Rapid developments in robotics mean that we are looking at a reality where everything from cleaning your home to medical procedures can be performed by robots. This growth causes fear for many surrounding the eradication of jobs as robots can do some tasks more efficiently and accurately than humans. While it is true that many low-skill jobs could be taken over by machinery, it now seems that more complex procedures such as surgeries could be assigned to automation. Yet there are positives to robotics, as there so much it can assist us with and make easier in our lives. Here we will take a look at the most recent advances in the field of robotics.   The DaVinci Surgical System Brilliant minds today have used the ever expanding range of technology at our hands to develop robotics that specialise in the medical field. They have created a range of AI that can take a person’s pulse, assess their vitals, read case notes and now it is predicted that in the future robots will perform surgical procedures. They will ease the pressure and demand on doctors and nurses in the healthcare system today. Patients will be seen to quicker, and of course complex cases with high risk will be handled by a human doctor. The daVinci machine is a new instrument which is controlled by a surgeon at all times and makes incisions to the body with expert precision. This level of accuracy minimises risk of bleeding occurring and infection from happening. It is a staple in many theatres worldwide and has been in use for almost two decades. It is continually being worked on and improved. Soft Exosuit Everyday new discoveries occur and technology advances. The exosuit is one such robotic advancement. It is a suit that the user can wear to help build their muscular strength. This is aimed particularly towards elderly people and those with bodily impairments such as MS or Parkinson’s disease. The suit is light, stretchy and aids the user’s balance and bodily strength when walking or performing physical tasks. The suit is personalised to the user, so the wearer can modify it to suit their needs. It will take a while before it is in regular use and available to purchase, but is exciting to watch mature in production as it comes to fruition. Atlas Does Parkour An astonishing development that has unfolded before us is robot Atlas performing parkour in a series of videos uploaded online. Atlas belongs to Boston Dynamics, a robotics design company from Massachusetts. They continually work to programme Atlas to perform increasingly difficult physical tasks, making Atlas one of the most impressive robots to date. The robot is 75 kilograms and 1.5 metres tall, but performs these tasks with ease. In the videos we see it begins jogging and then leap over a log. What comes next is even more monumental. We watch as Atlas leaps from wooden box to wooden box, using its artificial legs to propel itself to each box which is increasingly higher than the previous box. It performs this task with relative ease and without breaking stride. Boston Dynamics have previously shown us Atlas’ other accomplishments, including its balance, its motor skills and it can even do a backflip. For a person who struggles to walk in a straight line without tripping over something, this is very impressive!   PARO Therapeutic Robot There is extensive research that cements the idea that children with mental issues respond brilliantly to animal therapy. Of course, this presents some issues when dealing with live animals such as infections or animal behavioural problems. The PARO robotics are manufactured to look like baby seals and eliminates this problem, as their cute look and sense of realism allow children to form a real connection with the robot. They can interact with it as if it was a live animal. These robots are programmed to imitate animal’s behaviour, such as blinking, recognising their name and can also express different moods and reactions based on the child’s behaviour towards them. It is truly impressive programming that is making a huge difference in many children’s lives. Companion Robots These robots may seem less advanced than other counterparts, but they are manufactured with complex and intricate internal systems to provide many functions for the user. They use cutting-edge technology to recognise speech and turn that into coding that the robot processes and then gives the correct response. They have become increasingly popular with elderly people and invalids alike to provide company, support and perform basic tasks that the owner may have trouble with. If the user has a fall or becomes ill, the robot will contact an ambulance and any emergency contacts. These robots are true lifesavers, and give a form of independence back to the user. The BUDDY companion robot recently won 2018 Best of Innovation Award, and we can expect these to become a household name in future decades. Wheelchair Assistance The Helping Hand laboratory of Northeastern University, Boston is working on a new project poised to revolutionise the lives of many – a wheelchair complete with a robotic arm. This arm is being programmed to have the ability to lift domestic items and perform simple functions and basic household tasks for the user who cannot do this themselves. This gives some freedom to those who are wheelchair bound, and can empower them to live alone without relying on others. Robert Platt, head of the Helping Hands lab, professed his intrigue with using robotics to perform physical tasks that can help with real issues that people experience every day. It will help many people upon its release!
Homepage
The Special Forces are highly trained military units, and a force to be reckoned with. Only the top soldiers are chosen for these elite groups and the entry regimes are notorious for their difficulty. Few graduate from training and gain a place in these units. Special Forces take on the most difficult operations of the military and are well respected. Today we are going to look at the toughest of the tough from around the world.   British SAS The British SAS (Special Air Service) were created during World War 2 in 1941 and became one of the first prominent Special Forces in history. Most Special Forces worldwide base their groups on the SAS model. They are one of the oldest forces and their main duty is to fight terrorism. The SAS are a formidable sight when in action. They invade enemy land to gain intelligence and perform rescue missions. Lieutenant David Stirling started the group. He had an idea for a super group who were highly skilled, deadly soldiers to work together on special tasks and would take the enemy by surprise. They began as a regiment and then a corp. The entry process for the SAS is not to be taken lightly. Soldiers must undergo gruelling training regimes and if they pass they begin their specialist training. There is a fail rate of over 90%. During the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege they successfully saved many hostages. This event was televised and brought them to the attention of the world. They are often considered the best Special Forces in the world. US Navy Seals The US Navy Seals were formed during World War 2. They are a key part of the US military and constantly fight in active war zones, including the 2003 invasion of Iraq. They were the team responsible for killing Osama Bin Laden. When a task seems doomed it is passed along to the Seals to take over the operation. To join them you have to participate in a yearlong training course that puts mental and physical strength to its limits. Many American movies mention or portray the Navy Seals, such is their importance to the country and shows the respect Americans have for them. They are specially trained in unorthodox methods different to those that a regular soldier would experience. They learn to survive in many different environments, but above all the sea. ‘Seal’ stands for ‘Sea, Air and Land’. When they are not on a mission they are consistently in training. One of their most impressive skills is the timing of their operations. They invade land, kill opposition and perform rescue missions in very little time. Getting in and out quickly without being seen is something they excel at.   Israeli Shayetet 13 This veteran group is instrumental in the Israel Defense Forces but is one of the most private Special Forces. They do not readily share information on their group so it is difficult to gain knowledge about them and what they are doing. Only a handful of people know about the missions they are on at any given time. They are a tough group and only the best soldiers make it in. The Krav Maga style of fighting is their area of expertise, where they use their entire body as a lethal weapon. If you join you must stay with them for at least four years. They are constantly compared to the British SAS and US Navy Seals as their missions and way of operating is so similar. They deal with maritime hostage rescues, sea-to-land incursions, reconnaissance and also counter-terrorism. Their most memorable operation is their elimination of assailants who attacked great Israeli athletes, earning them their legendary status. Canadian JTF2 This special unit force in Canada was set up after the success of the British Special Forces. Their Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2) are trained in biological, radiological, chemical and nuclear warfare, but mainly counter-terrorism. They are one of the newer Special Forces but have developed rapidly over the years and are known as one of the best Special Forces in the world. Like the Israeli Shayetet 13, the JTF2’s operations are strictly classified and very little is known about their activities. Surprisingly, their covert tasks are so confidential that the Canadian Prime Minister did not known they were working in Afghanistan. They are armed with the most sophisticated and expensive weapons and instruments in the world. Canadians can sleep well at night knowing this group are protecting them. Russian Spetsnaz The Spetsnaz is a word meaning all of Russia’s Special Forces. They are arguably the most aggressive force globally in the Special Forces. They have been involved in every major terrorist operation, notably the 2002 Moscow theatre siege. Their sniper precision is a spectacle to watch. Training includes prisoner interrogation, assassination and military drills. They are one of the best groups for withstanding torture. The group do not allow any of their plans or intelligence leak, and are willing to undergo abusive practices of torture so dangerous that they are banned in the US. Almost nothing was known of them until the 1980s, when a policy of politician Mikhail Gorbachev brought many secrets to light. They are still active today. French GIGN The French GIGN, stands for the National Gendarmerie Intervention Group, and is a special unit of the national French police. They are the most prestigious group of law enforcement. Their primary job is performing counter-terrorism missions and surveillance of threats to the country and government. They work worldwide but are based from France. The combat levels of the members are notoriously high. Many believe they are the best counter-terrorism unit globally. Their training regime spans 14 months and is infamous for its brutality. Classes include handling weapons, survival training and diving. Very few recruits complete it.
