Rashaun Williams Helps Black Athletes and Entertainers Become Investors

Rashaun Williams started his career as an investment banker and decided to jump head first into venture capital. Since, he has focused on helping black athletes and entertainers allocate their funds as an investor and adviser in tech, consumer products, and media companies.

Black Enterprise caught up with Williams, who has had over 100 investments and 20 exits, to find out more about his position as a general partner in the MVP All-Star Fund, founding Queensbridge Venture Partners with Nas, and why he decided to focus on helping athletes and entertainers become investors.

How did you get involved in the MVP All-Star Fund?

Before becoming a general partner at Manhattan Venture Partner’s All-Star Fund, I was a very active angel investor and running an early stage VC fund called Queensbridge Venture Partners. The Manhattan Venture Partners (MVP) team had already built a great reputation as the leading platform for research in late-stage private companies and brokering secondary transactions in those same names. I wanted to scale what I started at Queensbridge but instead of it being a traditional VC fund we did something really cool by making All-Star Funds four-year vehicles, late-stage pre-IPO only. Instead of a blind pool you invest in, we pre-disclose the names and we offer co-investment rights, which were very appealing to athletes and entertainers. Locking their money up for seven to 10 years didn’t make a lot of sense when a lot of their careers were four to six years.

How did you partner with Nas for Queensbridge Venture Partners? What was that experience like? 

In 2011, when I decided to leave Wall Street and set up my own family office, I was determined to offer tech coaching services to those in our community who were making the most money but had the least financial literacy resources. I started helping athletes and entertainers source, diligence, and invest in tech companies. My philosophy is, ‘If you won’t do it for free, don’t do it for a fee.’ I had the honor of working with Nas, Elton Brand, and a dozen other influencers where we invested in some of the most exciting tech companies in the world. I sponsored tours of Silicon Valley, did monthly workshops, and provided one-on-one coaching for dozens of guys. Nas has had such a huge impact on culture in America and we were able to use that influence to invest in companies that we otherwise wouldn’t have been allowed to. Coming from Wall Street, I already knew that only the top 20 investors in the country got access to the best deals in the country, working with Nas and other influencers I realized that the only other group to get this access were our athletes and entertainers. We made history with Queensbridge Venture Partners and I am very thankful to have been a part of it.

Why did you decide to focus on helping athletes and entertainers invest?

Excellent question! My focus isn’t limited to them, my Instagram (@rashaun_williams) is for all people and I help anyone who is interested in tech and investing. However, for the last eight years, I have been focused on solving three main problems I have identified and working with athletes and entertainers helps me kill all three:

1. Getting the influencers of our culture ownership in companies they influence. I do this by helping them invest in late-stage through the All-Star Fund.

2. Getting more minorities into venture capital and technology

3. Helping black founders raise “family and friends” or “seed rounds” by partnering with those in our community with disposable capital like athletes and entertainers.

What’s one key piece of advice for someone looking for venture capital investment?

NETWORK! Most of the money you raise initially will be from people that know you because you won’t have enough traction to attract venture investors who are looking for product-market fit or proof of concept. They say your network is your net worth, in venture, the first two rounds you raise are from 1. Yourself 2. Family and friends. If you can’t do those two first it’s very hard to attract venture capital because you don’t have a product, team, proof of concept or anything. So get out there and go to conferences, meet with investors, cold call, email, hustle and grind! I can talk about this for hours. I write extensively about this on my Instablog but here are the 10 things to do before you even seek venture dollars.

Check out Rashaun Williams, at this year’s TechConneXt conference as he receives the award for Investor of the Year. He will also be judging our pitch competition, so if you haven’t gotten your submissions in, now is the time.

The post Rashaun Williams Helps Black Athletes and Entertainers Become Investors appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Reddit sleuth helps lead police to fatal hit-and-run arrest

A Reddit sleuth has helped police identify a car part, leading to an arrest following a fatal hit-and-run incident in Washington State. On Aug. 9, Washington State Patrol Trooper Johnna Batiste tweeted an image of the car part. “Troopers and detectives are still looking for a black vehicle believed to be involved in this mornings…
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Google Glass helps kids with autism read facial expressions, study finds

Children with autism were able to improve their social skills by using a smartphone app paired with Google Glass to help them understand the emotions conveyed in people’s facial expressions, according to a pilot study.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Wyatt Russell: Being Hollywood royalty helps less than you think

At first blush, “Lodge 49” plays like a small-screen version of dude comedy “The Big Lebowski” — but bearded star Wyatt Russell says that’s just because of his appearance on AMC’s new series. “I look more like Jeff Bridges than I look like my dad [Kurt Russell],” says Russell, 32. “But I think the comparison…
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This $19 app helps you easily add video and animations to your presentations

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There’s a reason why video content is king when it comes to online engagementVisuals that incorporate movement and noise (like videos, animations, images, audio, and music) pack a lot more of a punch than simple text.

