Posts tagged with "Curated"

Meghan McCain Speaks Against Antisemitism

Top Individuals Positively Influencing Jewish Life include Attorney General of New York Letita James, Comedian Bill Maher, Selma Blair, Noa Tishby

“I cannot stay silent when I see or hear antisemitism,” said actress Debra Messing on receiving the Algemeiner newspaper’s ‘Warrior For Truth’ award. “During Will and Grace it was important to me that Grace’s Jewishness be central to her identity because representation matters. I know that speaking up is a value shared by all of us here.” TV personality Meghan McCain followed Messing in the award ceremony, passionately declaring, “Antisemitism is abhorrent and innately un-American. We are Americans. What do Americans do when we meet up with the fanatical movement bent upon the eradication of Jews? We fight them. We’re going to fight these people too,” said McCain, “there is no place in America for antisemitism.”

The Ambassador of Israel to the U.S. and U.N. Gilad Erdan, philanthropist Nina Rennert Davidson, and Algemeiner Editor in Chief and CEO Dovid Efune, with his wife Mushka Efune were also honored at the Algemeiner newspaper’s 8th annual J100 Gala at the Rockleigh Country Club on October 12, 2021.

Joseph Borgen, the victim of a vicious antisemitic attack earlier this year in Manhattan and who McCain invited onto ABC’s The View, was a guest speaker.   It was an emotional moment at the J100 gala when McCain and Borgen met in person for the first time. “The only publication that continues to act as a voice for me and bring attention to my situation is The Algemeiner,” said Borgen, “They bring light to the issue and hold people accountable for what took place. They make sure that antisemitism is not washed away or forgotten.”

Ambassador Erdan, introduced by Malcolm Hoenlein, reinforced this position, saying, “The biggest threat facing Israel and the Jewish people today is the deadly combination of lies and disinformation. Disinformation may begin as words but violence is only one small step away.” 

Dovid Efune and Chairman Simon Jacobson shared the importance of the evening, “After the events of the past year,” said Efune, “when we witnessed again 1,000 strands of falsehood weaved together into a thick rope of hate, that a line has been firmly drawn under our long-held conviction that lies can kill and that the truth saves lives. It is often the case that stories first reported by The Algemeiner would simply not see the light of day, that the historical record would remain uncorrected, without the diligent skills of our team. The voice of the Algemeiner is indispensable.”

Nina Rennert Davidson implored the live crowd to join her and the other honorees in their fight, “Please speak up at board meetings and parties. Please do not allow your schools to have speakers, teachers and curriculums that attack Israel. If we do not respect our heritage, how can we ask anybody else to?”

TV journalist Dana Arschin served as Master of Ceremonies. The Event Chairs were Neil and Sharon Book, with Bernard-Henri Levy as Honorary Chairman. 

The J100 Gala celebrated the release of the Algemeiner’s highly anticipated J100 List. The Algemeiner newspaper releases an annual list of 100 significant individuals who positively influence Jewish life, called the J100 List. On the importance and relevance of the J100, Efune said, “This year we’ve placed particular emphasis on those standing at the forefront of the battle for truth.” 

The 2021 list includes Attorney General of New York Letita James, comedian Bill Maher, actresses Noa Tishby and Selma Blair, actor Jonathan Lipnicki, celebrity chef Jake Cohen, Morton Williams Supermarket owner Avi Kaner, publising mogul Mathias Doepfner, Papaya Global CEO Eynat Guez, and MLB athlete Jacob Steinmetz. 

Watch all speeches HERE.

Billed as the Jewish answer to the TIME 100, the full list, and a description of why they were chosen, can be found at HERE

ABOUT THE ALGEMEINER

Now celebrating its 49th anniversary, The Algemeiner newspaper has been labeled the “fastest growing Jewish newspaper in the US” by CNBC. It has been described by former Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor as “the voice of the Jewish people and Israel” and hailed as “brave and relentlessly accurate” by longtime New Republic editor Marty Peretz.

The Best Ways to Have Family Fun During a Lockdown

By: Marie Miguel

It hasn’t been easy trying to navigate everything during the pandemic. The tragic loss of life has been difficult for many families around the world. It’s also been hard adjusting to not being able to go out and do things that you normally like to do. If you’re raising kids, then you might feel as if you’re going stir crazy being stuck inside together with your family. 

The kids want to be able to do something fun, but you’re going through another lockdown. What are your best options to keep everyone occupied and happy? Keep reading to learn about the best ways to have family fun during a lockdown. This might give you a few good ideas that will make your time spent together at home a lot more entertaining. 

Play Board Games

Have you sat down as a family to play a board game recently? This is a tried and true family activity that has helped many families bond over the years. There are a wide variety of different board games out there that you can try out. You just need to find one that the entire family can enjoy and understand. 

If you have younger children, then you might wish to pick a board game that is a bit on the easier side. If you’re playing with older kids, then you might be fine playing more complex games such as Trivial Pursuit. Whether you’re going to play Monopoly together or if you want to have a rousing game of Scrabble, it’ll be a good time. It’s a fun way to pass the time that you should take advantage of. 

Play Video Games

What if your kids aren’t quite so into old-school board games? You could always try sitting down to play video games with them. Even if you don’t play a lot of video games, it’ll be fun to interact with your kids. There are all sorts of good family-friendly titles that you can choose from. The Nintendo Switch is a particularly good console choice if you’re looking for games that will be fun for kids (and adults) of all ages. 

You can start a little family rivalry in Mario Kart. Or you can work together to try to solve puzzles in games such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. There are hundreds of games that you could choose to play, but the important thing is to enjoy your time with your kids. Games can be magical because they can help you to escape when you need to the most. 