Homepage
It’s easy to gain success, but hard to keep it. It is seldom that company leaders and CEOs stand the test of time and weather all storms with their business during their journey to prosperity. Here we will look at leaders who persevered challenges and adversity to accomplish these achievements. 1. Warren Buffett Warren Buffett is well renowned for being one of the most successful investors the world has known. His impeccable business know-how and expertise in the stock market has made him one of the wealthiest people worldwide. This was due to his hard work and experience in finance throughout the years of his career. He started his career with lucrative investment partnerships and eventually worked his way to CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. Buffett exemplifies patience and determination and knows that the exact minute to invest is never the first minute. Buffett is not afraid to share his fortune and has donated a sum of over $17.3 billion in total. 2. Jeff Bezos Next we have the wealthiest man in the world, Mr Jeff Bezos. We all know Bezos as the man who started Amazon.com in his garage to sell books, and slowly expanded into selling almost everything else. When the company first went live they sold books to 45 countries in the space of a month, indicating the stellar future it had in store. He is one of the people behind the emergence and popularity of ecommerce. The company embraced the virtual world and took it by storm. Bezos also created predictive analysis, which uses AI to predict what other products an individual customer might like to buy based on their history. This is omnipresent in online shopping today, but wasn’t around until Bezos had this idea. 3. Howard Schultz Howard Schultz has had quite the journey to CEO of Starbucks. His family did not have much money growing up but this served as motivation for Schultz to succeed in his work life. He is not afraid to work hard for what he wants and even earned a football scholarship in school. He first earned a job as head of marketing in Starbucks. After a holiday to Milan he asked his bosses to model Starbucks like the coffee bars he saw abroad, although they disagreed. He quit, but after two years bought the business from them. He has expanded the brand to 18,000 stores worldwide and Starbucks has become a household name. 4. Bill Gates For almost two decades, Microsoft founder Bill Gates was classified as the richest man in the world but has finally been knocked from the top by Jeff Bezos. Along with his partner Paul Allen, they made Microsoft a level of success that has never been seen before in the PC and software industries. Gates has moved away from Microsoft in recent years and now owns less than 1% of its shares. Instead, the philanthropist has donated money to charities, in particular the foundation he owns with his wife, the ‘Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’ which ensures clean water and sanitation for many living in poverty in the developing world. 5. Mark Zuckerberg Facebook chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is an inspiration to tech wizards and entrepreneurs alike. Zuckerberg used his prolific coding skills to create the social media platform. Facebook is arguably the most popular form of social networking that we have ever seen, and it seems as if almost everyone has an account. Zuckerberg used his keen marketing skills to attract his target market of, well, basically everyone. What started as a young, tech-savvy person’s website soon had grandmothers signing up. Turns out dropping out of Harvard wasn’t so bad for Zuckerberg after all! 6. Indra Nooyi Next is Indra Nooyi, powerful businesswoman and CEO of PepsiCo. When she made the move from India to the United States her parents thought she was absurd, but Nooyi has never been one to let others make decisions for her. She has always been tenacious and unafraid, and this has translated into her professional life. Featuring on Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women list, Nooyi has led the company to an astonishing yearly revenue increase of 72 percent. She presides over 185,000 employees, a dramatic change from her college position as dorm receptionist. Ever the opportunist, she took the night shift as it paid 50 cents extra. She is loved by her staff for her kind demeanour and is known to sing karaoke at work events! 7. Elon Musk This South African has been studying since he was a child to get to where he is today. At the meagre age of 12 Musk created a code for a game and sold it, such was his proficiency. This only motivated him to continue with his love for all things technology. He has several degrees and was even accepted into Stanford University for a Ph.D. programme. The polished businessman invented machinery and IT instalments alike, but is best known for being the founder of PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors. His developments in automation and robotics are paving the way for the future. 8. Larry Page Computer scientist Larry Page did not know what he had begun when he started working on Google for his dissertation. Along with partner Sergey Brin, they created the search engine we know today which is synonymous with the internet. Born to parents who were professors in computer science, Page honed his craft under their watchful gaze. His carefully planned business decisions helped his web crawling software grow rapidly into a multinational company which he continued to develop as well, as create verticals such as G Suite and Google Analytics. 9. Reed Hastings Our favourite online streaming service Netflix is the brainchild of businessman Reed Hastings. The co-founder and CEO of Netflix admitted that running a business is not easy, even for an established businessman like himself. He had trouble managing his first company, but despite this it was profitable and he used this money to develop Netflix. He took the many lessons he learnt there and made the online streaming business one of the primary ways we consumes media today. 10. Richard Branson Sir Richard Branson is a highly recognisable business leader as CEO of Virgin Group. The magnate has expanded his company into many ventures such as airlines and space exploration to name but two. His excellent mind has allowed him to make intelligent market decisions which has resulted in his ownership of over 400 companies. Throughout them all the common thread is superb customer service.