In short: if you want to produce presentations that are memorable and engaging, using a tool like Cloud Animator can help you out quite a bit. You can seamlessly integrate videos, images, animations, audio, music, and text into an animated presentation without needing to rely on the help of a design team. Cloud Animator even leverages design templates perfect for a number of different business applications so the work can be minimal on your end.  Read more…

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This $19 app helps you easily add video and animations to your presentations

TwitterFacebook

There’s a reason why video content is king when it comes to online engagementVisuals that incorporate movement and noise (like videos, animations, images, audio, and music) pack a lot more of a punch than simple text.

In short: if you want to produce presentations that are memorable and engaging, using a tool like Cloud Animator can help you out quite a bit. You can seamlessly integrate videos, images, animations, audio, music, and text into an animated presentation without needing to rely on the help of a design team. Cloud Animator even leverages design templates perfect for a number of different business applications so the work can be minimal on your end.  Read more…

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Nick Wright reveals how Houston’s Game 4 win over Warriors helps LeBron’s Cavs against the Boston Celtics

Reflecting on what transpired last night with Houston rallying late to defeat the Warriors in Game 4 of the 2018 Western Conference Finals, Nick Wright relays to Cris Carter and Jenna Wolfe how Houston defeating Golden State actually helps LeBron’s Cavs ahead of their matchup tonight against the Boston Celtics. Do you agree with Nick?

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Black Founder Launches Platform That Helps You Easily Invest in Stocks, ETFs, and Options

Jellifin is a commission-free options trading platform that recently went to market and is already gaining traction. The company believes that investing should be straightforward without all the unnecessary steps, allowing users the opportunity to invest in stocks, ETFs, and options.

The upside, as compared to traditional platforms, is that the company will allow investors to diversify their portfolio without having to pay commissions or fees for each trade. The reason they can do this is that they have partnered with Third Party Trade L.L.C., a brokerage API service provider, and maintaining a low-cost overhead.

“Investing in the stock market is already complicated and pricey. Therefore, investors should have all the available tools and resources at their disposal to make an informed decision,” said Andre Norman, founder & CEO at Jellifin. “Simply offering low-cost trading with stripped away features is not the way to go. But at the same time offering an overly complicated service loaded with expensive fees adds to the core problem investors are currently facing.”

Jellifin’s wants to allow investors a suite of tools in a more user-friendly format allowing them to feel comfortable utilizing different investing strategies on the Jellifin platform. Some of the features include 1-Click Buy or Sell orders, triggers to fully automate the buying and selling of stocks and options using traditional coding IF/THEN statements, and making sure that the pricing is clear and concise, removing the guesswork while trading.

(Image: Jellifin)

(Image: Jellifin)

According to a statement from the company, ETF assets globally reached the $ 4.6 trillion mark for the first time last year. With a steady inflow of money into the industry and intensifying competition between ETF providers, ETFs will continue to act as an attractive investment option for investors.

The hope is that with Jellifin’s user-friendly interface and new stocks and ETFs trading features, they will lower the barriers to entry for investors making it so your everyday person can get involved.

 

The post Black Founder Launches Platform That Helps You Easily Invest in Stocks, ETFs, and Options appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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‘Fear the Walking Dead’: Morgan Helps Nick Find Peace

SPOILER ALERT: Warning, this article contains spoilers from the Season 4, Episode 3 of Fear the Walking Dead. Proceed at your own risk.

There are a lot of parallels between Nick and the Morgan from three or four seasons ago in The Walking Dead. Both spent a chunk of time being a solo savage on in the open, both took it so far they lost themselves, and both tried to right the ship by going into a self-prescribed exile — the season started with Morgan locking himself up in Jadis’ junkyard and Nick on a long stint of refusing to leave The Diamond.

“You try to do the right thing, and you end up doing the worst,” Nick tells his mother Madison in a flashback to when the Vultures still had The Diamond under siege. He went out hoping to help his mom find food, and when a mustachioed Vulture – and Charlie, who continues to stab the group in the back – arrive at their spot and take the supplies before them. Nick nearly kills the man.



Morgan notices early that they’re kindred spirits. After Al’s botched escape that dumps the SWAT truck into a ditch, everyone but Nick and Morgan head off on a mission find something to pull it out – a mission that only amounts to the two groups earning a bit of good will from each other – and the two left begin to bond. Nick offers Morgan half a protein bar after seeing the man’s sweet skills with a staff, and he secretly sees Al’s tape of Morgan’s story. The bonding comes to a screeching halt when the two see a blue Camino drive by – the same the mustachioed Vulture drove in the flashback – and Nick takes off after it.

