The Magic of Purring

 

Is there any more soothing sound in the world than a cat’s purring? No matter whether you are still in diapers or piloting a wheelchair at the rest home, everyone loves the relaxing sound of a purring kitten or adult feline.

While they are remarkably cute animals, some would argue that a cat’s primary appeal is that soothing sound it emits when happy. There is just something about it that is so calming and inviting, it helps tamp down your anger after the cat shreds your favorite chair.

Surprisingly, after so many centuries and scientific advancements, we are still not entirely sure just how cats purr. We know they do it when they are content, but could there also be another reason?

As it turns out, cats sometimes also purr when they are frightened, hungry, or injured. A few large species of cats, including cheetahs and cougars, can also purr as well (imagine one of these jumping in your lap for some affection!). Purring is also apparently a way for some cats to soothe themselves during periods of stress, and they also do it to comfort other feline friends when they are injured or distressed.

Purring can also be healing — literally. High frequency sound can aid in tissue and bone regeneration/repair. Domestic cats can reach a frequency of 26 Hertz when purring, which is within that sound range.

So, the next time a dog lover goes on about how wonderful a wagging tail is, counter with how a cat’s purr can easily beat it by being so helpful in other areas as well! A purring feline represents contentment in its most basic and appealing form and is the sort of selfless, uncomplicated love that prompts some people to accept cats into their families as valued members on the level of their own children.

Keeping Things Smooth With Clients

A friend of mine once joked to me that his business would be 100% perfect if he just did not have to deal with clients. Of course, clients are the lifeblood of almost any company, and you will not be in business long if you do not know how to keep them happy. That can often be more difficult than it sounds at times. Are you having trouble with your clients? Here are some suggestions you can try that will help to smooth things over:

Know your stuff

A sure way to mess things up and lose a client’s confidence is to not do your homework. If you are not willing to take the time to know the things you need to in order for your business relationship to work, then it is doomed from the start. Make sure that you understand everything necessary to keep things moving along and also be able to answer any questions the client might have about procedure and other basic steps.

Done something wrong? Admit it

No one wants to make a mistake in a business relationship of any kind, but when it happens, and it is your fault, you need to own up to any and all mistakes. Lying to a client and trying to pass off the blame is a foolish and fatal error that will come back to haunt you.

Reputation management

No matter what your business, you will inevitably end up with a client that is more trouble than they are worth. However, if you want to sever the business relationship, you should be careful about it. Going scorched earth may feel very satisfying at the time, but it may lead to unanticipated problems that end up being far worse than the ones the client caused you in the first place. Take a few deep breaths and then do the right thing.

Having Trouble Keeping Your Chin Up?

No two people are the same and that applies to many aspects of life, including one’s level of optimism. Some people are able to find a silver lining in every cloud, and never regard the glass as being half-empty. Others, meanwhile, tend to be more cynical about the future and have trouble seeing the good things in life.

Are you having trouble keeping your chin up? If so, the following tips can help you to feel better and more optimistic about the future:

Be selective

Are there certain people and situations that tend to make you feel sad and hopeless? If so, do your best to avoid them. This may lead to some awkward situations, but in the end, it will be worth it.

Keep your mind focused on the positive

Do you have anything coming up in the near future that will make you happy? For example, a trip or a visit with friends? Even though it might still be a few days away, try to keep this at the forefront of your mind. That will help you to make you feel happier in the present moment.

Get some exercise

Physical activity is not only good for your body, it is good for your brain. When you exercise, the body produces endorphins. These are the so-called “feel-good” chemicals that help to improve mood. So by getting out there and doing something physical, you will not only be helping your body, but also making yourself feel better in the process.

Think about tough times from the past that you have survived

Another way to deal with potentially unpleasant situations is to remember that you are a survivor and you have made it through such times before. As a result, the chances are very good that you will do so again quite successfully.

How to Best Enjoy Your Retirement

Retirement is something that most of us will enjoy at some point in our golden years. However, to make the most of it, retirement does require a certain degree of planning. That includes finances, but there are many articles out there about that aspect, so it will be beyond the scope of this posting.

Keep Busy

You have probably heard about someone who was 100% dedicated to their job and lost their identity upon heading into retirement. In some cases, these people may have even died prematurely.

Never underestimate the importance of a sense of purpose in life. Without that, we are simply going through the motions. You might be thinking, “Well, fine, but I’m retiring. What purpose could I still have?” There are plenty of ways to have a sense of purpose in our retirement years by serving others. Many volunteer opportunities likely exist in your area; choose one that speaks to your interests and the type of people you wish to be dealing with. You can also consider a part-time job, though once again, make sure it something that is of interest and not just a chore.

Travel

Did you not have much time to go where you wished back in your working days? Well, here is your chance to visit all of those wonderful spots you have dreamed about for years.

Make New Friends

Get out there any meet new people by trying new things, attending events, etc. Don’t spend your golden years in front of the TV; experience the fun and fulfillment that comes from sharing quality time with good people.

Don’t Stress Out

Problems come in different forms at different stages of life; your senior years won’t be any different. However, stress can be harder on mind and body when you are older. Remember that you have conquered adversity throughout your life and this stage will be no different.

 

Signs That You May Be Experiencing Depression

 

 

It is normal to be sad on the occasion, but it is not healthy you find yourself in this state day after day. However, millions of people do find themselves in the grip of sadness and when this is a common part of your life, it is known as depression.