Homepage
When we think of our favourite celebrities or social leaders we admire their success and what they have achieved. Yet, we don’t see the journeys they have been on to get to where they are now. These stories give us faith that no matter what obstacles you face you can always overcome the adversity with determination and passion. The following household names have amassed huge fortunes and gained international success, but you may not know about their less than glamorous beginnings. If they can make it, so can you! Li Ka-Shing Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-Shing was the wealthiest man in Asia for a generation of young people. He now boasts an estimated net worth of $32.8 billion, but there was a time before he had this fortune. Originally from China, Ka-Shing moved with his family to Hong Kong in the 1940s as a young boy, when tragedy struck the family and his father died. Ka-Shing had to leave school to support the household and provide an income. He found a job at a plastics trading company, where he worked exhausting 16 hour days for little pay. Despite his unfortunate start to working life he was later able to start his own company, Cheung Kong Industries. The company began manufacturing plastics, and Ka-Shing used the expertise he had gained in this field to his advantage. Over time the company slowly expanded into real estate. His business empire now spans many areas such as banking, real estate, retail outlets and hotels, to mention a select few. The magnate owns a portion of all major businesses in Hong Kong and has over 260,000 staff working for him in 55 countries. So what we have learned from this is….don’t stay in school kids? Oprah Winfrey Next is the beloved Oprah Winfrey. We all know Winfrey to be a confident and powerful woman, but these are traits she developed over time. Her tough life raised her to be strong. Like a true underdog, she exceeded all the expectations that anyone had for her. Born in rural Mississippi, Winfrey grew up in a single parent household with a mother who had given birth as a teen. She was brutally raped as a child at ages 9 and later 13. Like her mum, Winfrey too had a teenage pregnancy and delivered a son at age 14, who sadly passed away in infancy. Winfrey finally got a much deserved break when she became a co-anchor for a local radio show at just 19. Her natural prowess for the airwaves prompted her promotion to daytime talk shows in 1983, where she became a firm favourite of many viewers. This show later became ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ and became the highest rated of its kind. The show was picked up and went national and by 32 Winfrey was a millionaire. Perhaps it is the struggles she went through that makes her so empathetic and endearing to those whom she reaches out to on her show. Despite her staggering wealth and celebrity name she retains the down-to-earth aura that viewers fell in love with. Philanthropist Winfrey is speculated to be worth a cool $2.6 billion and has been named one of the richest self-made women in the America by Forbes. Guy Laliberté Guy Laliberté is the brains behind the spectacle that is, Cirque du Soleil. The Canadian thespian began learning his trade performing in the streets for tourists, until he had an idea to create a travelling show full of talented acts who could do amazing things. This was entertainment that the world had not seen before. He co-founded Cirque du Soleil in 1984 and moulded it into a worldwide phenomenon. When it was began he only planned for the show to run for a year, but it was such a roaring success that the government convinced him to take the show outside of Canada. It now is a household name and travels around the world. Laliberté made the show one of the most profitable events in the theatre, while simultaneously making his dreams a reality. This fun loving guy is estimated to have a net worth of over $1 billion. J.K. Rowling JK. Rowling grew up in a house with little income, but poverty wasn’t the only thing she fought to defeat. Rowling struggled with severe depression throughout her life and combatted this by turning to the only thing that made her forget her troubles, writing. Her form of release turned out to be a saving grace from all her problems. The ‘Harry Potter’ novels became mainstream fiction and turned the world into wizarding fans. Surprisingly, many publishers rejected her novel, until one finally agreed to work with Rowling. When her marriage broke down and her husband kicked her out of her home she struggled to care for their daughter alone. She claimed social welfare while writing her novel, which ended up turning her life around. As a young girl growing up with an overactive imagination Rowling used her daily life and the people in in it as inspiration for the famous wizarding world, which has gained her a fortune estimated to be $1 billion. The book series has become one of the biggest grossing movie franchises worldwide and has become an escape for children and adults alike. Do Won Chang Upon moving to the U.S. to make a better life for themselves Do Won Chang and his wife Jin Sook had to work to make ends meet. Originating from Korea, Chang worked three jobs at once for a period of three years to pay the bills. He discovered that America was far from the land of opportunity that he had expected. However, this was all about to change. In 1984 the couple got the breakthrough they were searching for and opened their very first retail store. This was the start of big things for the couple, as they went on to become founders of the internationally renowned clothing brand Forever 21. Their family brand grew rapidly and expanded across the country before opening branches overseas. It now boasts over 480 stores worldwide and is estimated to take in around $3 billion a year in sales. Chang’s days working as a janitor, coffee shop assistant and at a gas station are long behind him. With his daughters taking over the reins of the company, the future of the Chang family is in good hands.
Homepage
A business synonymous with computers, Microsoft was created by the renowned Bill Gates in 1975. The man behind the household name is one of the wealthiest people in the world according to Forbes, second only to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos who just recently surpassed Gates. Gates proved that all you need to make your dreams a reality is passion, hard work and, perhaps, a shabby garage. Microsoft was born from humble beginnings in Gates’ garage in his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico with good friend Paul Allen. There was little physical space, unsophisticated instruments, technology and few resources, but they made it work. Little did Gates know what they would accomplish together. So how did he do it? Let’s start at the beginning. Born in 1955, Gates was raised by parents who encouraged competition. Growing up Gates was known to be curious, intelligent and, of course, obsessed with all things technology. He surrounded himself with books so much that his parents banned them from the dinner table. He learned how to hack when he was merely 13 and in school spent hours on the computer teaching himself how to code. This is where he met and bonded with Allen over their interest in IT. Allen became instrumental in the conception and development of their lucrative software. In school Gates got banned from using the computer as he was caught hacking, and he even admitted to using the school scheduling software to put him in classes with more girls. You have to admire his efforts! First he created a traffic-based startup which failed, but served as practice for his future endeavours. He attended Harvard University but soon dropped out to work on a startup idea he had, which we know today to be Microsoft. Later in life he returned to Harvard and finally obtained his degree. During his time in college he wrote a computer language for the Altair computer company, which he then sold and used the money from it to start Microsoft. His inside knowledge and experience of testing software and the commercialisation of IT was vital to his success in the early days. Gates and Allen received help in the form of a collaboration with IBM (International Business Machines Corporation). Gates even resold a language to them that he originally bought from someone else and retained the copyright. Of course, every company has to start somewhere, and Microsoft was no different. With little investment capital and sheer determination Gates worked endless 16 hour days for over 5 years to make the software a success. He claims that he personally checked each line of code that was inputted. His hard work paid off when Steve Jobs asked him to design software for Apple. When Gates made his Microsoft announcement, he had not yet finished the product. Allen left the company when he sadly fell ill, leaving Gates solely at the helm of the lucrative ship. Gates quickly became the youngest ever billionaire. It is not often with company founders stay at the forefront of the business throughout the years, but Gates has stayed during every stage. Later he started his third startup, Corbis, a company that specialises in digital imaging. For almost two decades he was the richest man on the planet and has been on the Forbes list of richest people since 1986. The Seattle man has been the epitome of the software industry for the last 30 years and his reign shows no signs of stopping. Microsoft was an extremely frugal company. Gates put all of their profits back into the business, and created an endless cycle of internal upgrades and steady releases of new products. It is well known that it was not until the 1990s that the Microsoft team stopped flying coach. The only lavish purchases Gates made was out of necessity. Gates bought a private jet in 1997 when security issues were created as a result of his fame. The company was also one of the first not to give its profits to shareholders but to put it back into the company, in the belief that it would provide higher investments. They paid their first dividend in 2003. Microsoft has well-known shortcomings and flaws, but it is still the most widely used software. Why is this? Its market leadership is a spectacle to be seen. Gates introduced the world to the first personal computer. He has a monopoly in this area of the market and created an empire. The company was his life, giving him success and financial security, and also love. He met his wife Melinda there, who was working as an executive. In 2000 he made the decision to step down as CEO, giving the position to a good friend. Gates always kept his friends by his side and brought them up with him, and even found love at Microsoft. His staff viewed him as approachable, and loved that he wanted to hear their ideas. Was this the key ingredient to his success? In 2014 he left the position of chairman, and today owns less than 1% of its shares. Nowadays he is a philanthropist who has started the Bill and Melinda Foundation, one of the biggest non-profits organisations in the world. Gates is committed to donating his hard earned money to those in need, and fights to end world poverty. He also donates to schools, especially the history departments. He stated that he wants to donate half of his wealth over his lifetime. His main piece of advice for those wanting to find success in IT is to read programs created by others, and learn from their work as he did.  
