detached even from the most recent of our past. Our ability to look back in the past certainly deteriorates.


The internet most of the time is used for social networking, but it is also very helpful in researching. In the internet, we see and find the ideas of other people. These ideas they do willingly share on blogs, in websites, in their Facebook accounts, and they can simply Tweet about it. Sharing is a good thing isn’t it? However, does this affect our creativity? When we see these very good ideas, we can add our own ideas into them and make our own.

This is one way in putting internet to good use. This is also a good way to practice our creativity and even drive our minds to find and create more unique and exciting ideas. Another scenario however is when we simply copy or steal an idea we find in the internet. This is obviously not good. We don’t just simply call it copying, it is plagiarism, and this is punishable by law. That is not at all the point. The point is that we cannot simply call the internet a bad thing or a good thing – it depends on how you see and make use of it.

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Android Bearers: Samsung Galaxy Note II and Google LG Nexus 4



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By: Gian Carlo Chua

 

Samsing & LGGoogle’s Android and Apple’s iOS are giant rivals in the mobile device race. According to the recent survey, Google’s Android has already overtaken iOS and will even make a blast this year. Android apps are serving different brands of mobile phones such as Samsung, LG Nexus series, HTC and many more while iOS remains exclusive to Apple app. One of the biggest advantages of Android phones is their
variety of choices – in terms of compatible applications. Consumers can also buy an Android phone from $200 up to thousands of dollars depending on the specifications that would suit their budget – but it doesn’t mean that the cheaper brand is inferior – just limited in features. In Asian countries, Android phones are more usable because of the dual sim-card feature. Being able to choose the same network provider with the receiving party can lessen the prepaid-load or phone bill.

Samsung Galaxy Note II

The Samsung series are fashionable with exciting styles for any age group. In fact, they are considered as prime smartphones for any event. Galaxy Note II in particular is comfortable to use. Its big 5.5 inches x 720 size is not a disadvantage – in fact the wide screen allows fuller view. It can be great when surfing the internet, taking videos and capturing photos. You will feel the real momentum of any event you want to keep to last a lifetime.

Samsung Galaxy Note II is carrying a fast 4-core processor with 2GB of RAM Android 4.1.1 plus 4.2 update. The 16GB storage can still be expanded. It has a replaceable battery with 3,100mAH capacity – so huge that it can last up to 2 days of normal usage.


Galaxy Note II is supported by 3G data with dual-channel HSPA+. Unfortunately, the mobile phone will get hotter when you use it for longer hours. However, it has a special pen as its unique feature. It is useful to create your own graphics on screen or you can personalize your notes using the handwritten option. So, many users are having fun with this “phablet” or phone tablet.

Galaxy Note II build was made following a high quality standard. You can carry it anywhere without having a bulky handbag or backpack because you can actually put it inside your pocket. It is reasonably priced at about $1,050 up to $1,100.
Google-LG Nexus 4

If you are looking for an Android bearer phone that suits your needs, take a look at Google-LG Nexus 4 that freshly unveiled the 4.2.1 “Androidify” version of Jelly Bean.

LG is very handy due to its slim discreet form. It measures 134x 69 mm and 9mm thick. It has excellent and high resolution screen with 1,280 x 768 pixels. Nexus 4 works fast with its 16GB storage, 1.5GHz four-core processor and 2GB RAM. For normal use, Nexus 4 2,100Ah battery can last over a day.

Nexus 4’s camera has 8 Megapixel resolution and users will also have fun with its Photo Sphere panoramic application – although it’s not that striking compared to some higher versions.

Additionally, LG Nexus 4 has typical choices of wireless connections and sensors. It is also noted to have fast 3G and the new Dual Channel HSPA for standard data transfers is impressive. It is equipped with Bluetooth that supports Near Field Communications. For a smartphone device that costs about $799, it is well-priced and pretty nice.

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Stendhal Disorder



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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



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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



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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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