Children and Technology: Protecting Your Child’s Eyes

By Staff
Wednesday, February 20, 2019 2:18 PM Children and technology are practically inseparable these days. Whether for educational purposes or just fun, children are spending a good portion of their day on "screen time" — staring at the LED screens of computers, tablets, smartphones and other digital devices. According to Common Sense Media, children under age 8 now spend more than two hours a day with screen media. For 8- to 10-year-olds, screen time triples to six hours a day. And it's not unusual for kids in middle school and high school to spend up to nine hours per day looking at digital displays. If you're wondering if all this screen time might cause problems for your child's eyes and vision, the short answer is, "yes, it does." Check out this post from AllAboutVision.com and learn about 5 tips for monitoring kids’ computer use.

Fashion Icon Karl Lagerfeld Is Dead at 85

By Staff
Tuesday, February 19, 2019 1:26 PM Here’s what CNN had to say about the passing of the iconic fashion designer, Karl Lagerfeld. “You didn't have to know anything about fashion to know about Karl Lagerfeld, the most instantly recognizable dandy of our time. Chanel, the luxury fashion house Lagerfeld helmed for more than three decades, announced the designer's death Tuesday. As with his designs, his own image was carefully crafted by blending past and present: Snowy white mane and ponytail like a powdered 18th-century periwig; aviator sunglasses; a high, starched white collar; black, fingerless biker gloves worn with multiple silver rings. Professionally, he was celebrated for saving the House of Chanel, but he was also a video game character (as a DJ in Grand Theft Auto IV), a limited-edition teddy bear ($1,400) and a diamanté-embellished doll ($190).” Read the full story here.

6 Ways Retailers Are Finally Transforming the Role of the Sales Associate

By Staff
Friday, February 15, 2019 3:08 PM Remember when the store sales associate was the center of the shopping experience? Whether it was taking a shopper’s clothes to the dressing room, rummaging for different sizes, offering recommendations, or even just giving a simple hello and a smile, sales associates were once the undisputed face of retail. Yet, as retail went digital and consumers began shopping online more, retailers and brands raced to integrate fancy in-store technology and apps, as well as onboard back-end systems to support the omnichannel experience. But the question remained—how to evolve in-store associates to leverage the continuous rise of technology in the retail industry. A recent survey by Grail Research/Mindtree found that 43 percent of shoppers who interact with retail associates are more likely to make a purchase, and their transactions account for 81 percent more value compared to customers who don’t interact with a store associate. Find out more about the value of sales associates in this post from Forbes.

Microsoft Code Jumper: An ‘Inclusive’ Toy Teaches Blind Children to Code

By Staff
Thursday, February 14, 2019 2:02 PM Microsoft has launched a prototype of a new physical toy, which looks to engage young people who have visual impairments and sight loss in learning the principles of code. The American Printing House (APH) Code Jumper is a series of physical pods of different shapes, sizes, colors and textures, which each represent a line of code. They can be joined together with wires to make different sequences, which in turn results in different sound effects—anything from music, poetry and various instrument sounds, to noises such as a cat’s meow or an ambulance siren, to audio stories that the children have recorded themselves. Starting with basic principles at age seven, the kit has 15 pods and 15 connecting plugs that can be joined in different ways to create increasingly complex sequences and coding loops. A range of textures, shapes and colours aims to help those with visual impairment distinguish between the different blocks, and therefore lines of code, said Cecily Morrison, a computer scientist and researcher at Microsoft Research, the team which has led on this project. Click here to read the full story from Design Week.

ECPs Gear Up for SECO 2019 in New Orleans

By Staff
Wednesday, February 13, 2019 1:18 PM SECO, the educational conference providing ophthalmic professionals outstanding educational opportunities since 1924, is partnering with the American Society of Optometric Surgeons (ASOS) to bring hands-on demonstrations showing radiosurgical technology, Botox, and YAG laser education to the show floor. The upcoming SECO conference is set for Feb. 20 to 24, 2019 in New Orleans. The move to the Big Easy marks the first time SECO has held a meeting outside of Atlanta since 1957. “SECO is continually looking for opportunities to support the growth and education of ophthalmic professionals,” said Emilio Balius, OD, president of SECO International, LLC. The annual SECO Congress regularly attracts more than 6,000 national and international eyecare professionals, vendors and allied ophthalmic personnel. Click here for more information about next week’s meeting.