Homepage
Warren Buffett has reached many highs and peaks of success in his life that most of us could only dream of. He is one of the best investing minds we have, and has amassed an incredible fortune from studying the investment market. What better man to take advice from. We have collected Buffett’s life-lessons that he has used to gain success. These tips will help you to become a better entrepreneur or leader in any line of work and to be the best that you can be. If you want to be successful in work, or simply want to have an entrepreneurial mindset, keep reading! Public Speaking Buffett has often stressed the value he has placed on public speaking and how instrumental it is to his business. Of all the many skills he has learned over his illustrious career, improving his confidence with public speaking is one of the things that he believes was vital to his accomplishments. Buffett was originally petrified of speaking to crowds of people, to the point where he would feel physically ill. However, the mogul knew how often he would have to do it, so he took part in a Dale Carnegie public speaking course that cost $100. His mantra is recognise what scares you, and do it anyway. In an interview for ‘Getting There: A Book of Mentors’ Buffett said “That $100 course gave me the most important degree I have. It’s certainly had the biggest impact in terms of my subsequent success”. Invest in Yourself The most important investment is in the thing you know best, that will get you the greatest returns – yourself. You are stuck with yourself for the long term, so you need to take time to take care of your body and mind. The value of stocks rise and dip with unprecedented shock, whereas your body is a valuable investment for the future. Find out what it is that you want to do and study and continue to learn in this area. Follow Your Passion: Buffett realises that much of his success with stocks is due to his genuine love of the stock market. To follow a vibrant, lively and sometimes dangerous thing excites him. To study it and plan ahead before investing is an adrenaline rush of sorts. When giving advice to others in any career path, Buffett highlights the importance of liking your job. Finding your passion and giving it everything you’ve got is crucial to live a life where you’re satisfied in the workplace. On passion, Buffet told students at the University of Georgia in a speech, ‘‘the real thing to do is to get going for some institution or individual that you admire. I mean it’s crazy to take in-between jobs just because they look good on your résumé​, or because you get a little higher starting pay’’. When hiring staff Buffett always looks at the enthusiasm each candidate has for the job. If you genuinely enjoy a job, you will do everything to a high standard. Choose a Mentor Many people benefit from having a mentor or role model, someone to look up to and aim for their level of success. Buffett is one of those people. He states that having a person you admire as a mentor will reignite your passion and encourage you to replicate their work process, to make yours more profitable. Soak up all you can from these figures. Buffett famously said “Hang out with people better than you. Pick people whose behaviour is somewhat better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction”. Surrounding yourself in good company is half the battle. Buffett realises that he is that person in many people’s lives. Perhaps he may also be yours. Don’t Use Credit Cards Buffett detests the popularity of credit cards as he believes they are an easy way to fall into debt. Cash is king to him, and it could be to you if you follow this life advice. Paying with cash aids you as you can visually see how much money you have, and therefore curbs your spending – especially those impulse purchases. If you do not have enough cash on you, then unlike a credit card, you cannot make the purchase. Learn to have willpower over your spending and become frugal. Before trying to earn money Buffett first warns people not to fall into debt. Buffett also tells people to always carry cash on themselves, as he does, to always be prepared in the case of an emergency. He likes to have this cash ready to go for when he needs it to strike on the stock market, because the right moment may never come back again.   Always Be Kind This is a simple tip which is sometimes the hardest to follow: always be kind. In today’s busy society where people are rushing chaotically to get what they want, particularly in the finance world, kindness is overlooked. Buffett encourages people to be kind, as everyone you meet can aid you in some way, so you don’t want to turn them off you. Shares, like people, are a fickle thing and can turn on you with the drop of a hat, so you want to have a good reputation in order to get help. Don’t Buy Popular Stocks This one may surprise fans of Buffett, but is practical advice. From his life experience studying the investment systems the Nebraskan native has learned to stay away from stocks that are extremely popular, which often turn out to be overvalued. He likes to examine businesses and spot a bargain in the shape of low priced shares that few others are looking at. The seemingly uninteresting stocks are often the most lucrative, as they regularly give back large and consistent dividends. Buffett examines at stocks intrinsic value when deciding to invest. To do this he investigates their fundamentals over a lengthy period, such as five years, and projects their return on equity, operating margins and debt levels. He then contrasts it with competitors.
Homepage
When it is about fashion, some men like to maintain a low profile and to opt for evergreen classics. The trends changed a lot until today and the concepts of “menswear” and “classics” themselves are quite different compared to the past. When did the concept of classic men’s trend start comprising a broader range of styles and items? A lot of time ago. We could say this happened when the punk counterculture reached the most prestigious catwalks and the boutiques all over the world. Or, even earlier, with the iconic hippie movement? Influences of this style are still regularly present in the collections of many designers. What about, instead, of the dressing code of the beat generation? Jack Kerouac is the most famous name inside this movement but the poet Allen Ginsberg is reminded for his style and he’s also considered by many as a precursor of the hippie culture (and fashion). Then, in 1994, for the first time we read the term “metrosexual” and that was another milestone in men’s fashion. For those who perhaps have missed it, a metrosexual is a heterosexual man who spends time and energies in grooming and shopping, who takes care of his appearance even though this could be considered a way of doing proper of gay men (yes, this sounds undoubtedly discriminating but we just report the definition. Also, don’t forget that we’re talking about ‘90s and many things have luckily changed). Anyway, discriminating or not, metrosexuality was a sign that the relationship between men and fashion was going through a metamorphosis: following the trends was not defining anymore your sexual orientation and everyone became free of creating their outfits the way they wanted. Being dressed in an unusual way was not considered “unusual” anymore, so the variety of trends was enlarged. As time went on, men’s fashion was subject of further transformations: feminine pieces of clothing have been taken and restyled to be worn by men. Today, things are even more different: after a mutual exchanging of womenswear with menswear (that, anyway, is much more scandalous when the men borrow clothes from the women and not vice versa), we landed on the soil of gender fluid. How this is influencing men’s fashion? The answer is simple: we deny fashion made for men and fashion made for women. In fact, being fluid means going where we want, going for shopping following our emotions and buying what makes us feeling comfortable, confident, and what gives us a personal touch to make our style unique. We also follow the hype and wait impatiently for the drop of a limited edition collection to grab pieces made for a few lucky people. Wrapping up all these notion about the history of fashion, what we could identify as trends that never go out of fashion? It is strictly personal and so hard to define, but with these tips you certainly can’t ever get wrong. 1.Sandals Starting with the more difficult themes, we know some men could find it hard to accept. But why leave just to the women the privilege of getting some air on their feet during the summer heat? Come on, there’s no need to wear socks in every season, and what about loafers? They leave a bit more of freedom to your feet but the inside, if carried with no socks, will become sweaty and sticky quickly when the weather is hot. Ew! Sandals are just the best option. The classics in this case are the worldwide famous models by Birkenstock. There are three iconic types that you surely know: the two stripe sandals, the flip-flops, the clogs. You can find these made by many brands, in different fabrics and prices. 2. Korean collar shirts This kind of shirt is suitable for a casual outfit but also to give a peculiar twist to a formal look. It sets you free from the choice of a tie or a bow tie and it never goes out of fashion. 3. Denim jacket It’s always stylish and you can wear it on t-shirts, shirts, hoodies… Everything! Just be sure of matching the same shade of denim jeans or trousers of a different colour. You can then choose sneakers to make the look casual, boots to make it more vintage, or else, elegant shoes with laces. You can never get wrong. 4. Combat boots Dr. Martens brand was born in 1961, it’s alive and kicking. There must be a reason! As for the denim jacket, you can fit this type of shoes to different looks. You can wear them without shoelaces and messy or tied up. You can as well find them in different colours and with patterns. They are resistant to bad weather, also to snow. 5. Suits Here we come to the end with the biggest classic symbol of elegance. Suits change following the trends, but not so much. If you often wear suits, you will surely have many kinds with different colours and fits. If you wear them rarely, only for important occasions, you should choose a black one or, daring a bit more, grey or navy. You could then match them with shirts, ties and various accessories of different colours to change something every time and make your suit looking like is always a new one.
