Tag Archives: Internet

Gravitating Gravity Blankets!


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Every now and then I run into some unique products that provide some surprising benefits.  Products such as the Himalayan Salt Lamp or meditation app help consumers relieve the daily stress and anxiety they feel every once in a while.  In this rapid and chaotic age of technology, many people are feeling more stressed than ever.  This stress can cause problems with sleep, eating habits, work, social well-being, and overall health.

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Sleep is one of the most important tasks of our biological agenda.  Getting enough shuteye is key to making the most out of your day.  Losing even a few hours and your day is sure to go sour due to a lack of energy.  A good bed, some comfy pillows, and a warm blanket will help put you into a good rest.  If the typical bedding products haven’t been getting you to sleep well, then there’s always…The Gravity Blanket.

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Image result for Gravity Blanket

The Gravity Blanket is a revolutionary weighted blanket aimed at helping with stress, anxiety, AND sleep.  It started as a Kickstarter idea back in April 26th and reached its financial goal in just one month (over 23,000 pledges donated over $4.7 million so far!).  Entrepreneur John Fiorentino initiated the project and his work has been featured in businesses like Mashable, Fast Company, Elle, Yahoo! Health, and many other media channels.

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Image result for Gravity Blanket

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Here’s the science – the Gravity Blanket is known as a weighted blanket, a special type of blanket that’s engineered to be 7-12% of your body weight.  This aspect relaxes the nervous system through simulating the feeling of being held or hugged (FREE HUGS!).  Wrapping this warm blanket will help increase melatonin and serotonin levels while also decreasing levels of cortisol.  Increasing both melatonin and serotonin are key ingredients for improving your overall mood as well as promoting a restful sleep.

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Better sleep is the main USP (unique selling product) for the Gravity Blanket.  Gravity will minimize any body movement so you will fall into a deeper REM cycle much easier.  With the perfect combination of ultra-soft microfiber and weighted feel, you’ll be sure to fall right to sleep instantly.

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But the science doesn’t stop there!  Gravity utilizes the power of proprioceptive input (also known as ‘deep touch pressure stimulation’), a beneficial therapeutic method where you stimulate pressure points on the body.  These pressure points are linked to improve sleep, relaxation, and even mood.  Initiating these pressure points will reduce cortisol levels and produce more serotonin.

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Gravity Blankets won’t be shipping out until January 2018, but you can still get your pre-order in today.  If you’re looking for a warm blanket with amazing therapeutic effects, the Gravity Blanket is something you should look into.  You can wrap yourself into a deeper sleep with the comforting Gravity Blanket.

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This is really neat stress-combating product idea!  It reinvents the idea of a warm blanket by adding comforting pressure points that help you fall into a deeper sleep.  The therapeutic effects weren’t what threw me into learning about this product, but rather, how they were incorporated with a blanket to make it weighted.  Turning the blanket into a weighted blanket makes the product that much more enjoyable and desirable as well.

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In the end, the Gravity Blanket is a perfect case where a common product (a blanket, in this case!) was rejuvenated with fresh ideas to create something truly amazing.  The wheel was being reinvented, redesigned to take a unique shape to form some other purpose.  This should be a way of how we look at products or services.  Searching for original ideas means going back to the drawing board and understanding what made them so incredible in the first place.

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That’s why the Gravity Blanket knocked it out of the park as a unique product.  It was redesigned with some more benefits for the consumer to enjoy.  Who knows what other product will be cooked up in the near future.  Hopefully it will help combat the daily stress and anxiety we go through in life.

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France: Turn Off, Tune Out, Enjoy Life!


Here’s a scenario that’s all too familiar in America: You come home from a 10-hour day at the office and are about to start dinner for the family.  All seems to be going well so far until…the phone vibrates on the table.  You turn your phone on to find an important email from your boss.  It’s an urgent email boss, saying that you have a work project that must get done by TOMORROW.  The project will take all night, so you cancel the dinner plans and end up ordering take-out while you complete MORE work at home.

If this scenario has happened to you, you’re not alone!  American employees read thousands of emails every day and some of those emails are read after they get out of work.  The constant ringing emails, text messages, and messages from work give us such a headache that we sometimes become so detached from our personal lives.  This digital drama has become so problematic that we become so stressed out about the company community we’re a part of.  That’s about to change this year for France.

