Posts tagged with "MSN"

‘Kindhearted’ folks are less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease or anxiety

September 26, 2019

Do nice guys actually finish first? A new interdisciplinary research institute at UCLA is poised to explore whether mindfulness and kindness to others actually may make us healthier—reducing our own depression, as well as the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

According to a report by MSN, research by UCLA scientists already has shown that mindfulness and kindness actually alter the behavior of genes, turning down those that promote inflammation, which can lead to heart disease or certain cancers, and turning up the activity of genes that protect against infections.

But the ultimate goal of the UCLA Bedari Kindness Institute is to spread kindness and promote a more humane world. The plans to develop training tools to help practice kindness and spread them through online programs, public lectures, media outreach and a free app called UCLA Mindful, which already is available

A $20 million gift from the Bedari Foundation, established by philanthropists Jennifer and Matthew C. Harris, will provide seed funding for the institute’s research projects.

“Our vision is that we will all live in a world where humanity discovers and practices the kindness that exists in all of us,” said Matthew Harris, the foundation’s co-founder and a 1984 UCLA graduate. “Much research is needed to understand why kindness can be so scarce in the modern world. As we seek at Bedari to bridge the divide between science and spirituality, through the establishment of the UCLA Bedari Kindness Institute we hope to educate and empower more and more people in the practice of kindness.”

“In the midst of current world politics, violence and strife, the UCLA Bedari Kindness Institute seeks to be an antidote,” said Darnell Hunt, dean of the UCLA division of social sciences, which will house the venture.

Researchers agreed on an academic definition for kindness: an act that enhances the welfare of others as an end in itself, MSN reports.. When it comes to kindness, the intention, rather than the outcome, is key. In other words, it’s the thought that counts, as the adage goes.

Kindness is complimenting someone to make them feel good, not to get what you want. It’s sending a donation to a charity even if the check gets lost in the mail. It’s contemplating a legitimate reason why a driver who cuts you off might be in a hurry.

Already, a range of researchers at UCLA are studying the types of questions that will be the basis of the institute’s work. For example, UCLA anthropologists are examining how kindness spreads from person to person and group to group. UCLA sociologists are analyzing how people who regularly act unkind might be encouraged to engage in kind acts instead, and UCLA psychologists are researching how kindness can improve people’s moods and reduce symptoms of depression.

UCLA researchers also have shown that kindness can significantly ease depression and anxiety. Michelle Craske, a professor of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Behavioral Sciences, has demonstrated that patients who received compassion training to cultivate joy, gratitude, loving-kindness and generosity, and engaged in kind acts — offering to help coworkers on projects, for instance — significantly reduced their depression. The improved mental health lasted throughout the six months researchers followed the patients, she said.

Craske plans to start a similar research project with high school students at risk of depression in the Imperial Valley and is expanding efforts to help UCLA students. Sharing the techniques of mindfulness training, she hopes, will help combat what many experts say is a national rise in mental health problems among students. Craske also is developing virtual reality tools to simulate positive environments that can help boost people’s sense of well-being.

Michael Irwin, a psychiatrist and neuroimmunologist, and his colleagues, have published several studies that found mindfulness and kindness actually change the brain and behavior of genes. One ongoing study of caregivers to people with Alzheimer’s disease has found mindfulness training — methods to focus on the present, aided by slow and deep breathing — reduced problems with sleep and depression. The free app developed by his UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center at the Semel Institute offers several meditations that cultivate mindfulness and kindness.

“My end goal is to have a broad platform to promote empathy and help people think about kindness,” Harris said. “It is, in terms of the perpetuation of our species and the ability to live with each other and nature, critically important.”

Research contact: @MSN

Mirror, mirror: Going to bed with your makeup on will age your face much faster

July 12, 2019

Face it: We’re not getting any younger. But there are some things we can do that will put “much less mileage on” our features and complexions as the years go by.

On Instagram this week, dermatologist Kavita Mariwalla, MD, who practices in Stony Brook, New York, cautioned patients and followers, alike, “Did you know that going to bed with makeup on can age skin up to 7x faster?”

It’s true, MSN reports, following an interview with the good doctor.

If you “sometimes” skip your before-bed rinse, it might be time to sound the alarm. Sure, you can get breakouts if you leave the war paint on, but even those with poreless, perfect complexions can suffer by ignoring basic hygiene.

To help us understand why, Dr. Mariwalla explained to MSN that night is a time for skin renewal; however, when makeup lays over pores— trapping dead epidermis and bacteria—it stops the cells from shedding normally.

In addition, she warns, skin-destroying free radicals can cling to makeup. “We know that these cause photoaging and can lead to the formation of wrinkles,” she explains. “By not allowing your skin to recover from oxidative stress that occurs during the day, you can wind up with prematurely aged skin.” Free radicals, she adds, also lead to collagen degradation.