Homepage
Having a beard is not something only synonym of hipsters now. It’s attractive and more and more common, even for young men. All is in how you take care of it and make it grow. But how do you avoid this frustrating vision of an eternal nascent beard? There is no magical trick but let us give you tips.   Let it grow Yes, it’s as simple as that but there are ways to avoid the Robinson Crusoe effect. If you have patchy spots, you should let the bear grow as long as you can. The best is to let it grow untrimmed for a month at least at the beginning of the process, on the cheeks and over the chin. Taking care of your beard also helps, especially with oils and balms. Brush it as well to stretch it towards the patchy spots. Never forget to keep it clean, especially in the neckline, cheek lines and moustache areas.   Be Healthy, good diet, hydrated, Supplements, Exercise Not surprisingly, your diet has an impact on your beard. If you have a healthy diet, especially made of proteins and vitamins, and hydrate yourself well, your beard have a softer touch. Some advise to take supplements as well, like biotin, which will help fortify your hair. Exercise and a good rest will make your hair vitalized and stronger: pport is good for your blood circulation, that’s why it will also be good to make your beard grow; while sleeping increases your testosterone, so it’s advised to sleep at least 8 hours per night. Same for stress: try to limit it, we know that stress makes us lose our hair, so keep calm and let your beard grow! Take care of your skin Grow your beard but don’t forget your skin underneath! If you hydrate yourself well, it will help you eliminate the toxins and have nicer skin, so a healthier and thicker beard. Either you like it or not, you will also need to apply a good moisturizer on your skin, while also cleaning your face regularly to remove dead skin cells, causing ingrown hair. Beard oil, trim, shampoo and conditioner Beard is hair, so, just like you take care of the hair growing on your head, do it for your facial ones! A good natural beard oil is a great start, this will moisturize your beard but also your skin, getting rid of dandruff beard itch, handy, no? Trimming is also very important. At the beginning and after the four weeks, the best way is to go to a barber, who will know how to deal with your sacred beard. Then you’ll be able to trim it yourself with a good trimmer of course, two or three times per week. Extra tip: start with your neckline and then the rest of the beard. Shampoo and conditioner will make your beard smooth and silky, but also thicker. Last resorts : Dye it, Beard transplant Some will skip this section, but as a last resort you can always dye your beard or do beard transplant. It will trick the audience but do the job. It’s particularly useful if you have mixed color hair in your beard, to make it homogeneous and as a result, thicker. You might be reluctant to do so, but beard transplant is actually a real solution if you’re really desperate after trying several natural solutions. The process consists in taking some hair from your back or your scalp, and transplant them on your face, on your patchy spots. The hair then falls out after a couple of weeks then regrow “naturally” after a few months. Only for the brave.
Homepage
When it is about fashion, some men like to maintain a low profile and to opt for evergreen classics. The trends changed a lot until today and the concepts of “menswear” and “classics” themselves are quite different compared to the past. When did the concept of classic men’s trend start comprising a broader range of styles and items? A lot of time ago. We could say this happened when the punk counterculture reached the most prestigious catwalks and the boutiques all over the world. Or, even earlier, with the iconic hippie movement? Influences of this style are still regularly present in the collections of many designers. What about, instead, of the dressing code of the beat generation? Jack Kerouac is the most famous name inside this movement but the poet Allen Ginsberg is reminded for his style and he’s also considered by many as a precursor of the hippie culture (and fashion). Then, in 1994, for the first time we read the term “metrosexual” and that was another milestone in men’s fashion. For those who perhaps have missed it, a metrosexual is a heterosexual man who spends time and energies in grooming and shopping, who takes care of his appearance even though this could be considered a way of doing proper of gay men (yes, this sounds undoubtedly discriminating but we just report the definition. Also, don’t forget that we’re talking about ‘90s and many things have luckily changed). Anyway, discriminating or not, metrosexuality was a sign that the relationship between men and fashion was going through a metamorphosis: following the trends was not defining anymore your sexual orientation and everyone became free of creating their outfits the way they wanted. Being dressed in an unusual way was not considered “unusual” anymore, so the variety of trends was enlarged. As time went on, men’s fashion was subject of further transformations: feminine pieces of clothing have been taken and restyled to be worn by men. Today, things are even more different: after a mutual exchanging of womenswear with menswear (that, anyway, is much more scandalous when the men borrow clothes from the women and not vice versa), we landed on the soil of gender fluid. How this is influencing men’s fashion? The answer is simple: we deny fashion made for men and fashion made for women. In fact, being fluid means going where we want, going for shopping following our emotions and buying what makes us feeling comfortable, confident, and what gives us a personal touch to make our style unique. We also follow the hype and wait impatiently for the drop of a limited edition collection to grab pieces made for a few lucky people. Wrapping up all these notion about the history of fashion, what we could identify as trends that never go out of fashion? It is strictly personal and so hard to define, but with these tips you certainly can’t ever get wrong. 1.Sandals Starting with the more difficult themes, we know some men could find it hard to accept. But why leave just to the women the privilege of getting some air on their feet during the summer heat? Come on, there’s no need to wear socks in every season, and what about loafers? They leave a bit more of freedom to your feet but the inside, if carried with no socks, will become sweaty and sticky quickly when the weather is hot. Ew! Sandals are just the best option. The classics in this case are the worldwide famous models by Birkenstock. There are three iconic types that you surely know: the two stripe sandals, the flip-flops, the clogs. You can find these made by many brands, in different fabrics and prices. 2. Korean collar shirts This kind of shirt is suitable for a casual outfit but also to give a peculiar twist to a formal look. It sets you free from the choice of a tie or a bow tie and it never goes out of fashion. 3. Denim jacket It’s always stylish and you can wear it on t-shirts, shirts, hoodies… Everything! Just be sure of matching the same shade of denim jeans or trousers of a different colour. You can then choose sneakers to make the look casual, boots to make it more vintage, or else, elegant shoes with laces. You can never get wrong. 4. Combat boots Dr. Martens brand was born in 1961, it’s alive and kicking. There must be a reason! As for the denim jacket, you can fit this type of shoes to different looks. You can wear them without shoelaces and messy or tied up. You can as well find them in different colours and with patterns. They are resistant to bad weather, also to snow. 5. Suits Here we come to the end with the biggest classic symbol of elegance. Suits change following the trends, but not so much. If you often wear suits, you will surely have many kinds with different colours and fits. If you wear them rarely, only for important occasions, you should choose a black one or, daring a bit more, grey or navy. You could then match them with shirts, ties and various accessories of different colours to change something every time and make your suit looking like is always a new one.