The two end up in a small town, and take cover in a drugstore. Nick confronts Morgan about why he doesn’t kill – because almost every character has to at this point. He already knows the answer – “I lose people, and then I lose myself” – because he watched Al’s tape, but it doesn’t stop him from prying.

“You don’t kill, but I bet you did,” he tells Morgan. Morgan tries to talk him out of finding the man in the Camino, but Nick takes off to look over the town. He eventually finds the car, and the Vulture from the flashback. The man is surprised to see Nick, but Morgan – who stumbled across the man first, and was trying to get him to leave – stops him from killing the Vulture. The man heads off and Nick tells Morgan the only way to stop him is to kill him, so Morgan lets him go and Nick gets himself some sweet, bloody revenge.

“I know where you are Nick, because I was there,” Morgan tells a blood-soaked Nick after he kills the man. He brings up his time with Eastman, and lets Nick take his Art of Peace book. Morgan seems ready to pay-it-forward the way Eastman did for him.

Nick wanders off to read the book, and pulls a blue bonnet – picked from a field him and Madison found where she told him to try to find something good every time they leave The Diamond – from his pocket. He looks at peace, and seems ready to let Morgan help him. And that’s when Charlie shows up and shoots him in the chest.

Yep, the show’s new direction seems hell-bent on brushing a lot of aspects of what made FTWD interesting for three seasons – different time period, visually unique setting, it’s characters – under the rug as quickly as possible. Charlie shot Nick for killing the Vulture and runs off just as the others arrive with the SWAT truck. He dies choking on his own blood surrounded by his sister Alicia, Luci, and Strand.

The last scene cuts from his bloodied, dead body to one of him laying in a field of blue bonnets. Maybe Morgan helped him find peace after all.

Some unanswered questions:

– How long ago was the Vulture’s siege on The Diamond? The guy Nick kills seems genuinely shocked to see him.

– Where is Madison? Dead? Taken by the Vultures?

– Hopefully this week’s episode wasn’t Frank Dillane — one of the original cast member’s — last. If the season continues with flashbacks, he should still be around.

– Was there some chemistry between John and Luci?

The post ‘Fear the Walking Dead’: Morgan Helps Nick Find Peace appeared first on FANDOM.

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Money Smart Week Helps Keep You in the Black

During Money Smart Week, April 21–April 28, more than 1,000 libraries across the country will host educational events that focus on financial issues such as the following:

  • first-time home buying
  • home renovation loans
  • personal spending plan (otherwise known as a budget!)
  • the property tax appeal process
  • financial aid packages and how to evaluate them
  • the right Medicare plan
  • the basics of wills and trusts
  • options for tax-free savings
  • charitable tax strategies, and more

“During Money Smart Week, libraries in rural, suburban, and urban communities are helping people examine their personal finances, whether that involves estate planning or budgeting for groceries,” says Felton Thomas Jr., executive director and CEO of the Cleveland Public Library.

“Libraries will use fliers and books and displays, and provide programming that will help their specific community, by connecting patrons with experts and advisers,” he continued.

Library patrons—and you don’t need a library card unless you’re checking out materials—will meet with money experts, not librarians.

Partnering with the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland and the Veterans Administration, the Cleveland Public Library has designed its Money Smart Week to work with veterans.

“It will be like a fair,” says Thomas, who is also a past president of the Public Library Association. “We want to get them signed up for their VA benefits. There will be different educational institutions, reps from the VA, and OhioMeansJobs [an employment initiative in Ohio].”

In Chicago, the public library is focusing on those in the sharing economy, such as Uber, Lyft, or Airbnb, who are now figuring out tax questions.

“IRS Taxpayer Advocates will be on hand to help patrons in the sharing economy,” Thomas said. “Other libraries are focusing specifically on children 5–8 years of age learning money management.”

In Pickerington, Ohio, a library will have a grocery store providing tips on how to manage the food budget.

“Every library is doing what it thinks is important for their community,” Thomas says, noting that no one socioeconomic group is targeted. “Everyone can learn to budget their funds better.”

“Money Smart Week shines a light on what libraries do,” says Thomas. “Libraries do this kind of programming all the time.”

To learn about activities at your local library, visit the Money Smart Week website.

The post Money Smart Week Helps Keep You in the Black appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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BRAZIL: Good Fiscal Policy Helps Central Bank, But Not Essential – Goldfajn

Although adequate fiscal policy eases the work of the Brazilian Central Bank, monetary policy can act without great restrictions even when the fiscal side is inadequate, said the monetary authority’s governor, Ilan Goldfajn, during an International Monetary Fund (IMF) session.
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Why Dressing in Leggings Helps Me Feel Empowered

At the end of last year, I spent four days near Malibu for a fitness retreat with The Ranch. While many of the guests there had hopped on planes to L.A. from all over the place for the benefits of its legendary workout program and organic vegan detox—and you can bet I was excited to dive into the wellness side of things, too—I was really there to test-drive some activewear. With eight hours of workouts a day (yes, you read that right), including daily 12-mile hikes followed by yoga and circuit training, there was no shortage of time to put some items to the test IRL.