Arts & Crafts

Sitting down and doing arts & crafts with your kids could also be a good time. Sometimes it’s nice to just take it easy and try to create something artistic as a family. There are all sorts of little art projects you could take on if you’re so inclined. Create decorations for various holidays or help to teach your kids how to paint. 

Many have rediscovered their love of art during the pandemic. This could be a good weekend activity that you can enjoy with your significant other and your kids. You’ll simply need to ensure that you have the materials for whatever art project you’re interested in. You’ll be able to admire the results of your work when you’re finished, too. 

Listen to Music

What about just relaxing in the living room as a family and listening to music? Yes, sometimes it’s hard to agree on what to listen to when everyone in the family has different tastes in music. However, it can still be fun to share your favorites with your family. Some families have decided to let each kid pick one record, and they will sit down to listen to all of them on a special music day each weekend. 

Another idea is to share your love of music by teaching your kids how to play instruments. If you’re a musician, then this could be a good time. Of course, your kids will need to be interested in music or it might not be so fun for them. Music is powerful, and it can help you have a great time even when you’re stuck inside during a lockdown. 

Watch Family-Friendly Shows

Most families will spend copious amounts of time watching shows on Netflix or Disney Plus during the pandemic. Your family might wind up being no different. That doesn’t mean that watching some great shows with your family won’t be a valuable experience. You can enjoy movies and all sorts of other entertainment media together. 

With so much great content to watch, it’ll be easy to find a new movie to enjoy with your family each weekend. Make some popcorn and sit down in the living room to watch something together. It gives you something to look forward to as a family. Turning it into a fun occasion with snacks and mood lighting should be a good time. 

Cook Together

Have you thought about cooking together? Depending on how you feel about cooking, this might sound like a great idea or a terrible one. Cooking can be a lot of fun when you approach things with the proper attitude. It can also be valuable to teach your kids how to cook early on in life. 

You can make simple dishes together, and the kids will enjoy it. If you want to make things really easy, you can have kids help you with baking. When you’re making cookies it’ll be easy to let the kids cut out the cookie shapes with cookie cutters. Family cooking time could become a staple in your household even once the lockdown is finished. 

Remember That You’re Never Alone

Remember that you’re never alone when you’re starting to feel depressed or anxious. These are trying times, and you can reach out if you feel like you need help. BetterHelp has some awesome resources on parenting, which can help you get through difficult times. Whether you need parenting advice or if you just need to talk to someone about the stress that you’re experiencing, BetterHelp can assist you in the process of putting things into perspective. 

Don’t hesitate to contact an online therapist if you’re feeling uneasy about things in life. Online therapy has helped many people to work through significant problems. It’s easy to talk to a therapist from the comfort of home, and it’s great that this therapy option is so affordable. Look into things today if you’ve been having a tough time and would like to start feeling better. 

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, Fitness

Understanding Physical Limitations

Five Things Non-Disabled People Should Understand About Those With Physical Limitations

By: Julie Morin, Co-Founder, Envol

Chronic illness has continued to grow in the past decades with six in ten Americans living with at least one chronic disease today, according to the CDC.

Having at least one chronic symptom is considered normal in the modern world of today – and let me tell you, that’s a scary realization. Such symptoms can look and feel different for everyone, ranging from mild occasional discomfort to being physically limited in our ability to participate to everyday activities.

Yet non-disabled people dominate the population and culture in the US, which means our understanding of normal is wholly based around the perimeters for non-disabled ideas and activities.

This is something I know all too well. Two weeks after taking ciprofloxacin – a commonly prescribed antibiotic – for a UTI, I was practicing yoga and, out of nowhere, my leg muscles went into painful paralysis. I couldn’t walk or even move my legs anymore. I had to call for help – it was terrifying – and I was rushed to the hospital in the neurology department. All the tests came back negative, and no one knew what was wrong with me. After two weeks, they said it was probably all just in my head and sent me home.

I spent the next four years in a wheelchair, and after multiple misdiagnoses and unsuccessful medical treatments, I turned to holistic healing. I began working with a French naturopathic physician who informed me that my symptoms aligned with fluoroquinolone toxicity, which is currently not recognized as a diagnosis yet. Still, many cases of fluoroquinolone-associated disability are being reported, and doctors continue to prescribe them today despite the FDA advising against it.

Under the guidance of my naturopathic physician, I created a wellness routine that incorporated a healthy, plant-based diet, meditation, therapeutic movement, rest, and gratitude, and I am now 75% healed and can walk short distances again.

Going from a healthy, vibrant young lady to a handicapped 25 years old just by taking a few pills has not been easy. But what was even harder was how people treated me during this time.

And what I learned during this time is knowledge I feel is essential to share with others:

  • Illness isn’t always visible.

It’s always wise to be careful with assumptions and presuming someone is healthy just because they don’t look sick. There is a lot that can be invisible to the eye and coming from a place of empathy when we simply don’t know enough about a situation or a person, is always a good idea.

  • Dare to talk about it.

Avoiding complex topics because they might be awkward or uncomfortable can make a person living with a chronic illness feel even more lonely and unheard. Talk about what they’re going through, the struggles, the hardship, but also the joy and the little things that they feel grateful for.

  • Not having a diagnosis doesn’t mean nothing is wrong.

So many people go mis- or undiagnosed by the medical profession and many assume that it must mean that there is nothing wrong with them and that they should simply resume their life. Yet the daily struggles and limitations are still there, and they can be very real. Continuing to offer your support and trust even when a clear diagnosis isn’t identified is one of the best way you can support someone you love who is going through a difficult time with their health. This type of support can greatly contribute to our recovery.