Homepage
Economist Max Roser of Oxford University has recently completed a monumental large scale survey on global living conditions. The question asked was magnificent in its simplicity. Roser inquired “all things considered, do you think the world is getting better or worse?” The results surprised academics, revealing a profound pessimism worldwide. Most despondent were the French, with just 3% saying that the world is improving. While the Swedes topped the poll of developed nations. Not by much however, only 10% surveyed believed in Global betterment of the human condition. Would it surprise you to learn that the overwhelming scientific evidence proves otherwise? On virtually all key indicators – poverty, health, literacy, freedom and population. The World has been steadily progressing, raising the standard of living extraordinarily across all demographics. Still don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at the evidence. The eradication of extreme poverty “Every single day since 1990, on average, there were 130,000 people raised out of extreme poverty each day”. Many see extreme poverty as an inevitable and unresolvable result of modern day industrial economics. A human universal present throughout history. The birds-eye view of the statistics show the opposite is true. The age of industrialization has brought its challenges. Yet, by and large, the increased output of production has done wonders to lift people out of poverty across the board. Mechanization has meant more food, better clothing and indoor plumbing. Giving us the means to support an exploding population. Take China as a textbook example of this phenomena. In the last 50 years, 88% of the population were rescued from the indignities of extreme poverty. That is over 500 million people. Not a number to be scoffed at. In one generation, China is on the verge of becoming an economic superpower. With megacities springing up over night. Consider the lush scenery of Shanghai in 1990 as opposed to the bustling metropolis of 2010 (shown below). Unfortunately, these astounding advances in alleviating scarcity do not come packaged with a catchy headline.The caption “Things are much better today than yesterday” just doesn’t sell papers. The doubling of life expectancy and other wonders In the year 1800, 43% of newborn babies passed away before their 5th Birthday. This tragic statistic meant every third child on average would not be expected to see adulthood. Thankfully, these figures have been consigned to the history books. Vast improvements in public health, sanitation and living conditions have drastically reduced the likelihood of infant mortality in the present day. Our better nutrition has made us both smarter and taller. While increasing our resilience to infectious disease. The discovery of germ theory cannot be underestimated in the amount of human lives saved over the centuries. Vaccination and more hygienic hospitals have reduced infant mortality rates to a remarkable 4.3% in 2015. This figure is ten times lower than the numbers reported in 1800. Some areas of Sub-Saharan Africa and Afghanistan are still in desperate need of medical assistance in rural areas. Giving a heart-wrenching modern glimpse of the terrible catastrophe of losing a child too early. Obviously, one child needlessly lost is far too many. Nonetheless it is an astonishing feat to have alleviated so much suffering over the last two centuries. Saving parents the awful tragedy of burying their young. Yet, this is a scientific revelation that is not often discussed in the media. Literacy is a precious gift Historically, reading and writing was only the pursuit of a wealthy elite. Now, it has been democratized to an astounding extent. Reducing traditional barriers to economic opportunity and third-level education. In 1800, less than 100 million people could read and write. Now that figure is at 4.6 billion! 8 out of every 10 humans are literate thanks to terrific advances in education. In many ways, we are a privileged few in human history that are fortunate enough to be reading this article. Demographic studies show that youth are more literate than their parents. This improves with each generation. With most of the growth occurring in the least educated countries in the world. Following this Global trend, the Middle East and North Africa have accomplished the most inspiring turn-around in literacy figures. Young students boast a 92% literacy rate on average. 50 years ago, just 15% of adults could read and write. One might also assume that gender plays a role in literacy figures.With young girls presumed to be missing more school than boys. It’s simply not the case. School attendance figures are at roughly 80% across the board. Better educated people around the world, allows for a larger pool of talent, coming up with the next revolutionary innovation that will change all of our lives. Literacy and training is also one of the few proven ways to reduce inequality. The others being pestilence and large-scale war. Not exactly appealing options. Fight for your rights The common perception in the media is that we are all in a fight for our rights. Marriage rights, civil rights, legal rights. It gives the impression that a tyrannical and  oppressive government is taking away our power. This could not be further from the truth. The bar is being raised each year in terms of our civil freedoms. This is why there seems to be such a continuous uproar. Even having the freedom to voice our protests, this is a luxury that was not traditionally afforded our forefathers. The 19th century saw one third of all occupants of the globe as colonial subjects. Virtually everyone else lived under an Autocrats thumb. Meaning a single ruler had absolute power over their “lowly underlings”. Since then, monarchies and empires alike have collapsed in spectacular fashion. Leading to a relatively new experiment in human history called democracy. More people have a say in the running of their nation than ever before. The backbone of these newfound freedoms are journalism and British Common Law. They each laid the groundwork for the unique and beautiful concept named Freedom of Speech. Together, these institutions allow for open and frank discussion of our faults. Allowing us to decide on adequate solutions. Hence, avoiding terrible conflict and war.. A strong democratic nation is ideally composed of an informed populace. This in turn raises the level of rights. Never before in history have we had more open media and exchange of information through the internet. Nowadays, 4 out of 5 people living in an autocracy are residents of China. It is clear that there is more to be done, yet we should remember our significant progress in equal measure. While protecting the fragile flame of Lady Liberty from the encroaching threat of the dictators vice-like grip. Are we right to panic about overpopulation? Doom and gloom predictions of dire overpopulation in the future are common fodder for the sensationalist tabloids. Although science allows us to see things differently. It is true that our Global population has risen from 1 billion in 1800 to 7 billion presently. Humans are simply not dying at the rate that they used to. This a tremendous victory for the medical disciplines. Earth’s inhabitants have multiplied as mortality rates plummeted. While fertility remained at the same level. Better yet, life expectancy worldwide has doubled in the last hundred years. Fears of overpopulation have been shown to be far overblown. As people become richer and more educated, they have less kids. Similarly, the birth control pill has led to a women’s revolution. For the first time in human history, an effective method of contraception exists. Growth was shown to have peaked in the 20th century, whilst Global fertility has halved in the last 50 years. In fact, a decline in population is expected to start in 2075. The long awaited armageddon brought about through overpopulation has been nothing but a damp squib. How did we get it so wrong? Admittedly, it is no consolation to a family experiencing extreme poverty today, if we are to tell them that Global trends are improving. Nevertheless, there is reason for cautious optimism in the future. There is still much to be done but we can take comfort in the fact that our efforts are having an effect. This small acknowledgement will give us conviction for the future. The question must be asked: why do 90% of people not realize this level of progress has been achieved? Largely, it is due to what the media chooses to tell us. A narrow and short-sighted focus on calamitous events give us a distorted perception of human progress. Our attention is held longest, observing the flames of a wildfire. Our primitive fear responses stimulated, unable to peer away. Positive events occur gradually over many years. It comes about through arduous effort and unglamorous research. A headline like “most people are healthier than they have ever been”. This is not deemed to be newsworthy in an era of the 24 hour breaking news cycle. The result is that surveys of UK citizens show most believe Global poverty has increased. This is simply untrue. Global poverty reduction has been a resounding success. This is pivotal as our policy-makers and leaders must have the correct facts, if they are to make good decisions for the future. A little perspective goes a long way. As Rosen puts it, “If we believe things are getting worse. We risk losing faith in one another”. This would be the greatest tragedy of all.