It was great figuring out which pieces both looked cool and stood up to hours of cardio, and I quickly narrowed in on the items that did. Notably, it was the coordinating crop tops and leggings from Girlfriend Collective, Nike, and Outdoor Voices that passed the test and have since become staples in my workout regimen. But beyond that, the trip completely changed my thoughts on leggings. Sure, I wear leggings all of the time—whether it’s to a dance class or just to throw on to grab coffee on the weekend. They’re really a functional piece of my wardrobe, but it wasn’t until I went on this retreat that I realized how empowered leggings really make me feel.

A glimpse inside the lunch spot at The Ranch.
Here I am standing on the top of a cliffside in Malibu after an hours-long hike.

After climbing to the top of a cliffside in Malibu, I stood there looking over the Pacific Ocean below and remember thinking how proud I was of making it that far and how strong and powerful I felt. And it was the leggings I was wearing that allowed me to move around unencumbered and to hike for hours with ease and make it to the top of that cliff. No bulky layers, no unbreathable pieces, beads of sweat quickly slicked away.

Now, this is in stark contrast to an opinion piece on yoga pants that came out earlier this year. It argued that leggings are too “sexy” and “bad for women,” and it quickly became a point of discussion in the Who What Wear office. And here’s my take: While I’m not going to tell anyone they must wear leggings, I will argue that they can if they want to—and I hope they feel as empowered as I do when they put them on.

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A mom’s support helps a child learn to handle negative emotions, but what if mom is distressed?

When children become upset, showing negative emotions or behaviors, some parents become distressed, while others are able to talk their child through the difficult situation. Studies have shown that a mothers’ reaction — positive or negative — to her child’s negative emotions can predict whether her child develops the ability to effectively regulate his emotions and behavior. A new study explores potential predictors of mothers’ supportive or non-supportive behavior during emotional challenges.
Infant and Preschool Learning News — ScienceDaily

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Punctuation in text messages helps replace cues found in face-to-face conversations

Emoticons, irregular spellings and exclamation points in text messages aren’t sloppy or a sign that written language is going down the tubes — these ‘textisms’ help convey meaning and intent in the absence of spoken conversation, according to newly published research.
Literacy News — ScienceDaily

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Descriptive phrases for how often food should be eaten helps preschoolers better understand healthy eating

Preschool is a critical period for children to begin to make their own dietary decisions to develop life-long healthy eating habits. A new study found that preschoolers who learned how to classify food as healthy or unhealthy were more likely to say they would choose healthy food as a snack.
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This brilliant “library” helps moms find the best bottles for their babies

by

Maggie Downs

posted in Life

Until I became a mom, I thought all bottles were the same. Container for liquid, put a nipple on it, boom. You’re all set, right?

Wrong.

I spent countless hours trying to figure out the right bottle for my fussy, gassy baby. After reading hundreds of reviews and buying several types of bottles my son refused, I finally found something that worked — but I lost a lot of time and money in the process.

A baby being fed a bottle

 

Tiffany Page knows that scenario well, because she lived it too. Page is the creator of my local moms’ group, Real Moms of the Coachella Valley, based in the Greater Palm Springs area, and she was also plagued by bottle problems.

As the mom of a 26-week premature child, Page never thought she would be able to breastfeed. But her baby, Henry, took to nursing right away. However, to supplement his diet, Henry also had to drink one bottle of a special, high-calorie formula each day. Even though Henry initially took the NICU bottles just fine, after about a week of nursing, he began to refuse bottles.

“He would gag, chew on the nipple, and cry,” Page said. “Mama all the way.”

She tried just about everything on the market, ending up with practically more bottles than a Babies R Us.

“Ten months, several tears and syringe feedings later, he finally took to a Tommee Tippee bottle,” Page said. “I couldn’t believe that I had spent $ 10, $ 20, and even $ 30 on one bottle, and he chooses the one we had started with.”

That left Page with a stash of more than 20 different kinds of bottles that weren’t being used — but it also inspired an idea. Page started a bottle library to help other mamas in the same boat.

The rules are very simple: The library is available to moms within the local group. The entire collection is “checked out” by a mother in need. When that mom has figured out the bottle her child needs, she passes along the collection to someone else.

It’s a brilliant idea. And unlike a library filled with books, you’ll never have a late fee with the bottle library.

“I decided that no mom should have to be this stressed, worried and out of money over something something as simple as a bottle — something that can be cleaned and sterilized and passed on,” Page said.

