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How #AgathaChristie rose to become “The Queen Of Crime”. https://t.co/eJwryoAhkr https://t.co/Jmtkn8Xknj

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Travel Apps That Make Traveling a Dream

Our 21st-century world is an app-filled one. With this said, there is no longer any need to travel like we did in the 20th century. Thanks to the advent of smartphones and easy to use app stores, there are a variety of apps that one can use in order to make traveling both easier and more fun. Ira Riklis shares just a few of those apps that will make traveling a dream!

5 Must-Try Travel Apps


In the 20th century, one of the most annoying things about traveling was finding all of the details about the available flights, hotels and rental cars. With Skyscanner, this becomes quite easy.

Skyscanner aggregates all of the most affordable and highest rated options and presents them to you in an organized way. The app even offers “Top Deals” which shows you some of the app’s greatest deals from whatever airport you are nearest to. Skyscanner is free to download on both iOS and Android

AirbnbAirbnb mobile app

Probably the most recognizable lodging app on this list is Airbnb. Love it or hate it (trust us, the hotel industry hates it), Airbnb gives you some of the cheapest lodging options in your travel destination. Essentially, Airbnb allows you to book short-term stays in local residents’ houses for less than you would pay to stay in a hotel.

Now, the app even recommends activities to consider around the residence that you choose. However, keep in mind that Airbnb is not legal in all cities. For a guide on which cities have banned Airbnb, check this in-depth article. Airbnb is free to download on both iOS and Android.


At this point, most people have either heard of Uber or Lyft, the apps that let individuals hire drivers who use their own vehicles rather than a taxi service. Not only do the apps let you hire a driver, but they also let you track the driver’s approach to your location and give you travel time approximations.

One of the best features of the app is that you can pay directly from your phone, so you do not have to pay the driver in cash. With Uber or Lyft, there is no need to try and navigate around a travel destination and get lost, just let a local drive you to where you want to go. Uber and Lyft are free to download on both iOS and Android.


For some, packing is the worst part of traveling. However, do not fret, as PackPoint will assist you in this daunting task. Once you insert your travel destination, the app will provide you a packing list based on the location’s weather, activities around the location and the number of nights you will Luggage packingbe staying in the area.

You should also keep in mind that while the basic version of PackPoint is free, you can pay extra for more advanced features. Hopefully, this app will not only make the act of packing less stressful but also make the trip itself less worrisome, as you can be sure that you will be fully prepared for the trip.


There are a lot of currencies in the world which can make traveling confusing, especially if you are visiting more than one country. However, ChangeMate makes working with foreign currencies much easier. ChangeMate acts as both an app and a browser widget that converts both entered prices and online retailer prices into whatever currency you choose. Essentially, it uses data from the world’s top banks to provide you the most up-to-date exchange rates. ChangeMate is available for iOS, Mac OSX, and Apple Watch and is currently free for a limited time (its regular price is $1).

With these apps, you should be well equipped regardless of where you may be traveling. These apps are must-downloads for both seasoned travelers and first-timers. Just sit back, relax and let your smartphone do all of the stressful work associated with traveling for you.

Does the brain have something to do with #childhood #obesity? https://t.co/TUgiqCEFJm https://t.co/Oj6Lo1LyYg

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Does The Brain Have Something To Do With Childhood Obesity?

Childhood obesity in the U.S. is a serious problem that continues to grow and puts these children at risk for poor health. Ira Riklis looks further into what else could be attributed to this problem in children.

Obesity Statistics In America

The Centers for Disease Control states obesity affects approximately 12.7 French friesmillion children in the U.S. While obesity rates have decreased slightly in recent years, that number is still too high. Children who suffer from obesity can have severe medical issues later in life that include diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. In order to understand how to solve the problem of childhood obesity, it is important to determine factors that contribute to this growing health epidemic.

Heredity plays a part in childhood obesity. When you see a child with obese parents, if that child isn’t already overweight, the risk of becoming obese is there. However, obesity in children isn’t always cut and dry. You might wonder why some children suffer from weight issues while others do not. It may not always be genes that are to blame. Perhaps it all starts in the brain. To understand just what takes place, researchers at the Institute for the Developing Mind at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles, conducted a study to observe how children’s brains reacted when exposed to food.

Food is a strong stimulus and it activates the brain in all individuals. However, researchers found that what makes the difference is whether the brain’s centers for self-regulation were also activated around food. These signals, when activated, would prevent a child from overeating.

The American Journal Study

The American Journal of Managed Care explained that the study conducted by the researchers involved 36 teens between the ages of 14 and 19 years of age. Of that group, 10 were overweight, 16 were lean but considered at risk because their mothers were overweight and 10 were lean and considered low-risk because their mothers were also lean.

All participants underwent brain scans while viewing words associated with high-fat foods, low-fat foods, and non-foods. After each word, the participants described their appetite. Finally, they ate a buffet consisting of high and low-fat foods.

The brain’s reward circuits were activated for all food-related words. However, for the group that was overweight or lean and at-risk, there was less activity in the self-regulation areas of the brain. Conversely, teens who were lean showed the most activity in the self-regulation areas of the brain. And, when served the buffet those who ate the most consisted of the obese and overweight group, followed by the lean but at risk group. The lean children with lean mothers ate the least, indicating high activity in the self-regulation areas of the brain.

Remedying The Problem

The study concludes that the risk for obesity isn’t dependent solely on b=Burger friesurges to eat high-calorie foods, but more importantly, one’s ability to control those urges. Everyone craves high-calorie foods. However, not everyone acts on those cravings. Those who do allow themselves to indulge often make a meal out of the high-calorie foods they enjoy and have no self-regulation when it comes to controlling their urges. This leads to obesity.

With more and more people in the U.S. suffering from obesity, it is important to remedy the problem by understanding the underlying cause of the problem. Children who suffer from obesity or being overweight are setting themselves up for a lifetime of health complications and avoidable diseases such as diabetes. Often weight-associated diseases are debilitating and life-altering. Only by understanding how the brain works in regards to food can we solve the problem of childhood obesity.

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Studies are showing the dangers associated with #bingewatching. https://t.co/bp4SQQY09j https://t.co/6KpDfqs8wS

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