Homepage
In the US, over 6 million men are affected each year with depression. Three quarters of all suicides are committed by men. While men are four times more likely to commit suicide than their female counterparts. This is a silent epidemic which has only been increasing globally among developed nations. An immense stigma exists around the topic which must be torn down. If we are to end the needless, self-inflicted slaughter of our brothers, husbands, fathers and sons. Certain social and interpersonal factors have coincided to create a perfect maelstrom of mental health issues among men. In certain respects, we are our own worst enemies. Refusing to discuss the internal pain which is burdening us. Choosing instead to remain ‘strong and silent’, lest we bother anyone. This antiquated attitude is quite literally fatal. Social norms dictates that we downplay symptoms of distress. Yet, we are not useful to our families unless we are healthy. It defies logic to suffer in silence. Therefore, this article outlines common indicators of poor mental health and discusses ways forward, back into the light. Loss of employment During the recent economic recession, families were decimated by male suicide. Loss of employment being a significant risk factor in deterioration of mental welfare. Male self-esteem is inextricably linked with the ability to provide. Traditional cultural values dictate that the male is a breadwinner or provider, bringing home the paycheck each week. When this is taken away, the resulting psychological stress can be catastrophic. This feeling is compounded exponentially as time goes on. With the father or son seeing himself as a burden on his family and society at large, the longer he remains unemployed. Bills mount and the stress of making ends meet becomes unbearable. Regrettably, this is when men take drastic irreversible measures. As the feeling of shame or failure has grown so intense that it has overwhelmed their rational faculties. Isolation In many ways, our society is a contradiction in terms. We are blessed with more methods of communication than in any other time in human history. Yet, we are faced with an epidemic of loneliness. Human beings are psychologically ‘programmed’ to thrive in strong social networks. Nearly all of our evolutionary history was spent in close-knit tribes. Battling the elements and the forces of wilderness together, united in common purpose. Without cooperation, we would simply perish. This sense of meaningful community has vanished in the modern age. Tribes of one hundred have been replaced with a bustling metropolis of millions. This has left many without a feeling of belonging to a tribe. This is essential to the human psyche. Without it, we are destined to feel exposed. Isolation particularly affects elderly men, as their support network tends to be tied up in their career. After taking retirement, elderly gentlemen lose a vital source of social connection. Depression will lead men to isolate themselves. Creating a vicious cycle of rumination and further isolation. Leaving no clear way out. No outside perspective with which to stop the barrage of negative thoughts which come with mental illness. Substance Misuse US statistics show that 1 in 5 men are likely to develop a dependency on alcohol during their lives. While 50% of those with mental illness are at risk of abusing substances. Due to the inherent stigma and criminality, this problem is largely kept behind closed doors. Therefore, addicts rarely get the necessary treatment to recover fully. Many turn to illicit substances as a means of self-medicating. It is an effective method of quieting unwanted internal dialogue or blocking out past trauma. Acting as a temporary numbing agent. Although it provides temporary relief, it can exacerbate symptoms in the long run. The pain or unresolved trauma that an addict is avoiding will return with interest once the drug has left their system. Leading many to escalate dosage. In search of the same euphoric sense of relief attained early on in their addiction. While under the influence, one is a lot more likely to engage in reckless behaviour or self-harm. Making substance misuse a band-aid that adds fuel to flames. Severe addiction also causes the sufferer to lose everything, compounding negative emotion and feelings of helplessness. Early Childhood Experience During early childhood, habits and behaviours are adopted, which literally build the architecture of the developing brain. This can have lifelong implications. Particularly relating to mental health in adulthood. Children look to their parents for cues as to how to interact with the world. This is learning through emulation. If an unexpected event occurs, a baby will look to the parents expression, in order to gauge whether the unexpected event is a threat. In this way, anxieties are passed on through generations, almost by osmosis. Through no fault of their own, parents sometimes pass on the insecurities sewn into their genealogy. Trust is built at a young age. If parents are unreliable, children develop a sense of unease and distrust which never leaves. Unless childhood beliefs are reexamined in adulthood. Breaking this harmful cycle. The foundation of strong mental health is laid in infancy. Feeling loved and valued by strong role models can set a person up for a wholesome life. With resilience when adverse events occur. There is a strong correlation between early childhood trauma and increased levels of male aggression. The result is that almost 93% of prison inmates in the US are male. This creates a cycle in which male role models are incarcerated, recreating the conditions for childhood neglect. As fathers are missing from family units all over the nation. Similarly, being in a state of fight or flight for long periods of time during childhood has been seen to change male brain-function, reducing mental resilience and damaging the metabolic system. A new vision of strength Men need a new toolkit for survival in the modern age. The first step is to break the silence around this frightful crisis. Silently, stealing the lives of those around us. Our dearest friends and closest family. Men must bear in mind: a job is not what defines your worth. You are invaluable to your friends and family, just as you are, unemployment is temporary. Find your tribe as isolation is never the answer. Reach out and speak to friends, they will be happy you did. Be careful to examine your relationship with alcohol. If you are using substances to salve internal discomfort, step away from the bottle and look at solving the underlying issue. Cast off the false beliefs of childhood as they no longer serve you in the present. Learn from the tribulations of the past and set them free. A number of treatments have been proven to be effective when dealing with mental health issues. Intensive therapy helps you to find your bearings and break from harmful patterns. Medication can be purposeful in alleviating short term symptoms of distress. Similarly, the benefits of reaching out to family and friends cannot be diminished. Keep in mind, whatever your going through, this too shall pass.
Homepage
Beers are the favourite drink of most men, but sometimes it is very hard to pick the right one. There are several kinds of beer in the world and, even though it is interesting to try new tastes, everyone has his favourite one. “The World Beer Awards” exist also for that: helping beer lovers choose their right beer and letting them discover some curiosities about their drink are the main goals of these global awards. Through this competition, some secrets about beers may even be unveiled. What’s more, it has allowed local or unknown beers to gain popularity around the world and to be appreciated by new customers. Among the numerous beers suggested by the 2018 awards, it is necessary to put into light the Collesi beer. Produced in Italy, this dark beer presents a Belgian Style Dubbel and it is the most awarded Italian craft beer in the world. Thanks to the ideal microclimate in Apecchio, a medieval town between the Italian regions of Marche and Umbria, its production combines a sustainable technology with the rhythms of nature. Founder Giuseppe Collesi operates with zero emissions, making this industry an environmentally friendly system. In addition, the flavours of this beer emerge as it is highly fermented, non-pasteurized and naturally bottled. As far as the most flavoured beer is concerned, Sons of Liberty stands out in the crowd. Sons of Liberty Beer & Spirits Co., a company based in the United States, is mainly known for whiskey, but it decided then to play with flavours, realising one of the most tasteful beers. What strikes most about this product is its aroma made of prunes and stone fruits: beer lovers can’t miss it! “Melon and vine notes on the nose with some nice hops. Light herbs, citrus and malt coming through in the body with a hint of sour. Great example of the style.” This is how the official site of “The World Beer Awards” has described this exceptional beer. Hobgoblin belongs to the IPA category and its an British brand: Wychwood Brewery has done an incredible job creating this tasteful beer no one can get bored of. German brands couldn’t be left out of these awards. In fact, Schwarzbräu is another well recognised beer. Well known in Germany and abroad as well, it is the best Lager beer, whose taste reminds people of traditions and popular culture. In some versions, it also possible to enjoy a powerful caramel and coffee flavour. Canada finds itself on the podium as well thanks to its Unibroue. Called “Blonde de l’enfer” (blond from the hell), this Pale beer conquered all the world with its delicate and raffinate taste. As it is a seasonal anniversary ale, it is available for a short amount of time per year. Last but not least, Rodenbach is a beer that has to be tasted at least once in a lifetime. Produced by Palm Belgian Craft Brewers, the style of this beer is Flanders Red Ale. Even though it is dark, its flavour is absolutely fresh and light. As it’s a regional product, its products are all selected in a careful way, without disregarding the environment. In addition, family Rodenbach helped Belgium secure its independence: an historical curiosity that makes this beer even more interesting. As we have already explained it, beers are several and their taste is mostly subjective. The only person who can recognise the perfect beer is, in the end, yourself. However, receiving some advice can be always a useful move, especially if you desire to know more about the history and the development of your favourite kind of beer. “Never underestimate how much assistance, how much satisfaction, how much comfort, how much soul and transcendence there might be in a well-made taco and a cold bottle of beer.” As Tom Robbins wrote in his book Jitterbug Perfume, a beer, no matter its brand, is always a good moment to relax and refresh your mind.