  • Avoid suggesting that someone is lucky that they can’t work.

Being unable to work isn’t a privilege – it’s a consequence of chronic illness or physical limitations. Rather, helping that person find their mission and a passion in which they can contribute to the world can often shift their perspective and help them boost their self-esteem.

  • People with physical limitations of disabilities are reminded every day of how life is different for them.

Be the person who finds and enhances similarities and makes them feel like they belong to the same group as healthy and non-disabled people. Invite them to parties, include them in group conversations, activities, etc. In the end, our cells listen to every one of our thoughts and so why not see life as everybody else should: full of possibilities, feeling confident, strong, and powerful beings.

And let’s not forget the power of love and positivity and the positive effects they can have on our health & well-being.

Being in a state of love and gratitude is in fact so important that it is a nourishment in the healing app Envol that my partner and I have created after my recovery.

Envol app is a holistic healing tool with a unique health-score tracking concept + algorithm, backed by science and doctors, that combines all the necessary tools to improve health no matter where people start–whether they’re recovering from a chronic illness or need some extra guidance when dealing with stress or anxiety.

I hope that people never stop believing in the incredible powers of their body. We are more powerful than we think. There is pure magic in us, and if we create the right conditions in our life to let that magic express itself, miracles can happen. Our cells respond to each of our thoughts and beliefs – and it starts with changing ‘I can’t’ into ‘I can.’

About The Author

As someone who’s spent years battling chronic illness, Julie Morin, co-founder of Envol, knows how difficult and pricey it can be to get our health back. She started to wonder about what would happen to our bodies should we give them the opportunity to heal from within. Julie explored that question and when she started walking again after 4 years in a wheelchair, Envol was born: an easy-to-use mobile app to guide and empower people to take control of their health and start feeling better.

Hammerhead lifestyle via Hammerhead for use by 360 Magazine

Prioritize User-Driven Problems For Big CX Gains’

By: Jess Braun

In the product world, companies tend to release updates and new models sparsely. And it makes sense. A product is made available to customers, those buyers give feedback, which is collected to inform the next major offering. What if, instead, companies made small, sometimes seemingly unnoticeable changes? That’s what Hammerhead does. It’s intentionally invisible, easily interactive, and ultimately achieved when research, strategy, technology, and user experience collaborate to simplify the complex and make the lives of our users easier in a way none of our competitors can match.

Like all products, the initial idea comes from creating a solution for a particular customer base. In our case, that’s cycling. From our own experiences, we were frustrated that the digital technology in cycling was still so far behind the material technology. Bikes used in competitive cycling boast carbon fiber, titanium, and technological advancements and are tested in wind tunnel and aerodynamic settings. By contrast, traditional cycling computers are far behind other consumer technologies, adapted from a paradigm built for car GPS units a decade ago. Clunky and difficult to use, they don’t do cycling justice.

The resulting product, called the H1, was a bike head unit clipped onto handlebars and used simple light patterns to guide cyclists. That has since transformed into the product we have today—the Karoo 2—which is based around the Android operating system. It’s that unique capability that allows the micro-change approach to CX to come to life.

While hardware takes time to develop and produce in a factory, the software can mold and change quicker. Even so, you will see major companies following the traditional model of collecting tons of data over months and years before releasing a major software update. Understandably, they want to take as much information to make the best decision possible. So instead, we take feedback in real-time and constantly iterate software updates. And that commentary comes from all of the customers, from our professional athletes and our more casual riders.

We take all the feedback from our pro cyclists, ambassadors, and customers, and we sort and filter it. From there, we’re able to identify themes and areas of opportunity. The product team uses this data to inform their product roadmap directly and what projects they develop and work on next. And those features get rolled out to all of our customers, including our professional athletes. When the user experience is well-thought, designed, integrated, and tested, every customer’s choice is instinctively the right one.

For example, when Chris Froome was training to return to the Tour de France, he asked for more detailed left-right power data. The product team developed the exact specifications that he was looking for. Not only did Chris get the benefit of having that data, but everyone now has access to that same data. We did something similar for Chris and his fellow ISN team cyclists Mike Woods and Dan Martin. They—some of the best climbers in the world—wanted more data on upcoming climbs for the Tour de France. We built a software feature called CLIMBER that was launched just ahead of the Tour so that not just the team but all riders around the world were able to use it. We even made some tweaks during the event as we got real-time feedback, and we continue to iterate and expand upon the feature.

Now, not all updates can happen in real-time or as quickly as those mentioned. But it speaks to our focus as a company to iterate rather than continually making a few major updates. Our competitors will release major upgrades about twice a year. It might get their customers talking, but we’ve found that this unheard-of rate of iteration allows our customers to be part of the conversation. They’re not simply giving one-time feedback on a feature and have to wait to see if their voices were heard. Instead, we’re hearing them—pros and all—and making changes in real-time.

Even with CLIMBER—which had a bigger release with a long lead time—we just released an iteration as a different way of introducing more data within the feature. It’s learning from the real world. The more people, the more information, the more quickly we can act to enhance CX. Ultimately, the best product teams fall in love with problems, not solutions, and our interactions with our customers help us uncover problems that if solved elegantly can significantly improve a rider’s overall experience.

It’s also a lower-risk approach. Since we are making small changes, we can quickly identify how and if that impacts the user experience. If the customer doesn’t like the change or it creates unforeseen bugs, we can revert before it gets paved over. But, if they like it, we can build on it. 