Could you use a bottle library?

The post This brilliant "library" helps moms find the best bottles for their babies appeared first on BabyCenter Blog.

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Study Shows New Year’s Money Resolutions Helps African Americans Reach Financial Goals

Is how much you want to save or invest on your New Year’s resolutions list? If not, it might be something to consider to build wealth and enhance your finances in the coming year.

Some 77% of Americans are very or somewhat likely to set financial goals in 2018, more than doubling the 34% who set specific financial goals in 2017, a new Lincoln Financial Group study shows. Plus, 83% of Americans who set a specific financial goal in 2017 feel better about their finances now than they did at the start the year.

The Radnor, Pennsylvania-based financial services company just released its Financial Focus: Goals and Reflections of Today’s Consumer report. The study revealed that simply making a New Year’s resolution on finances may bring about increased confidence in a consumer’s financial situation even if they don’t reach their goal. Sixty-nine percent of respondents who set a goal but did not achieve it report that they feel better about their finances versus 64% of those with no financial goal.

The findings are based on a national online survey of 2,500 Americans ages 18 and older in the United States. It included responses from 394 African Americans.

“Every journey begins with a first step and when it comes to our finances the first step is setting a goal,” said Regina Beatty, a private wealth strategist with Mosaic Wealth Consulting and a registered representative with Lincoln Financial Advisors, in a press release. “Regardless of your level of wealth, just making a financial resolution at the beginning of the year can inspire confidence and increase awareness of budgeting, saving, and planning for the future.”

Setting up financial resolutions can be easily done. They can include establishing a goal to save a certain amount in 2018, setting up or adding to an emergency savings fund, boosting contributions to retirement plans as well as examining investment performance and insurance needs. Beatty suggests talking with a financial adviser, who can help create a financial roadmap by setting realistic goals and helping savers stay on track during the year to help achieve their target.

As people get older, the likelihood of making resolutions drops. Eighty-four percent of millennials plan to make a New Year’s resolution in 2018, 71% of Gen Xers, 51% of baby boomers and 43% of Goldens. Plus, some 74% of Americans feel better about their finances than the beginning of 2017 and 84% expect their finances will improve next year.

When it comes to African American financial resolutions, Lincoln Financial provided some intriguing data:

  • Of African Americans who set a specific financial goal for 2017, 60% either reached that goal or exceeded it. Another 22% said they came very close to their goal.
  • Fifty-one percent of African Americans made New Year’s resolutions for 2017, while 49% did not.
  • When asked why they made New Year’s resolutions, 47% said they wanted to keep improving themselves, 45% like to set goals for themselves, and 41% wanted to feel healthy. Thirty percent reported it helped prioritize their future, 29% want to avoid future health problems and 28%  want to improve their financial situation.
  • Asked how well did they do with New Year’s resolutions last year, 61 reported they did very or somewhat well and 23% said they did just OK.
  • Seventy percent are very or somewhat likely to set resolutions for 2018.
  • Asked what category their resolutions would fall into for 2018, 33% reported exercise, diet, weight loss. The other top categories were happiness, relaxation, and spirituality; as well as finances, career improvement and education—each scoring 23%.

The post Study Shows New Year’s Money Resolutions Helps African Americans Reach Financial Goals appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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New Video App Helps Users Track Black Santa


Finding a Claus of color just got easier because of a new “Black Santa” app. Children can get into the Christmas spirit and connect to St. Nick through pre-recorded video messages that encourage good behavior using the app, released just in time for the holiday season.

Allowing children to see a dark-skinned Santa is a good step in protesting the poor mainstream representation of them. “This is so exciting,” Amber Ravenel, CEO of the Ravenel Agency who came up with the idea for the app, said to The Huffington Post. “When I grew up there was only one type of Santa, and no matter where I went they always looked the same. Not one looked like me or anyone in my family. As our society becomes more and more diverse, I think it’s crucial that there is diversity and inclusion in all aspects of life, the tech tools we use and that should include Santa Claus as well.” Ravenel’s niece didn’t know that Santa could look Black, a personal revelation that motivated the CEO in her epic, technologically savvy creation, according to HuffPost.

The software is particularly helpful for those kids who don’t have a Black Santa making appearances at a mall near them or don’t want to wait on the long lines to see him. It’s good for those who also may need some special time with Santa in their homes, too. Users can feel safe with knowing that the app is a labor of love.

The app will also have more cool features for children: different genders and more ethnic groups will be included. People are already loving the technology. “I’m an adult and this made me smile from ear to ear,” said one commenter on iTunes. “I don’t have any children yet but guess who’s going to be the best Aunty and godmother this year!!!”

Black Santa” is now available on the iTunes store for $ 2.99.