While Dr. Mariwalla concedes that thick foundations and oil-based makeup are worse for the skin than lighter formulations, she says makeup, in general, occludes the pores, which is the first step to trouble. “And remember that even if you wear no makeup, washing your face before bed is important just to rinse off the accumulation of oil and dirt that occurs naturally during the day,” she says.

 A half-wash doesn’t count, by the way. Even if you don’t have full makeup on, Dr. Mariwalla says that mascara and eyeliner left on the lashes and lids can still lead to skin irritation. And while makeup wipes aren’t ideal, she told MSN that they are better than nothing. “Try to do two passes instead of one,” she advises.

Research contact: @MSN

If this optical illusion seems to be moving, you are stressed out

June 20, 2019

Many of us remember mood rings, which peaked in popularity in the 1970s. When worn, the rings purportedly revealed your state of mind by turning colors—from violet for happy and romantic, to blue for calm and relaxed, to yellow/amber for tense and excited, to brown/gray for nervous and anxious.

Now, an optical illusion that is trending on social media supposedly serves the same purpose.

Some say that the image was created by a Japanese neurologist; others claim that Ukranian artist Yurii Perepadia revealed the secret optical illusion and posted it on Instagram.

Whomever the progenitor may be, India Today made the image famous, and it also has appeared on MSN, as well as on the sites of thousands of obsessed social media fans.

If the image remains firmly fixed in place, you are calm; if it moves slightly, you are stressed—and it it moves like a carousel, you are very stressed.

Research contact: @yurrii_p

What would Oprah do? Winfrey and BFF Gayle King give off-the-cuff advice in new video series

January 10, 2019

Oprah Winfrey only may rank as number two on the Gallup Poll’s Most Admired Woman list for 2018, after the respected and relate-able former First Lady Michelle Obama—but combine her with her “bestie” of 40 years Gayle King (who also is a household name, as co-anchor of CBS This Morning) and they are almost unbeatable.

Indeed, when you combine their life experience with their talk-show smarts, who would you rather ask for advice?

Now, in a new OprahMag.com video series, called the OG Chronicles, , the dynamic duo will respond to questions from readers, offering their time-tested advice—and revealing fun tidbits about themselves in the process. January’s topic: Dating, because who wouldn’t want relationship advice from these two?

Winfrey and King, both 64, discuss relationships, get real about sharing passcodes with significant others, and debate whether you should sleep with someone on the first date.

“We cannot promise any miracles—there are none—but we can promise some opinions,” Winfrey says in a six-minute promotional clip.

According to a report by MSN, When the friends answer a fan’s question about how to spice up a long-term relationship, Oprah admits that she has tried “the whole negligee thing” with disappointing results.

“I’m standing on the stairs when [Stedman Graham, her partner] walks in and he literally comes in [and] walks right past me and goes, ‘What are you doing?’” Winfrey says of her failed attempt at seduction.

King added her own story, explaining she had tried to seduce former husband William Bumpus. “I got one better. [I] wrapped myself up in saran wrap when I was married, put on the trench coat and when he walked in, I went, ‘Ta-da!’” she said while mimicking opening her coat. “He went, ‘What is that?’ So that’s not good for your ego.”

Winfrey shared that she’d discovered what works for her—baking. “For me, I gotta say making cornbread kinda serves the purpose,” she said, laughing. “I made some cornbread yesterday and you would have thought I stripped myself naked. Like, a little cornbread and black-eyed peas goes a long way in my house!”

When it comes to sleeping with someone on the first date, both friends adamantly said, “No!”

The new show launched on OprahMag.com on January 9.

Research contact: #theOGChronicles

A surprisingly simple explanation of grief

December 31, 2018

In a simple, but powerful December 29 tweet, Lauren Herschel of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, shared “The Ball and the Box” analogy to grief, MSN reported on December 27.

Anguish following the loss of a close family member, friend, or pet is a tricky thing to describe or explain. Everyone grieves differently, and there’s certainly no timeline for how you’re supposed to feel. To show this, Herschel drew two pictures of how sorrow changes over time and why it can bubble up randomly.

Her analogy and the pictures she sketched to explain it already have been retweeted over 4,000 times.

Herschel drew a box (square) with a ball (circle) inside. On the left side of box she penciled in a red “button.”When the grief is new,” she explained, “the ball takes up most of the box and is hitting the button, which represents pain, over and over again. The pain is fairly constant. . You can’t control it – it just keeps hurting. Sometimes it seems unrelenting.””

But, she says, “Over time time, the ball shrinks — but every now and then, it still hits the button and it hurts just as much. It’s better because you can function, day-to-day, more easily. But the downside is that the ball randomly hits the button when you least expect it. Maybe you see someone who reminds you of your loved one. Maybe a certain song plays on the radio. Maybe it comes out of nowhere.”

Herschel says she first heard about the analogy after the recent death of her mother, when a doctor explained it to her. It not only helped her to understand the overwhelming grief she was experiencing after such a fresh loss, but it also gave her clarity about why she still was experiencing grief over her dad (who had been gone for 20 years).