We understand the software is fundamentally what our customers experience from day today, and we want to make that experience the best one possible. As customers’ wants and needs change from day to day, we should also adapt our product to suit those requests if possible. It might not be a big, flashy announcement all the time that gets everyone talking (for better or worse). But these micro-changes have proved to make for big CX gains.

illustration by Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

Our New Era of Seeking

By: Howard Mansfield

Times of upheaval release new ideas. Old routines falter, are challenged, and may be overturned. The pandemic has scrambled the old order, making change possible. We are reinventing the office, increasing pay for “essential” workers, questioning police practices, and trying to root out systematic racism.

Swept up in changes that leave so many of us feeling adrift and unsettled, t’s important to remember that we’ve always had this churning in America. Change is our tradition. The early 19th Century saw a feverish era of reform, utopias, and new religions. There were many experimenters in the land. Americans were once full of the mad energy of Utopianists, as if they were convulsed by the falling away of boundaries, driven crazy with possibility. They produced an astonishing array of utopias and religions, almost at the rate Ford once rolled new models and styles off the assembly line, new ideas about sharing property, work, and love.

“We are all a little wild here with numberless projects of social reform. Not a reading man but has a draft of a new Community in his waistcoat pocket,” Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote to Thomas Carlyle in 1840. “One man renounces the use of animal food; and another of coin; and another of domestic hired service; and another of the State; and on the whole we have a commendable share of reason and hope.” Emerson’s own friends were planning an experimental commune. “I am gently mad myself, and am resolved to live cleanly,” said Emerson, but he would not join. His close friend Henry David Thoreau would conduct his own experiment in living, arriving at Walden Pond on Independence Day in 1845.

What became of those 19th Century experiments?

  • Some upstart, raucous religious awakenings and revivals became some of the mainline religions we know today; others burned bright and hot, before disappearing. The Methodists and Universalists are familiar to us, but you won’t find a church nearby for the Janssonists, Dorrilites, Dancing Johnites or scores of other small bands of believers.
  • Many utopias ended in folly, foundering on the most basic needs, like food and shelter. You can proselytize for a grand reordering of society, but first someone has to be able to grow a carrot and patch the roof to keep out the rain. The Shakers were America’s most successful utopia, thriving in 19 communities, and leaving us their impressive realization of a heavenly order on earth in every, tool, chair, box or meetinghouse they built, and in the 10,000 songs they “received.”
  • The reform movements for the abolition of slavery, for temperance, and women’s rights were a marathon races. Each transformed America.

These social experiments have important lessons for us today: It takes many people in debate to reform society. There is rarely a clear, neat path. Reform and change isn’t a railroad running from station to station. It’s never the tidy textbook history. Sometimes reforms don’t arrive where the reformers want. The temperance movement’s success with Prohibition was its undoing.

We need to recognize that we may be in a new era of experimentation. We have to give these experiments room to grow or fail. We need let people try many things, even if they may be contradictory.

Too often we make ourselves dizzy chasing trends. After a few months we’re too ready to call a movement or a new design for life, out of fashion, over – It’s so 2020.  We move on.  But it takes time to go from protest to legislation to a real change in behavior. A lot of time.

We also need to let ideas fail. They may need to fail to clear the way for reinvention, for another try. “The business of social change is tough. You never get all you go for, and you usually don’t get credit for what you do get,” says David S. Meyer, a professor of Sociology, and the author of How Social Movements (Sometimes) Matter.

And change isn’t a story that can be told in the blip of a sound bite. “We tell shorter stories about movements (Rosa Parks sat down, the world stood up) because we lack patience and context, and the shorter stories are more inspiring,” says Meyer. “It’s never one event, action, demonstration, statement, or lawsuit that makes the difference; rather, it’s an accumulation of efforts. All victories take forever. And they’re never enough, and certainly not necessarily permanent.”

All reforms are unfinished. Slavery was abolished, yes. But what is freedom? What is equality? And what was is owed to the formerly enslaved and their descendants? We’re still facing those questions today.

The lesson from previous eras of upheaval is that those dreams took rough strife and patience to give us renewed rights and new possibilities. The reform movements of the past could be ugly, upsetting and wasteful, but they got us to today. And just where is that? At the starting line. America is always at the starting line.

The takeaway is this: Give the reforms of our pandemic era time. Let things fail; let things restart.

About The Author

Howard Mansfield writes about history, architecture, and preservation by sifting through the commonplace and the forgotten to discover stories that tell us about ourselves and our place in the world. He is the author of a dozen books, including the just-published Chasing Eden: A Book of Seekers (Bauhan Publishing).

filmfest via Gabrielle Archuletta for use by 360 Magazine

Why would Anyone Leave Hollywood?

Why would anyone leave working on movies with Marlon Brando, Johnny Depp, Jim Carrey, or the voice of Marge on the Simpsons?

Why would anyone leave behind working on music videos with Madonna, R.E.M, Randy Travis, and The Rolling Stones?

Why would anyone leave behind “hobnobbing” at the homes of Sting, Roseanne Barr, or Joan Rivers?

The sheer romance of Hollywood, and hype, the luscious frivolity and gorgeous glamor, all ensconced like a movie within a movie—the Southern California of it all. Like Icarus flying high above the drudge and turmoil of everyday life, just knowing your wings would never melt. The rubbing elbows with the insanely famous, or very famous, or just famous movie stars. Crashing the ubiquitous Oscar parties strewn all over “the strip”—the famous Sunset Boulevard.  The bright lights that draw you to it like a moth to a flame.

I worked on it all. I worked on the movies and the music videos.  And the TV shows, the MOW’s (movies of the week), and the pilot shows during pilot season.  I worked on food commercials, car commercials, and clothing commercials.  I worked low-budget, no-budget, and dream budget shows. My job?  The art department. I was a set dresser, lead man, painter, prop guy, and even drove the 5-ton trucks because I had a CDL (commercial driver’s license).  (My credit nickname on some of my IMDB credits is “Big Ton.”)