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(Source: The Huffington Post, iTunes)

(Photo Credit: ThinkStock Images)


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This 15-minute speech helps explain millennials in the workplace

In December, bestselling author Simon Sinek gave a 15-minute speech on the “millennial question” that sent tsunami-sized waves through the Internet, racking up over 5 million views on YouTube. Sinek, a corporate consultant and TED phenomenon, tapped into something big when he explained — in his clear, compelling and humorous way — why social-media obsessed…
Living | New York Post

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Affordable Care Act helps insure lower-income cancer patients, study says

The percentage of poor, newly diagnosed cancer patients without health insurance fell in states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
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‘Posse’ program helps students stay in college

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Exercise Helps Women Cope with Multiple Sclerosis

Exercise Helps Women Cope with Multiple Sclerosis

While exercise doesn’t prevent people from developing multiple sclerosis (MS), certain kinds of exercise may be beneficial to those who already have it. MS is a neurological disease that directly affects the body, but coping with it can bring about depression – and this is where exercise comes in. What is MS? MS is a disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the central nervous system –…

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Exercise Helps Women Cope with Multiple Sclerosis

While exercise doesn’t prevent people from developing multiple sclerosis (MS), certain kinds of exercise may be beneficial to those who already have it. MS is a neurological disease that directly affects the body, but coping with it can bring about depression – and this is where exercise comes in.

What is MS?

MS is a disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the central nervous system – comprised of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. In MS, the flow of information within the brain as well as from the brain to the body is disrupted.

“How do we maintain joy, peace and all of the good emotions despite being in a very difficult situation?” asks Dr. Sullivan.

MS symptoms are varied and unpredictable, according to the National MS Society. “No two people have exactly the same symptoms, and each person’s symptoms can change or fluctuate over time,” the website says. Common symptoms can include fatigue, numbness or tingling, walking difficulties, dizziness, vision, bladder, or bowel problems, and spasticity.

There’s no blood test for MS, but there are blood tests to rule out other conditions that cause similar symptoms. Healthcare providers use this and other tools to arrive at a diagnosis. Unfortunately, MS isn’t curable, but strategies exist to modify or slow the disease, treat relapses, and manage symptoms.

Women and MS

MS is two to three times more common in women than in men, says the National MS Society, which adds that women face several gender-specific complications as they have to deal with the effects of MS on hormones, menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause.

Not only are women more susceptible to MS, but women with MS are at a significantly increased risk for depression, says Dr. Amy MB Sullivan, Psy.D., ABPP, a board certified, staff clinical health psychologist and Director of Behavioral Medicine at the Mellon Center for MS at the Cleveland Clinic. She says depression occurs in up to 54 percent of the MS population. “Specifically, women are more likely than men to develop depression and anxiety,” she says. “Because of this knowledge, and knowing that MS usually strikes while women are in childbearing ages, it is important to point out that a woman’s risk [if she has MS] for developing post-partum depression is greater than the general population.”

Not only is the depression a reaction to the challenges of having a chronic illness, but it can result from the changes in the brain and immune system, the National MS Society says. While this is a serious symptom, it’s treatable.

Exercise doesn’t prevent MS

The September 2016 issue of Neurology published a large study that showed no evidence that exercise may reduce a woman’s risk of developing MS. “This is unfortunate as we want to believe that exercise is a protective factor of the development of disease, but it is not surprising,” says Dr. Sullivan. “We are not at a point in the MS research world to know what causes or prevents the disease. There is speculation that there is an environmental element. There is likely some genetic component, and probably some immunological process that occurs. It may also be due to an infection, but we haven’t been able to come to a consensus.”

Because people who have MS are unable to prevent the disease, what becomes important is how they cope with its development. “How do we maintain joy, peace and all of the good emotions despite being in a very difficult situation?” asks Dr. Sullivan.

Exercise to help combat MS symptoms

Exercise has been shown to help manage many MS symptoms, including depression – a common and debilitating symptom with far-reaching consequences. In particular, patients who do yoga and aqua therapy suffer less from fatigue, depression, and paresthesia (burning or prickling sensation usually felt in the hands, arms, legs, or feet), researchers from the University of Basel reported in 2016. In fact, “in the non-exercising group, the likelihood of moderate to severe depression was 35-fold higher than in the groups who had done yoga or aquatic exercise,” the study says.

It makes sense that aquatic activity benefits people with MS, because water helps them move in ways they may not be able to on land, says the National MS Society. This is due to buoyancy, viscosity, hydrostatic pressure, and temperature control. If there isn’t an aquatic class in your area, there are exercises you can do on your own in a body of water.

Yoga poses can be modified and practiced in many different positions, and the simple practice of breathing is helpful. Practicing yoga can help manage everyday tasks as well.