Worried About Smaller Tax Returns In 2019? These 6 Tools Will Help You Calculate

By Staff
Tuesday, February 12, 2019 11:15 AM Tax season is here and a lot of early filers are already furious, according to this post from Fast Company. This week, numerous reports emerged of angry taxpayers airing their grievances on social media as they discovered that their federal refunds for the 2018 tax year would be a lot smaller than they expected. The culprit? The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—otherwise known as the Trump tax cuts—which ushered in changes to the way taxes were withheld from people’s paychecks. While the average family was supposed to pay lower taxes last year, some may also see smaller tax returns, because the lower taxes were spread throughout their paychecks over the last year. The issue seems be especially pronounced early in the tax season, since early filers disproportionately rely on the extra money they’ve come to expect from tax refunds. Read more about the season of lower than expected tax returns and find out how to calculate if you will be getting a return or a tax bill from the government.

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

By Staff
Monday, February 11, 2019 12:14 PM Over the past 15 years, the global community has made a lot of effort in inspiring and engaging women and girls in science. Yet women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully in science. At present, less than 30 percent of researchers worldwide are women. According to UNESCO data, only around 30 percent of all female students select STEM-related fields in higher education. Globally, female students’ enrolment is particularly low in ICT (3 percent), natural science, mathematics and statistics (5 percent) and in engineering, manufacturing and construction (8 percent). Long-standing biases and gender stereotypes are steering girls and women away from science related fields. In order to achieve full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls, and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/70/212 declaring February 11 as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Find out more about the Day on UN Women's website. Click here to read the full story from the UN.

Love Is in the Air, and it Seems, Love Is in the Eyes

By Staff
Friday, February 8, 2019 1:22 PM Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and who knew there was a scientific connection between love and your eyes. We have all heard the term “Love is in the Air,” but can love really be in the eyes? Actually, science has proven it so. Certain chemicals (or endorphins) that produce the emotion of love can be emitted through emotions expressed in the eyes. Romeo and Juliet and Antony and Cleopatra all can prove that love is in the eyes of the beholder. There are physiological changes in the eyes that occur when love is expressed between two individuals. Two people in love, love shown toward a family member, child, or pet all cause the same response: the pupil (black part in the center of the eye) dilates. The size of the pupil can be an indication of emotional responses and messages. According to Scientific American, the autonomic nervous system (our fight or flight response), causes the pupil to have a quick dilating response. This bounce in size is an automated response that gives scientists indication of mood or interest (or love) shown to a person or pet. Click here to read the full story about this post from Absolute Vision Care in Chicago.

There are Now 5 Generations in the Work Force—Can They Work Together?

By Staff
Thursday, February 7, 2019 10:37 AM In this post from Fast Company, Richard Bailey takes a look at how to get your Boomers and your Gen-Zers (and everyone in between) on the same page, despite very different styles. With people living longer and retiring later just as younger generations are taking their first jobs, for the first time ever, five generations coexist in the workplace. For businesses, this presents an unprecedented opportunity to drive innovation by taking advantage of the extensive amount of wisdom, knowledge and fresh perspective in their midst. But it also presents a major challenge: blending disparate groups into cohesive and productive teams. As the president of HP’s Americas region, I have seen that blending a multigenerational work force requires of leadership exactly what they are looking to get back from their employees: creativity. Click here to read the full story.

1 Million Magic Moments

By Staff
Wednesday, February 6, 2019 1:31 PM Millions of children in the U.S. live with blurry vision every day. Yet something as simple as a pair of glasses can truly make a difference. Every time a child receives a pair of glasses, magic happens. That child can now see their world clearly and experience their own life-changing magic moments. Glasses provide countless magic moments for a child—moments many of us take for granted. The Essilor Vision Foundation has helped one million people get the eyeglasses they need, but millions of children are still missing out on magic moments because they cannot see clearly. Click here to watch kids experience their own magic moments and find out how you can help. Read more about 1 million magic moments in this story from Vision Monday.