My entre to Hollywood was the world-renowned UCLA film school, where I studied screenwriting, directing, and producing with my fellow students, Academy Award-winning directors Gore Verbinski and Alexander Payne, director Shane Black and noted television producer Jeffrey Bell.  Friends of mine who work “below the line” (in the art department, or as grips, gaffers, painters, transportation, etc.) all have IMDB credits a mile long.

There are two ways to enter Hollywood from film school—from the top or from the bottom. From the top means your film or script hyperjumps you directly into an “above the line” directing gig, or screenwriting offer, or both.

But if you’re like the majority of film school grads, you start again at the bottom. You work on every low-budget film, TV show, and commercial you can get your hands on. And you don’t let them know you graduated from film school. No, siree. Not unless you wanted yourself laughed out of work.  Because the real work is learning the craft of making films. The very long hours (minimum 12 hours a day). Learning who all the behind-the-scenes players are and who knows what, when, and where.  Learning from the old-timers all of the million tricks that go on to a screen and the politics behind the scenes. Learning how to segue from show to show, so that you can continue to work.

Then the magic moment arrives.  All the grunt work and long hours finally pays off.  You are handed that obscenely rare gold Willy-Wonka ticket to Wonkaland—the ultimate movie pass of all time to anyone who wants to work Hollywood—the Motion Picture Union Card.  And the only way to get is by working on a film that goes from non-union to union.  Even the stars can’t wheedle their offspring into this part of “the industry.”  You earn this one with a lot of sweat, grit, and determination.  Then you begin to make real money.  And work on the “big” films—the big features.  Or work at the studios, on a hit TV show, or endless pilots.  Great medical, retirement, benefits up the ying-yang.  You are now part of the legacy and lottery that is the Hollywood film family.  You truly have made it to the land of the silver screen.

Was it great? Was it fun? Was it wild? Yes, and yes, and yes.

But something was amiss in the land of forever happiness. I began to notice cracks in the gold façade. I saw hidden hints of unhappiness I hadn’t noticed before. I began to understand how easily the golden handcuffs of money and prestige could be so easily slipped on over one’s wrist until one day you realize that the dreaming is over, and now you are locked into the Hollywood grind.

How fleeting the luscious frivolity and gorgeous glamor. The elbow-rubbing with all that famous fame and fortune.  The seductiveness of being the insider in star land. That thirty years later you would wake up from the dream and realize it was all spent in dreamland. That’s the writing I saw upon the wall.

But as with all good screenplays, there arrives the pivotal moment upon which the destiny of the entire universe resides in the action of one person.

One day a friend of mine at Universal Studios, a guy who had worked on sets for a million years, a guy whose stories about the business were endless and fascinating—I asked him. “Was it all worth it?” Well, that was the million-dollar question you never ask because the answer did not fill you with awe.  It scared the living bejesus out of you.  “Nope. I never saw my kids grow up. I divorced twice. I made a lot of money. I owned a lot of toys.  But what do I have to show for it after 35 years? My kids barely talk to me.  I’m mostly alone and I’ll retire alone.”

Crap and wow. That’s when the Hollywood dreamed ended for me.  That was THE wake-up call of wake-up calls.  That’s when I knew it was time to get out. I was only five years in. I did not want to end up with the self-chosen burden of unhappiness to haunt me in Hollywood for the rest of my life.

That’s when I took to the road and headed west. Not to actual west of the Pacific Ocean but the west of America, where people lose themselves to find themselves.  And that’s what I did.  A “drive-about.” Where one can meditate upon endless miles of blacktop, the engine purring a constant tone poem like the drone of a Tibetan chant. This blue-highway contemplation forcing the quintessential questions of mortality—why am I here and what is my purpose?

After a few thousand miles, I ended up in a 3-bar town on the Arizona/Mexican border.  I asked for work and the universe handed it to me in the guise of a local cowboy.  My new job? Putting up a fence on a nearby ranch—a barbed-wire fence.  Hammering in fence poles with a pole pounder for as far as the eye could see.  When I was done, he’d come out and we’d string up wire. How fitting. Having been raised around ranches as a kid, I had returned to my roots.

My home was the back of my pickup truck. My shower, an old horse trough filled with water. I cooked by camp stove and ate by campfire.  The stars were brilliant and there was not a human light to be seen.   This was my new existence. I couldn’t imagine going back and was terrified at going forward.   It was here, amidst this desolation and aloneness, I had truly leapt off the cliff of Hollywood, into the great abyss of the west, praying for the universe to somehow catch me. And it did.

A slow miracle appeared. An idea that was born of this life transition. I picked up the pen again, and the pen roared back to life.

After having published in my early twenties, I had not written a book in years. Now I began to write as if my life depended on it.  The premise?  A father who would never live to see his kids, leaves behind a compendium of practical, moral, and spiritual letters that would eventually be a guidebook to life.  How fitting that the universe brought me here, writing on the back of my pickup by lantern light, to begin my real life’s work.

But the book, to eventually be called, The Legacy Letters, and its awards, were still years in the future. Now I would have to finish the fence. And then work as a cowboy on a small nearby ranch. And then meet my wife-to-be, while working as a wrangler for a friend of mine. And then get married at the ranch. And have a son together. And all the while, in this Walden Pond time of life, I would continue to write and ride, and ride and write until I finished the book.

Now far from the delusions of glitz and glamor, fame and fortune that would have beguiled me into a life of golden unhappiness. What an amazing and strange journey to happiness and contentment.