Since January 1st, France enacted a new law that made it illegal for companies to expect employees to check work emails while out of the office.  Sacre bleu!  Any company with more than 50 employees must negotiate times when employees have the right to ignore any work-based communications (which include email, instant messages, and calls as well).  Known as the “right to disconnect”, its designed to ensure a better work/life balance for everyone.

France has a traditional work week of 35 hours, so this law would save employees hours of unpaid work.  Employees who are more rested and relaxed means they will reduce time off from work, thus saving money for companies in the long run.  Employees would also be able to get through larger workloads during office hours without the fear of working into the night.

What’s interesting is that several companies in Europe already adopted policies to diminish the ‘always-on’ culture in the workplace.  Large companies in Germany like Volkswagen and Daimler already took steps to limit out-of-hours messaging in order to reduce burnouts.  Some measures even involved cutting email connections in the evening/weekends or even destroying emails automatically that are sent while employees are celebrating a holiday.  Countries like Germany and France are leading the path to a better work/life balance culture for their employees.

America is one of the hardest-working countries of all time, with Americans working an average of 34.4-hour weeks (some full-time workers clock in an average of 47 hours per week!).  All of that hard work is burning us out faster than other countries and leading a spike in work-related stress.  That work-related stress causes symptoms such as discouragement, pessimism, anxiety, depression, cognitive difficulties, and being overwhelmed/unable to cope with decision-making.  The economy may be recovering, but the battle for a better work/life balance is far from over.

I definitely agree with France’s new “right to disconnect” law!  Digital drama shifts from the office to your home, causing friction between your professional life and personal life.  Those emails, text messages, and calls from your work community disperses you farther and farther from reality.  What once was your perfect family life has now become the American Dream you can’t seem to reach for.

This definitely rings true that America is one of the hardest working countries of all time.  It always boggles my mind hearing of friends that work 70-80 hour week shifts just to survive.  We seemed to have pulled ourselves out of the recession, but people are still struggling to find a comfortable work/life balance atmosphere.  More working hours means we’re missing out on more on so much of what life has to offer.

What do you want to remember about your work life in 30-40 years?  Do you really want to discuss tales of working 70-80 hours in the office until you retired?  Or do you want to be one of those people that exited the rat race here in America?  It’s your life you lead in the end, so it shouldn’t be swarmed by constant work emails every day.

Funny Search Result on Sunday FunDay!


Hello everyone!  No news to discuss, just wanted to turn your attention to something more interesting.  Yesterday I was surfing through my blog to see the status of it so far.  Everything seemed ordinary until I looked at the ‘Search Terms’ portion.

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Someone was searching ‘jesse jackman bottom’ and seemed to have discovered my blog on Google.  So yeah, apparently someone was searching for porn and they decided to check out my site through their search.  Well…I am certainly flattered!  It’s funny what kind of audience you get when writing about certain topics.

To the man/woman who was looking for ‘jesse jackman bottom’ videos…THANK YOU for discovering my work at MakeSandcastlesNotWar.  Always a pleasure to find random visitors who stumbled upon my blog (whether it was intentional or accidental!).  I hope you enjoyed your night with some amazing videos of Jesse Jackman.

These pictures are dedicated to that user who stumbled onto my blog:

Hope your Saturday night was memorable one!

American Horror Story: Sweet Dreams Teaser


It’s been a week now and I STILL can’t get over the season finale of American Horror Story: Roanoke.  After all of those twists and turns, I don’t know if my Wednesdays will be the same again.  Wednesdays at 10 PM were the only times I looked forward to watching cable television.  Now it’ll be back to binge-watching shows on Netflix and catching TV specials when I find them.

Season 6 ended and now we all have to wait until next October for what’s in stores next.  It’s only been MERE minutes after the finale and Ryan Murphy already entrapped us with some hints about next season.  As a matter of fact, a quick teaser was released after the season finale.

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A teaser was posted on the American Horror Story Twitter Page at 11:01 PM last week.  The title card read ‘SWEET DREAMS’ with a few seconds of waves moving around the ocean.  Half-way through the clip, we see quick clips of the stick figures while the picture flickers in black and white.  The title card ends with the sea waves moving among the ocean again.  That is the only teaser we have seen so far.