Have you been feeling quite down lately? You might have depression. If you exhibit any of the following signs, make an appointment with a therapist to talk about your situation.

Loss of Interest

Do you have hobbies or other pursuits that usually bring you joy in life, but they are of less and less interest to you?

Loss of Energy

Are you normally a person with a lot of get up and go, but lately, you have been feeling tired and unmotivated? Are you sleeping more or suffering a loss of energy from an inability to get a good night’s sleep?

Extreme Anger

Do you find yourself getting mad over things that would normally not bother you? Or are you getting excessively angry over situations that would usually only cause mild annoyance?

Worry and Anxiety

It is normal to have some degree of worry and anxiety in our lives, but do you find yourself constantly getting worried about what could happen in the future? Do you obsess over past mistakes?

Relying on Distractions

There is nothing wrong with having an occasional drink, but excessive amounts of alcohol are signs of a problem or an attempt to avoid coping with one. Drug use can also indicate a desperate need to escape from reality.

Do not feel ashamed if you have identified any of the above behaviors as something you are currently doing. There should never be any shame associated with mental health challenges and don’t forget that you are not alone in this struggle. Good luck!

 

How to Help Your Children Become Better Writers

Some people are born with a love of writing and language, while others develop those through practice and feedback. If your child gravitates towards English and displays a natural interest in writing, that is a wonderful asset. Even if they don’t pursue writing as a career, a solid grasp of language will benefit them in almost any vocation and give them a real edge over the competition. People may be proficient with a computer, but that doesn’t automatically mean they know how to write. In fact, increasingly these days, it is often just the opposite.

If your child is struggling with their language studies, don’t worry, there is still hope. In addition to tutoring, here are some things you can do on your end to help them become better writers:

Make Writing a Family Activity

Children consider homework to be a burden, but if you can make writing into something everyone does, then that can help to lift the curse. In addition to helping them with their writing, demonstrate that writing is something that you like to do yourself. If a child sees you writing on a regular basis, that can raise their curiosity and make them more interested in learning how to do what their parents enjoy.

Be Helpful and Encouraging

These go without saying when working with your children, but are particularly useful with writing. Even if the child’s work has notable problems, point out the positive aspects and then offer constructive criticism on how the rest could be better.

Writing Activities

Children won’t be interested in writing if their work only consists of school assignments. Encourage them to write letters or birthday cards to family members and friends, party invitations for their friends, writing lists, etc. Making writing both fun and second nature will help to cultivate a love for it.

VPNs Increasingly Under Fire

You may have heard about how some people have gotten into trouble for downloading illegal copies of movies and TV shows. This happened because, while they were doing it, their internet address was visible to the copyright holders, who then took action. Essentially, it is like someone going in to rob a bank without covering their face: they’re pretty easy to identify as a result.

However, just as a bank robber can always put a ski mask on, internet users interested in stealing content have a way of disguising themselves. VPNs (or Video Private Networks) are a subscription service that allows users to hide their internet address by offering alternatives, some even in other countries. Thus, let’s say you are in Buffalo, New York and download an episode of GAME OF THRONES. If you are using a VPN at the time, the copyright police acting on HBO’s behalf might actually see an address leading them to Oslo, Norway, Toronto, Ontario, London, England…essentially anywhere but Buffalo.

Subscribers also have the option of choosing the country for their address. Ever try to watch a clip from SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE only to receive a notice saying that it is not available in your country? No problem, just switch your VPN to an American internet address and you will be enjoying Alec Baldwin’s Trump impersonation in no time.

In addition to angering copyright holders, VPNs are thorns in the side of authoritarian countries like China and Russia. Both of those nations have a large list of internet sites they do not want their citizens to see, so people there have been using a VPN to access them. However, that is no longer possible in China and will become illegal in Russia on November 1st.

Have you ever used a VPN to access content? What is your take? Is this a freedom that all internet users should have? Let us know in the comments!

Transgender People in the Military

U.S. President Donald Trump recently announced that transgender people would be banned from serving in the American military in any capacity. This comes as a stark contrast to his earlier statements that he would be a staunch ally for the LGBTQ community.

Of course, Donald Trump lies almost as often as he breathes, so this latest affront seems to be yet another desperate bid to maintain popularity with his base. Trump knows all too well that once that percentage of the Republican voter base deserts him, the party will throw him under the bus and start impeachment proceedings. It’s just a shame that transgender people have been demonized yet again.

The Canadian military has already extended an invitation to American transgender soldiers to come and serve up north. If these individuals would like to serve elsewhere, they actually have a number of options as several other countries allow transgender people to serve.

The Netherlands was the first to change their rules in 1974, followed by Sweden two years later, and Denmark and Norway two years after that. No more countries followed suit until the early ’90s, with Australia and Canada in 1992, and Israel in 1993. The Czech Republic followed their lead in 1999. The UK, France, Germany, Estonia, Finland (all 2000), Belgium (2003), Austria (2004), Spain, Thailand (2005; the latter in administrative positions only), and Bolivia (2010) round out the list to date.

There has already been backlash in the U.S., not to mention the world, to this stupidity. The White House is now saying it has not decided on how to implement the policy change. This leads one to hope that this is just another of Trump’s pathetic distractions and will not come to pass. However, it is important to remain vigilant in the face of such of government-sanctioned discrimination as we have likely not seen the last of it.