I remember reading many years ago about a prayer the Buddhist monks would intone, and that in my spiritual infancy, I could never quite understand. “Please Lord Buddha, give me a problem so that I may overcome it.”  Finally, I’ve grown up enough to understand why anyone would want a problem to overcome.  And why we must leave to find out how to return.

ABOUT CAREW PAPRITZ

Carew truly lives the central message of The Legacy Letters to “live life to the fullest,” creating such innovative and adventurous one-of-kind events as his “First-Ever Book Signings”–on top of Mt. St. Helens in Washington State, the Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska, and on horseback at a Barnes & Noble in Tucson, Arizona (amongst many others).  Before Amazon, Carew’s First-Ever Delivery of a Book by Drone made headline news.  Carew’s YouTube “I Love to Read” series and his annual literacy-driven charity event, “The Great Book Balloon Launch,” inspire kids and adults to rediscover the joy of reading!  And to inspire more kindness and civility in the world, Carew started National Thank You Letter Day–Nov.14th, in which he created the world’s largest handwritten thank you letter, stamp, and envelope–the size of a high school gym–to help spread the word about writing thank you letters!

Hobamine: The Game Changing Discovery for a Long Life

By: Greg Macpherson, biotechnologist, author, “Harnessing the Nine Hallmarks of Aging.”

Free radicals are much-maligned molecules, blamed for causing many of the diseases we suffer from and even the aging process itself. We are regularly reminded of this in the fruit and vegetable isle at the supermarket and by supplement brands promoting antioxidants to counter the effect of free radicals. 

But dig a little deeper and you will discover that free radicals have an interesting little secret. It turns out that we need free radicals to be healthy. Free radicals are harnessed by our cells to send messages around the cell and between cells. Our immune system uses free radicals as part of its initial immune process (imagine free radical “bullets” being fired at an intruder) to slow the bugs down while the rest of our immune system jumps into action to fight off the infection.  

It turns out, for optimal health that we need to live in a “free radical goldilocks zone.”  Too many free radicals and we shift into something called oxidative stress and if that persists for too long then we are on track to get a disease.  But, if we have too few free radicals then it is equally harmful as our body loses the ability to mount a healthy immune response or to transmit messages that might notify the cell that something has gone wrong triggering a process where the cell removes itself for the health of the tissues that surround it.  

However, science is now telling us to go a little easy on antioxidants and not over do it. The clues have been there for a long time. A large study many years ago found that smokers, who create a burden of oxidative stress in their body with every puff, that took a vitamin E supplement had an increased risk of death. In another study, older adults that took antioxidants alongside exercise didn’t get the same level of muscle growth as their peers who went to the gym without taking antioxidants. In each case the antioxidants interfered with the healthy free radical signalling process creating a problem larger than the one it was aiming to solve. 

So how do we deal with the challenge of reducing oxidative stress whilst not over doing it and causing ourselves a serious health problem? Two strategies are coming to the fore. First, if you are going to take an antioxidant then take natural antioxidants that are derived from our diet such as curcumin, fisetin or pterostilbene. These bioactive molecules support the natural levels of antioxidants that our cells make to balance the levels of free radicals in our cells to keep us in the “goldilocks zone” and also have secondary health benefits, such ascurcumin, which is well known to reduce inflammation; fisetin, which is becoming well known as a senolytic, a molecule that helps remove senescent cells from the body; and pterostilbene, a molecule that activates key genes responsible for cellular repair and energy generation.  

The second strategy and is one of the most promising I have seen for a long time is taking a molecule called Hobamine (also known as 2-HOBA). Hobamine is an extract from the humble Himalayan Tartary buckwheat. It is an interesting molecule that protects our cells from the downstream effects of free radicals whilst leaving the healthy free radicals alone to do their work. How Hobamine delivers its health benefits is fascinating. It is a member of a new class of natural molecules called reactive carbonyl scavengers. While that is a bit of a mouthful you could also call it an antioxidant 3.0 or a smart antioxidant. It is so cutting edge that it is hard to find in most supplements. In fact, my company SRW is only the second company in the world to offer it in our Cel1 Stability supplement.

Hobamine works to mitigate the damage that free radicals cause in our cells. If you remember from grade school, free radicals are molecules that are unstable and all they want to find and react with is another molecule to becomestable. They damage our cells because in the process of getting stable they steal a molecule from a part of our cell. Free radicals are not picky and damage whatever is closest to them: our DNA, our delicate cellular machinery, or our cell membranes. In the process the free radical becomes stable but whatever they damage becomes radicalised and reactive. Because we are carbon based the most common downstream effect of free radical damage is the formation of reactive carbonyl species. These molecules are highly reactive and only persist for fractions of a second. They are so short lived that you can’t measure them, but you can measure the result of the damage they cause. 

Reactive carbonyl species bind with proteins, DNA and cell membranes affecting their function and, in some cases, interfere with the cells ability to remove the damage. Over time this is where the real damage from free radicals and oxidative stress is occurring within our cells and what is exciting is that Hobamine gives you a way, for the first time to slow the damage down. Hobamine neutralises the reactive carbonyl species before they have a chance to cause damage to the delicate cellular machinery, membranes and our DNA. 

What makes this doubly interesting is that researchers have discovered that the immune system is activated by the end molecules that result from the process between reactive carbonyl species and our cell membranes and this may be part of the reason that we experience increasing levels of inflammation as we age. 