5 Marketing Trends That Emerged From the Ads of Super Bowl 53

By Staff
Tuesday, February 5, 2019 1:24 PM Super Bowl LIII has come and gone. With the offense from both teams struggling to generate excitement on the field, ads were a hot topic on social while the game was going on like they are every year. Brands tried all kinds of unique ways to hit the right audiences. While it’s up for debate which ones hit the mark, there were some trends that were common amongst more than one corporation. This included everything from brand collaboration, using artificial intelligence and technological advancement, to not even placing an ad on TV during The Big Game. Courtesy of Zoomph, here are five unique storylines that can be taken from brand activations from the Super Bowl. Click here to read the full story from Zoomph.

Following Magno, the Guide Dog Puppy

By Staff
Monday, February 4, 2019 4:07 PM Eschenbach Optik of America, Inc. has partnered with the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, a leading nonprofit that partners exceptional men and women who are blind and visually impaired with elite German Shepherd guide dogs, providing all clients with increased independence to improve their lives and the world around them, to create the Eschenbach Partner Project. As a leading manufacturer of vision-enhancing products, Eschenbach’s mission, similar to Fidelco’s, is to provide customers with the tools to improve their safety, productivity, independence and quality of life. The Eschenbach Partner Project consists of a charitable commitment to sponsor the breeding, raising and training of a Fidelco German Shepherd guide dog. Join Eschenbach as they follow  Magno, the guide dog puppy, through his extraordinary journey from pup to placement as he goes through the puppy training program, becomes a guide dog and is matched with a client. Stay up to date on Magno's progress and see photos of him and his siblings by clicking here.

Five-Time Boston Finisher to Be First Visually Impaired Runner at Western States Race

By Staff
Friday, February 1, 2019 1:02 PM The Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run is world-renowned for its difficulty. With 18,000 feet of elevation gain and drastic temperature changes, the race has broken even the most accomplished ultra-runners. Past entrants throughout the race’s 45-year history have included runners of all ages and physical abilities. But Kyle Robidoux, an ultra-runner from Roxbury, Massachusetts, will be a trailblazer when he toes the race’s start line this June as the first visually impaired runner to attempt the grueling course. Robidoux has retinitis pigmentosa, which results in what he describes as “extreme tunnel vision.” It hasn’t stopped him from challenging himself on the roads or trails; he lost 70 pounds after taking up running in 2010 and has completed three 100-mile races since. Click here to read the full story from Runners World.

Groundhog Day 2019 Forecast: How Likely Is it Punxsutawney Phil Will See His Shadow?

By Staff
Thursday, January 31, 2019 1:43 PM YORK, Pa.—With the polar vortex bringing dangerous wind chills to central Pennsylvania this week, meteorologists are convinced that Phil will confirm their suspicions and predict six more weeks of winter on Groundhog Day, Feb. 2. So, what is the legend of Groundhog Day? According to the legend: If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather. If he does not see his shadow, there will be an early spring. That's how the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club describes the Feb. 2 tradition, marking the midway point of winter. Is the tradition scientific? Absolutely not. Are there other furry, weather-predicting animals? Certainly. But the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club has declared Phil the authoritative groundhog in this quirky myth. In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, for Saturday the National Weather Service predicts it will be mostly sunny with a high near 31. Phil will have the last word, though. Read More.

This Is Why Global Warming Is Responsible For Freezing Temperatures Across The U.S.

By Staff
Wednesday, January 30, 2019 12:25 PM In January of 2014, a displaced polar vortex brought extremely cold temperatures to many parts of the U.S., causing Lake Michigan near Chicago to freeze over, as shown in this post from Forbes. The current cold snap is extremely similar in nature, and is wreaking havoc across much of the continental U.S. right now. The country is freezing in an unprecedented fashion, and global warming is to blame. The cold snap that North America is experiencing east of the rocky mountains, with temperatures at Arctic-like levels, is real, but it's only part of the story. Simultaneously, there are record warm temperatures happening in other parts of the world, from Australia to the actual Arctic. While a small but vocal minority of people might use the faulty logic of, "it's cold where I am, therefore global warming isn't real," even schoolchildren know that weather isn't climate. But these extreme cold snaps have gotten more severe in recent years, due to a combination of global warming and a phenomenon you've likely heard of: the polar vortex. Here's the science  of how it works, and why global warming is paradoxically playing a major role in today's record-low temperatures.