“I think in general feelings, especially the tough ones, are hard to articulate,” she said.

“For most people, the ball never really goes away,” she said in another tweet. “It might hit [with less frequency] and you have more time to recover between hits, unlike when the ball was still giant. I thought this was the best description of grief I’ve heard in a long time.”

She advises that it can take time for the ball in your box to shrink. You shouldn’t feel rushed into getting “over” your grief, and you definitely shouldn’t feel judged for grieving, no matter how long ago it started.

Research contact: @LaurenHerschel

Co-founders of Instagram to step down

September 26, 2018

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, the co-founders of the photo-sharing app Instagram, have resigned and plan to leave the social media platform in the coming weeks, according to a September 24 report by The New York Times.

The company, launched in 2010, has been a subsidiary of Facebook since 2012, when Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg acquired it for $1 billion in cash and stock. Since then, Instagram has grown substantially—with more than 1 billion monthly users now logging on to the image- and video-sharing giant.

Systrom and Krieger did not give a reason for stepping down, according to insiders with knowledge of the situation. In a public statement released late on September 24, Systrom said he and Krieger were “ready for our next chapter,” and hinted broadly that they would create another innovative business.

“Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs; that’s what we plan to do,” he said.

Zuckerberg praised the Instagram founders in a statement and said that he wished them “all the best and I’m looking forward to seeing what they build next.”

However, industry scuttlebutt supports the notion the Zuckerberg, himself, may be the reason for their departure. Based on a report by MSN, Systrom and Krieger, “had been able to keep the brand and product independent [for much of the past six years] while relying on Facebook’s infrastructure and resources to grow. Lately, they were frustrated with an uptick in day-to-day involvement by Zuckerberg, who has become more reliant on Instagram in planning for Facebook’s future, said [the insiders], who asked not to be identified sharing internal details.”

According to the Times report, Facebook has lost other founders of businesses it has acquired. In April, Jan Koum, a Facebook board member and a founder of WhatsApp, the messaging app that the social network purchased in 2014, said he was leaving. Koum had grown increasingly concerned about Facebook’s position on user data in recent years, people with knowledge of the situation said at the time.

In Silicon Valley, reaction to the Instagram founders’ resignation was swift, the Times reported.“Wow,” tweeted John Lilly, a venture capitalist at Greylock, calling the exits “a real moment.” He added, “What an impact they’ve had on all of us.”

The departures of the co-founders now create uncertainty at the company. It is unclear who will take the lead and if that person can continue Instagram’s longstanding success streak.

Marne Levine, who was previously Instagram’s COO, left her role at Instagram earlier this month to return to Facebook and lead partnerships, the Times noted.

Research contact: Mike.Isaac@nytimes.com

Is the POTUS ‘obstructing justice’ by demanding declassification of Mueller probe documents?

September 19, 2018

The POTUS is treading a thin line, between obstruction of justice and presidential privilege.

On September 17, President Donald Trump directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice to immediately declassify portions of the June 2017 FISA court application regarding former Trump campaign adviser Carter W.Page, according to a report by the Huffington Post.

The president also demanded the public release of text messages exchanged by former FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Trump’s defenders on Capitol Hill and in the conservative media have routinely used the Strzok-Page text messages to undermine the Mueller probe and suggest that the FBI is biased against Trump, the news outlet said.

In immediate response to the order, Representative Adam Schiff (D-California-28th District), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, sent out a tweet at 8:08 p.m. on September 17, remarking: “President Trump has intervened again in a pending investigation by ordering the selective disclosure of classified materials he believes to be helpful to his defense. The DOJ and FBI have previously informed me that release of some of this information would cross a ‘red line.’”

In a statement picked up by MSN, Schiff characterized the president’s order as “a clear abuse of power,” suggesting that Trump  “has decided to intervene in a pending law enforcement investigation by ordering the selective release of materials he believes are helpful to his defense team and thinks will advance a false narrative.”

Representative Gerry Connolly (D-Virginia-11th District) also came out against the release of documents, tweeting shortly after 8 p.m. on September 17, “More obstruction from the President.”

And Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire) tweeted on September 18,”The President is trying to undermine an active investigation through reckless declassification. We need an independent DOJ to do everything possible to protect sources and methods.”

The FBI previously had released a heavily redacted version of the Page FISA application in July. Trump also ordered the public release of texts messages sent by former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, as well as Justice Department official Bruce Ohr. The president also ordered the release of notes on meetings with Ohr, who relayed information to the FBI collected by former British spy Christopher Steele about Trump’s relationship with Russia.

According to the Huffington Post, a Justice Department spokesperson said late on September 17 that the DOJ and FBI were “already working with the Director of National Intelligence to comply with the President’s order.”

The president’s order, the spokesperson said, triggered “a declassification review process that is conducted by various agencies within the intelligence community, in conjunction with the White House Counsel, to seek to ensure the safety of America’s national security interests.”

Research contact: ryan.reilly@huffingtonpost.com