Homepage
Since the very first historical evidence, there has been only one constant in human beings’ development: change. The more time passes, the more humans evolve, improve their lifestyle, and adopt new habits. Nowadays, technology is probably the most influencing reason leading progress and change. Nevertheless, there is another factor which affects our daily life and our relationship with mother nature. And the cause of this frightening phenomenon is nothing but human beings. Yes, we are talking about climate change, a growing menace having no intention to pull back if we don’t act. In order to encourage people to change their lifestyle, it is important to raise awareness about how climate change and pollution will actually affect daily life. Long-term and large-scale changes predicted by scientists will take place in some decades, showing once and for all that human beings are the veritable enemies of the Earth. According to Paul Brown, an environment correspondent for The Guardian, “The destruction of 70% of the natural world in 30 years, mass extinction of species, and the collapse of human society in many countries is forecast in a bleak report by 1,100 scientists published yesterday. Unless the world changes its current “markets first” approach, the increase in building of roads, power lines, airports and other infrastructure will disrupt wildlife breeding patterns and wipe out species, particularly in coastal areas where most human settlement is concentrated. Forests continue to disappear at an alarming rate and 10% of land on which to grow food is lost because of soil degradation.” As we can deduce, forests will be soon composed of dead trees. The main cause is directly related to climate change: due to warm winters, beetles won’t die, destroying entire areas of vegetation. Negative effects can be seen even today: some populations of mountain pine beetles have started producing two generations per year instead of one. Climate change will be also responsible for a drastic reduction of coffee production. Considering the increase of temperatures in coffee-growing regions, coffee-growers have to find cooler places up on the mountains. Therefore, we will lose almost 50% of land suitable for growing coffee by 2050. Dry lakes won’t shock people, as this phenomenon will become soon an ordinary aspect of our daily life. According to the World Preservation Foundation, this fact will affect the water supplies for 3 billion people. Nevertheless, some lakes have already dried up: just think of Bolivia’s second-largest lake, Iran’s largest lake, and Lake Chad, in Africa. The effects of climate change and pollution will affect markets and food prices as well. Global agricultural supply is one of the victims of the increasing temperatures: costs of food and cereal drastically increased from 2007 to 2014. Africa and Central America will be the first areas to be affected by shortage of food. Despite their economic power, Europe, Asia, and the U.S. will inevitably come next. In addition, climate change is threatening the main ingredients of beer: water, barley and hops. Due to the lack of clean water, heavy rains destroying crops fields, and drought affecting hops production, beer is seriously in danger. Breweries have already reduced their environmental impact, promoting campaigns in order to save the planet. Storms are also a real menace to human beings. Since they are more and more frequent, insurers have curtailed homeowner policies. According to “Journal of Insurance Regulation”, almost 3 million American households lost coverage between 2003 and 2007. For instance, Farmers Insurance stopped granting homeowners policies in North Carolina. Hopes are not all lost, though. Several organisations are working in order to save our planet and reduce the level of pollution. Driving pollution down can be done also at home, being careful of the amount of energy we use, recycling our rubbish, and using means of transportation or bikes whenever it is possible. The Earth gave us an ultimatum: now it’s time to actively protect what we have. Nature will develop also without human beings: it will evolve another time, as it did before, creating new living conditions. Humans, on the other hand, do need nature to evolve, to survive. Rescuing our planet will help both nature and people.
Homepage
World War I was an event that drastically changed and altered reality from several points of view. At a cultural level, realistic perspectives were highlighted by a cruelty that humans never saw before. At the same time, societies suffered from financial problems and the loss of a huge part of citizens. As it is possible to deduce, art was not exempt from this socio-cultural metamorphosis. In particular, literature embodied significative human experiences, which wanted to be communicated around the world. The main goal of these writers was to urge people to understand the real nature of this massacre and the consequences it entailed at a human level. If Proust in “Le Temps retrouvé” (1927) described the war effects on Paris as a spectator, most writers and poets experienced the war firsthand and expressed their own opinions. Nevertheless, not everyone stood out against World War I: some intellectuals considered the war as an opportunity to show human greatness, as well as its weakness. Even though this point of view may sound barbaric, social and historical implications gave meaning to it, actualising an eternal topos in the literary sphere: the limits of human beings. Giuseppe Ungaretti is one of those poets who experienced war and described it in a very realistic and sincere way. Instead of depicting heroic deeds, the poet wrote down the daily life of soldiers who had to fight and live in trenches. “All Quiet on the Western Front” (1929) by Erich Maria Remarque is a novel that distances itself from the lack of terror reflected by Ungaretti’s poetry. Conversely, the writer describes in a harsh way the mental and physical distress that affected the life of soldiers. In this novel, it is interesting to observe the direct link between body and mind, two aspects of human beings that manifest the need of being home in different ways. Another writer who offered a detailed description of the war through his personal experience is Ernest Hemingway. With his novel “A Farewell to Arms” (1929), a love affair between a nurse and an ambulance driver is told through the lens of two young people, who, pushed by their feelings, cannot avoid the horrors and massive massacre they are living in, even though it is the background of their relationship. Wilfred Owen (pictured below) is one of the war poets who left its mark in the war literature. As an English young soldier, Owen exploited poetry as a powerful tool to show and denounce the horrific conditions provoked by trenches and inhuman battles. In his anti-war poem “Dulce Et Decorum Est” (1920, published posthumously), Owen described the nightmare experienced by soldiers to confute the “old lie”, according to whom dying for your own country is a honour. As we have already mentioned, another perspective was relevant to the war concept. According to these poets and writers, idealistic and patriotic values were materialized in this bellicose imaginary. World War I became a unique experience to show people’s love towards their country and their brave personality. Gabriele D’Annunzio was one of those intellectuals who dedicated their life to patriotic values. Apart from fighting in the war and leading expeditions, D’Annunzio left an important literary patrimony, where the greatness of the war was exalted at a personal and social level. As a war poet, Rupert Brooke (pictured below) didn’t imitate the work of his compatriot Wilfred Owen. On the contrary, the poet described the war as the perfect event capable of embodying his idealistic values. In his famous poem “The Soldier” (written in 1914), the death of a soldier is seen as a sacrifice for his country, thanks to whom a part of England will always belong to the heroes who lost their life in the battlefield. This poem contrasts with Owen’s one, where the patriotic idea of death is ridiculed since the first line. World War I altered literature in a definitive way. Because of the cruelty and massacres experiences by human beings, artists abandoned their romantic view of society and nature, opting for a very different approach. If the disillusionment was at the core of literature during the war period, afterwards the modernism became the most influencing movement in the artistic world. Realistic descriptions and deep introspective analysis aimed to highlight the veritable side of reality, without discarding the portrait of the inner feelings of their characters.