Susan Sherrer is coming up on her 21st year living with MS, yet she hasn’t experienced depression since her diagnosis. If she felt down, she says she would focus on taking extra good care of herself, both physically and mentally. She tries to think positive and take it one day at a time.

Sherrer tried yoga, but it didn’t help in some ways because of her back problems. She hasn’t tried aqua therapy, as it’s not available in her area, but she’s looking into doing tai chi. In the meantime, she constantly walks when she can and does stretching exercises. “The pain associated with MS can be a lot to deal with in itself,” says Sherrer, “and if one gets depressed and needs help in dealing with it, they should know that it is okay to get help, whether that be a therapist or doctor.”

Sherrer admits that she’s dealing with more pain and sometimes needs a cane or walking stick to help with her balance or going up and down hills. But, she says, “I may have MS but MS does not have me!”

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The post Exercise Helps Women Cope with Multiple Sclerosis appeared first on Women's Health.

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Defense and error-free offense helps New York Jets win

The New York Jets will not go 0-for-20 in 2017. Any hope they have of not going 0-for-16 in the regular season rests in somehow repeating the formula.
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Raising the price of cigarettes only helps bootleg providers

It’s a great day for bootleggers, crooks and terrorism financiers. New York City government officials have raised the price of cigarettes in a naive belief that it will reduce smoking. What it will really do is make it even more profitable to bootleg cigarettes from states where smokes are cheaper. Those profits go into the…
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Friends who swipe together, stick together: How my best friend helps me navigate online dating

Friends who swipe together, stick together: How my best friend helps me navigate online dating


Friends who swipe together, stick together: How my best friend helps me navigate online dating

I sat on our hand-me-down couch as Sarah, my roommate and best friend, sat across from me, chanting, “Do it! Do it!” repetitively — she was encouraging me to download a dating app. I had heard horror stories about dating apps, but I’d also witnessed long lasting relationships grow from them. Her positivity and excitement convinced me to press “Install,” and I waited for it to download onto my screen.

I hit the gas pedal by downloading the app, but Sarah jumped into the driver’s seat full throttle, creating my account and profile for me. Sarah had already been on the app for a while before I joined the rest of the singles in my generation, so she was extremely qualified to be my guide for this online dating journey. She began by explaining the basics: how to match with guys, where to change my settings about what I’m looking for in a match, and most importantly, what photos to pick and what my bio should say. I felt extremely grateful that my guide was also my best friend. She knew all my good characteristics, and had no problem sharing them for me.

Sarah curated my profile to perfection, picking a range of photos: travel shots, full body pictures, a close-up selfie, and — of course — a photo of the two of us. She wrote a bio that was perfectly witty, short, and sweet. The reasoning for the ‘’less is more bio,” she said, was to leave the personal questions for when I start chatting with my matches.

Her expertise, coupled with our strong friendship, meant that my profile reflected me authentically — something I know I would have been too nervous to do on my own.

The first real connection I made on the app was with a boy named Brent. He was sweet, positive, and the perfect person for me to meet as someone new to online dating. He messaged me every morning, took me out for ice cream on our first date, and complimented me often, which I started getting comfortable with. During the time I was talking to Brent, Sarah matched with a guy, too. Our two matches were extremely different, but Sarah and I bonded over the similar situation. Both relationships lasted for a short amount of time, ending for various reasons — but Sarah and I grew closer as we both navigated these connections that had started virtually.

I thought this journey would be solely about finding love on a dating app — but in reality, the experience has also strengthened my friendship with Sarah.

Among the married and coupled-up friends surrounding us, we are single. And I have found that online dating can be extremely positive in a lot of ways, and negative in many others. Sarah has been there for me every time I’ve been unmatched, every time I’ve come home from an awkward date — and she’s been there for me during the ultimate dating downer: getting dumped.

Lauren Hedenkamp, friend
Lauren Hedenkamp/HelloGiggles

During this process of going on dates, messaging guys, and swiping among hundreds of dudes, I have read countless kinds of bios — some witty and cute, others empty or boring, some just purely entertaining, some offensive:

“Looking for a friend that likes to get eaten out. Midwest raised, desert living for less than a year. Gym Regular,” “White rapper. Too busy for you. Message me if you like orange juice in your tequila and it doesn’t burn when you pee.”

I usually send these kinds of bios to Sarah and we have a good laugh, but every so often, I start feeling down. Then, I can’t help but think of that Sex and the City episode where Miranda says she fears that men who are still single at their age are bad guys, and it’s just Darwinism weeding them out. When that episode creeps into my brain and I start questioning the entire online dating world — including the bad bios and guys that won’t commit — Sarah always brings me back from my self-destructive thought process.

Now, I understand that each online connection with a new guy is helping me grow, helping me learn what I desire in a relationship — but in reality, dating isn’t glamorous.