Reactive carbonyl species and how to mitigate damage from them is now an active area of research and medical researchers have identified the link between reactive carbonyl species damage and diseases like Alzheimer’s, autoimmune, heart disease and high blood pressure. The list will continue to grow, and it is looking like the discovery of this new class of bioactive molecules could potentially reduce the burden of damage across our cells that we all accumulate as we age and potentially lead to helping protect ourselves from a wide range of conditions or better, get ahead of the damage and slow the aging process itself down. Hobamine is an exciting new tool in the fight to extend our health-spans so that we all get the opportunity to be healthier for longer. 

Biography:

Greg Macpherson is a pharmacist, biotechnologist, cellular health expert and author of, “Harnessing the Nine Hallmarks of Aging: to live your healthiest life.” For more than a decade, he has been working in the biotechnology sector, specifically focusing on the aging process at the cellular level. This work led him to discover ways to harness the nine identified, scientific hallmarks of aging, which is the premise of his book that addresses the natural aging process, how to age more favorably and simple strategies to slow the aging process and build a functional healthspan. Beyond theory and concept, Macpherson has used his entrepreneurial spirit to further develop solutions to this new paradigm of aging, described in his book, by launching SRW Laboratories, a science and research based company that curates the latest biotechnology research to formulate natural products designed to help slow the onset of aging and disease, and develop evidence based solutions for those who are experiencing age-related health concerns or who want to improve their healthspan. SRW, which stands for Science, Research and Wellness, is Macpherson’s natural world laboratory that will develop the preventative formulas for cellular health from nature required to slow down the aging process based on the nine hallmarks of aging, which include mitochondrial dysfunction, telomere attrition and cellular senescence, to name a few. With aging being the single biggest risk factor for developing disease, Macpherson’s mission to slow the aging process at a cellular level could help millions of people delay the onset of diseases associated with advanced aging like Alzheimer’s and heart disease and increase healthspan.

Piggy Bank illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Financial Future

Securing Your Financial Future

Mark Williams, CEO Brokers International

When it comes to securing your financial future, the best time to start planning is today. There are a lot of tools and products available to help put a plan together, but they all have one thing in common: the earlier you take advantage of them, the better off you’ll be.

Studies have shown that younger individuals, particularly millennials, tend to prefer savings over retirement accounts. Whether that’s because they lived through the Great Recession and saw what happened to older generations whose retirement strategies were rooted in the stock market, a lack of financial literacy, or something else altogether, the fact remains that younger generations have a more conservative mindset regarding financial planning and investing.

Many people put off retirement planning until retirement itself moves more into focus. But to maximize the impact of your efforts to plan for a secure financial future, start as early as you can. Here’s where you should start.

Workplace 401(k)s

For many people in the workforce, a 401(k) is offered through their employer. Saving money for the future in a tax-advantaged vehicle is a wise move, but for those whose companies offer a 401(k) match, it’s a no-brainer to maximize that source of free money. Due to the power of compound interest, even a small regular contribution makes a major difference over time.

Consider this example. If you invest $50 a month into a 401(k), at an average 7% annual rate of return, that investment adds up. After 15 years, you’ll have invested $9,000, but it will be worth over $15,000. That same $50 a month after 30 years will amount to $18,000 out of your pocket, but it will have grown to nearly $57,000. And if you invest just $50 a month for 45 years, that $27,000 investment will be worth just under $171,500. (You may not get 7% every year, but as an illustration, the value is clear.)

Annuities

Planning for your financial future can be difficult when you may not even have a view of that horizon. You don’t know what your life will look like, what your financial needs will be, and what resources will be available to you once you are no longer working.

Annuities provide a great response to the uncertainty of long-range financial planning. It’s the only financial product available that guarantees an income stream for life — once you turn on that income stream, it’s fixed. Fluctuations in interest rates or the marketplace won’t affect it. An annuity will provide you with a paycheck every single month until the day you die — and some products even allow you to extend that benefit to your spouse or children.

Life Insurance

This is the big one, but many people overlook life insurance because they won’t be able to take advantage of it themselves. But ask yourself, at any stage of life, if you don’t make it home one day, who relies on you to provide financially? More than anything, insurance is a form of safety and protection, for you and for those you love. It’s critically important for someone who is married with children to have life insurance in case of tragedy, to be able to help cover debts, provide a future source of income and even allow space for grief without financial anxiety.

But even for single young professionals, just starting off their careers, life insurance should be a primary consideration in financial planning.

Consider a young, single, 23-year-old individual who may not have anyone who depends on their income. Why would that person want to purchase a life insurance policy in that situation? In part, because they don’t know what their situation will be like in 1, 5 or 10 years, and a 20- or 30-year term life insurance policy will provide financial safeguards for some of the possibilities that may arise. Additionally, there’s a popular saying in the insurance industry: money pays for life insurance, but health buys it. When you are young and healthy, you’ll never be able to get a life insurance policy as cheaply as you can at that point.

Just as you never know if or when your circumstances may change and you’ll find yourself wanting a life insurance policy to protect the financial interests of someone you married five years after initially deciding not to purchase a policy, you may also receive a diagnosis in that same five-year period that makes life insurance impossible (or prohibitively out of reach).

If you buy life insurance when you’re young and healthy, you can take advantage of the best rates possible and provide a blanket of financial security for your loved ones.

Plan Ahead

Financial planning isn’t a lot of fun for most people, but it is necessary. Whether you are aiming for a specific short- to a mid-range financial goal or turning your eye toward your eventual retirement, it pays to start thinking about securing your financial future as early as possible. The cost of doing so when you are young is comparatively lower than if you wait 10, 20, or 30 years to make some of the same decisions.

