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Sign of the times: American Sign Language

How do you speak without opening your mouth? With your hands of course. American Sign Language is a fully-fledged and widely-spoken language consisting of a standardised set of gestures and expressions. It helps to prevent the sign language version of the Tower of Babel, allowing signers worldwide to avoid misunderstanding and confusion. And you don’t have to be deaf to speak it.

Sleep deprivation: how to beat the silent epidemic

What was Edison thinking when he invented the light bulb? Did it occur to him that his bright invention would deprive millions of healthy sleep patterns for the rest of time? Before electrification, we tended to go to bed when it got dark, to avoid the tedium of stumbling into furniture by the feeble light of oil lamps or candles. We pretty much went to sleep when most animals did. Sure, bedtime changed with sunset times throughout the year, but people practiced natural ‘sleep hygiene’. We evolved to function in this way, after all.

Aloha from England: surf science in Cornwall

On the coast of Cornwall in England lies a section of coastline that has become legendary in UK surfing circles. Surf stores, hire shops and board makers huddle around this gem of a surfing site, with a west-facing beach that gathers Atlantic swells and turns them into consistent, powerful, breaking waves of up to 30 feet that are ideal for the sport. Newquay is the surf capital of the UK and Fistral Beach is its focus. Many of the best surfers in the world can be seen in action at the competitions held there.

Yay, I’ve got a new dog! Now what?

Here’s a question: is it best to let your relationship with your dog develop on an ad-hoc basis, kind of warm and fuzzy and organic, or should you adopt a structured approach that lays down the ground rules right from the start? You probably know the answer. How many owners of nutty, uncontrollable dogs do you know who are now regretting not having trained them properly?

Online Situational Awareness Training

Those involved in decision-making in business and law might have heard of the OODA loop. Standing for Observe-Orient-Decide-Act, it is a methodology for treading carefully, avoiding unnecessary conflict, and winning in challenging situations by performing actions based on rational decisions. To make those decisions, one must first fully understand the situation by observation, and get to know one’s opponents’ intentions and likely actions by orientation. The four steps in the loop are:

Winefulness: the lifestyle hit of the Summer

Mindfulness is all about mental clarity, and alcohol is well known for having the opposite effect. So why has a course near Niagara Falls in Canada combined the two? Do they cancel each other out, or can they actually enhance each other?

Before looking at the Niagara Falls course on ‘winefulness’, let’s look at another phenomenon that is gaining popularity in Asia: beer yoga. Just follow the link. We’ll wait.