It has been exciting, and awkward, and, often times, heart breaking. Having my best friend by my side while online dating helps me feel less crazy. The bad or awkward moments can become funny stories to share with each other. Whenever I’m sad about dating, Sarah helps me remember not to give up on love. From the funny fuckboy memes that we text each other, to pre-date pep talks, to post-breakup therapy sessions, our friendship is why I’ve survived the non-glamorous parts.

I downloaded an online dating app to find love; I am still searching for that. But what I do know is that I’m not alone. I have a good friend by my side, walking a similar journey in the world of online dating. I feel stronger knowing that she is my cheerleader, encouraging me to maintain my standards and convictions as I try to find love among all of the unsolicited dick pics sent my way.



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Vaccine helps fight ear infections, study finds

by

Claudia Boyd-Barrett

posted in Parenting

Kids are getting fewer ear infections today than they were about 3 decades ago, largely thanks to the pneumococcal vaccine which protects against a common bacteria, a study suggests.

The study findings, and an accompanying editorial, emphasize the importance of adhering to the recommended immunization schedule for your child, which includes the pneumococcal vaccine.

Research in the 1980’s found that about 80 percent of children got at least one ear infection by age 3. Today, according to the most recent study published in the journal Pediatrics, the number has dropped to just 60 percent of children.

Kids these days are also less likely to suffer multiple ear infections by age 3 than in the past, the study found.

The researchers tracked more than 600 kids who attended a medical clinic in Rochester, New York, between 2006 and 2016. As part of the study and treatment, the researchers performed a procedure that drains fluid from the ears of children with an infection. That allowed them to analyze the type of bacteria causing the infection.

Baby-has-ear-checked

During the study, the researchers detected a drop in the number of ear infections caused by bacteria called streptococcus pneumonia. They attributed the decrease largely to the introduction of the pneumococcal vaccine in 2000, and an updated version introduced in 2010, which protects against this type of bacteria. Stricter criteria for diagnosing ear infections may also have contributed to the overall decline in ear infections, the authors said.

Here’s the bad news: two other types of ear infection-causing bacteria – haemophilus influenzae and moraxella catarrhalis – appeared to be gaining strength. Currently, there are no vaccines to protect children against these bacteria, and they’re also becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics. New vaccines and treatments for ear infections may be needed in the future, the lead study author told HealthDay.

Ear infections are very common in babies and young children, accounting for about 10 million visits to the doctor each year. They can be caused by bacteria or a virus, and most of the time your child won’t need antibiotics. Call your doctor if you suspect your child has an ear infection.

Has your child had an ear infection? Tell us about your experience.

The post Vaccine helps fight ear infections, study finds appeared first on BabyCenter Blog.

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This dating app helps verified Twitter users find love

Since dating apps like Tinder broke into the mainstream, companies have found increasingly specific ways to make matchmaking more exclusive. While The League uses an “advanced screening algorithm” to limit membership to educated elites, Raya restricts membership to celebrities. Now, the dating app Loveflutter has created a new way to filter the dating pool — restricting…
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‘Homing Signal’ in Brain Helps Humans Navigate, Research Shows

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What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Fibromyalgia Fatigue: The Powerful Program That Helps You Boost Your Energy and Reclaim Yo

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Fibromyalgia Fatigue: The Powerful Program That Helps You Boost Your Energy and Reclaim Yo


– "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Fibromyalgia (Warner, 1999), also by Dr. St. Amand and Claudia Craig Marek, has netted over 120,000 copies and has a monthly reorder rate of 3,000 copies. This book will serve as a companion to the hundreds of thousands of readers currently following the protocol outlined in that book.- Other titles on this subject frequently appear on Ingram’s "A-list" for health books, including "Fibromyalgia (Walker & Co., 1996), which has over 350,000 copies in print, and "Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome (New Harbinger Publications, 1996), which has over one million copies in print.- Dr. St. Amand discovered guaifenesin’s use as a treatment for fibromyalgia, and his work is often cited. he is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine and is on the teaching staff at UCLA Harbor General Hospital. He has been in practice for over 40 years.
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ACRX Helps the Invisible of America by Charles Myrick.wmv

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FDA Approves Genetic Test That Helps Explain Developmental Problems in Kids

Experts caution that it should only be given to young children when problems first appear

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Katie Helps Mommy

Katie Helps Mommy


New – On their special day home alone together, Katie and her mother have many things planned. First, Katie’s mother helps her wash her face and puts ponytails in her hair. After they go outside to wash the windows and have lunch in the garden, Katie’s mother takes her to the shoe store to buy new shoes. Katie is so grateful that she makes her mother a beautiful drawing. With fun and colorful illustrations, children will share the excitement that a day home alone with a parent can bring.

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