If you’re young, take advantage of your long time horizon and plan accordingly. If you’re older and already feeling close to retirement, you may not have taken advantage of the power of compound interest but it’s still not too late to reallocate some of your assets and shore up your financial situation as much as possible.

For anyone, I would strongly recommend seeking out the advice and experience of a financial professional — they will understand all of your available options and know best how to construct a strategic plan to help you reach your goals.

Five Works of Art and Literature Inspired by Marijuana 

Art and literature can transform the world and help us to see things in a different way. There are so many different types that you can choose to work with and all of them add some beauty to the world. When it comes to marijuana and psychedelic drugs, there are some great works of art and literature that are inspired by this plant, allowing us to open up and learn more about it. Some of the best works of art and literature inspired by marijuana include:

Super Plant

This work of art can help open your eyes to this beautiful plant and see it under new eyes. While many people assume that marijuana is all bad, evil even, seeing such a beautiful work of art will be able to help you see more about it and all the delicate and natural beauty that comes with it. 

Marijuana: It’s Just a Plant

This is a work of literature that will help you to explore marijuana and other psychedelic plants in a new light. While this may not be the first thing that parents will reach for when reading a story to their kids at night, it will make it a point that millions of people use pot each day so it is not such a novel idea compared to what we think. This is a reliable source to introduce the idea of marijuana to your kids, where the parents can help them to learn something new, rather than hoping they get it from the news or other sources. 

Bong Hit Station

This is an absurd video that was released in 2013 and can provide all the details that someone new to the world of marijuana would be able to use when they want to get stoned. Sometimes the steps will seem a bit complex and like they do not need to be so bad, but that is part of the humor that many will enjoy with this video. 

California Artist

This simple stone sculpture is almost a type of self-portrait for Robert Arneson. He felt that, as an artist that worked in California, he had to deal with a lot of unfair characterizations that he was not that fond of. With that in mind, he created this sculpture, complete with a hippie look and a pot plant growing with it. 

Bongolier

Created by Bentley Meeker, Bongolier is a light installation that is meant to mix the high and low culture all in one. It is basically a light display that has chandeliers made out of glass bongs that he repurposed for this sculpture. There are also other sculptures that are there to help juxtapose some of the different sources of light that are in there. Some are going to be kind of shady and others are there to show the full spectrum to give something unique. 

The Shifting Perception of Marijuana and Other Psychedelics

The approval of marijuana and psychedelics has been a shifting change in many countries over the years. While there are still a lot of individuals and even governments that are not jumping on board, there is more acceptance for this than there was in the past. With more art and literature being inspired by marijuana each day, we are sure to see this become more widely seen in the future. 

Seeing the Beauty of Marijuana

While there are still some people who worry that marijuana and other similar drugs are all bad and will ruin society, there is so much beauty and joy that comes with this plant and many different benefits that come with it. Thanks to the introduction of many different types of art and literature, more people throughout the world will be able to see some of this beauty too. 

Himiway Escape by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Himiway Launches Four New E-bikes

Himiway promises a more exciting fall this year, thanks to the upcoming launch of 4 new cutting-edge electric bikes from the company.

Himiway is pleased to announce the upcoming launch of its 4 types of brand new e-bike models in January 2022 of next year. The electric bike company recently released the teaser for the upcoming models; even though the teaser doesn’t reveal elaborate details about the bikes yet it has already created a  lot of buzz in the outdoor adventure world. Going by the tradition with other Himiway bikes, the upcoming ones too would be under affordable range,  with prices comfortably ranging between $1,000-under$3,000.

The 4 new Himiway bikes that are slated to be launched in January 2022 are – Softail Supreme E-bike, Multifunctional E-bike, and Premium All-terrain E-bike.

“We are thrilled to share that we will soon be launching 3 types of state-of-the-art new electric bike models come fall. While one of them would be the most innovative model from our lineup ever, another one would be an advanced utility bike that would be handy for your daily affairs. The third one is exclusively designed for outdoor enthusiasts and would make a robust partner for your off-road adventures across all terrains”, stated the leading spokesperson from Himiway.

As per the reports, Softail Supreme and Multifunctional models would be new additions to the company lineup. On the other hand, the Premium All-terrain E-bike is speculated to be the successor of the Himiway’s crowd-favorite Cruiser Electric Fat bike. However, these are just speculations- the Premium All-Terrain version may be a completely new variation for all-terrain electric bikes as well.

The Softail Supreme model stands out as the “most innovative” electric bike ever built by Himiway. Engineered with cutting-edge “first-notch” suspension (especially rear and front, based on softail designation), the bike promises to deliver an all-new experience for the riders. Going by the Himiway teaser, the model would be priced somewhere around $2,099 to say, under $3,000.

The second one, Multifunctional E-bike, is being dubbed as an all-rounder that would make a valuable addition to a busy and active family. From ferrying children to making deliveries to quick grocery shopping sessions, the bike has been designed to handle all. The bike will tentatively come around $1,?99.

The Premium All-terrain E-bike is an advanced crossover between mountain and urban electric cruiser. As the name suggests, this model is especially designed for off-road adventures and has been equipped with major required features like, extended battery and incredible speed. The upcoming bike will also impress with its stylish looks. As Himiway hasn’t mentioned about fat tires with this bike, the model is likely to be a completely new model from the company. However, the other descriptions sound very similar to that of the previous Cruiser fat bike from Himiway. In regard to cost, the bike is speculated to come around $1,?99.

About Himiway

A pioneer of electric bikes in the American market, Himiway specializes in manufacturing advanced fat tire electric bikes at affordable ranges. The company is based in California, USA, but has recently expanded to markets globally, covering all of the USA as well as Canada, the U.K., and Germany.

For additional information, please visit HERE.