But wait, there’s MORE!  Remember that moment when the Spirit Chasers run into Lee at the Roanoke House?  At one point, a huge crash spurs everyone into another room.  The cast then find a dusty, wooden model ship that fell on the floor.  Just like everyone else, I thought that it was just an innocent scene…. but we were WRONG!

What’s the real meaning behind the wooden ship?  Is the next season going to take us for a life at sea?  Why were those creepy stick figure dolls popping up in the teaser?  WHERE…is this show… GOING?

One speculation hints that the next season will be related to one of the various subplots within American Horror Story: Roanoke.  Lady Gaga guest starred as Scáthach this season (that crazy witch who took The Butcher and Matt to the dark side!).  For those that do not know, Scáthach was an Englishwoman with a Druid lineage that traveled by boat to America.  Later on, that sea voyage becomes deadly as the colonists who were hunting her traveled by sea as well.  The ship that we saw crashing on the floor could be a major part of the story next season!

Keep in mind that NOTHING has been set in stone so far.  Ryan Murphy also teased that fans could expect more in-depth story lines of the characters from American Horror Story: Freak Show for next season.  They are just “exploring” this plot, so there is no definitive answer yet.  Our only ideas we have to go on are the hint from the season finale and the teaser clip released on the Twitter page.

The teaser clip was suspenseful to watch!  I don’t know how I missed this clip last week after the season finale.  Teasers were always released mere months after the season finale, but hints are already being dropped this year.  It sucks that I have to sit back and make educated guesses about the next chapter.  All I have for clues are the big, wooden ship that fell on the floor and the teaser clip to go on for my speculations.  Until then, we’ll have to see where the waves sweep us next in the American Horror Story universe.

The Shiny/Painted Legs Optical Illusion


Last February people caught wind of a shocking internet sensation that was known as ‘The Dress’.  The Dress was viral meme where viewers disagreed whether the color of the dress was black and blue or white and gold.  Over 10 million tweets mentioned The Dress with hashtags such as #thedress, #blackandblue, and #whiteandgold.  It was the shocking photo that made millions of people ask the question, “what color is the dress?”.

That meme was SO 2015.  What’s the newest internet meme illusion this time?  The Shiny Legs.  It’s ALL about the shiny legs this year!  For those who are just peeking out from under the rock, the shiny legs meme started after Twitter user @msbreeezyyy posted a photo of shiny legs yesterday afternoon.  The photo was released with the caption, ‘Once you see it you can’t unsee it’.

Millions of viewers are now debating whether they see shiny legs or painted legs.  So what’s the verdict?  Shiny or painted legs?  At first glance, it seemed like they were shiny legs on the photo.  After viewing it a few times, you’ll notice that the white is basically blotches of white paint on the legs.  It may seem like a silly optical illusion trick, but this photo has gone viral in less than 24 hours.

This wasn’t the first popular optical illusion image to have gone viral on social media.  Let’s go back to the time of The Dress – a black and blue/white and gold dress that had everyone scratching their heads.  A washed-out photograph of a dress was posted on Tumblr on February 26th, 2016.  This dress prompted millions of users to discuss what colors they saw and were confused by the other colors people were seeing.  It led to heated arguments about what the colors of the dress were.

So what’s going on here?  Why are people on social media so obsessed with these confusing photos?  These photos are just great examples of optical illusions.  Optical illusions are unique works of visual art that plays tricks on our brains.  Our brain sends messages that the photo is one thing, but then the brain discovers another image within the photo.

Take the classic vase illusion for example.  At first, you see a white vase in the photo.  After viewing the image for a few seconds, you’ll notice two faces in the background between the vase.  You now see that two images are created within the photo that your brain sees.  Optical illusion is a unique art form that interacts with what you see and your brain plays tricks on you, seeing images that aren’t really there.  Similarly, both the vase and the shiny legs internet sensation is an optical illusion where your brain is being fooled by what you are seeing.

It was interesting to see another optical illusion become viral.  Optical illusions were always so fun to look at as a kid and I loved the kind of tricks my brain was playing at the time.  This kind of visual art has a funny way of toying with your mind, conjuring up something that seems to be there.

While everyone is tweeting about whether the legs are shiny or painted, everyone’s brain is playing tricks on them and socializing about it.  Social media acts as a guiding point for people to discuss the art they found earlier.  Who knows, maybe it isn’t even white paint on the woman’s legs.  All we do is sit back and watch the slew of comments roll through social media platforms.