Noise is Bad for More Than Just Your Hearing



The ill-effects of noise on hearing are well-documented. However, did you ever consider that extensive exposure to noise could harm you in other ways, too?

Compromised Sleep

If you work in an urban environment or share space with a lot of people and machinery, chances are you in a pretty noisy environment. Prolonged exposure is bad for your hearing, but it can also ruin your ability to get a good night’s sleep. Study after study is showing just how important an adequate amount of rest is for both mind and body. If you are trying to sleep in an environment that is distracting enough to delay, prevent, or disrupt your rest, you will notice. Physically and mentally you will be sluggish and not at your best. Not only can that negatively affect your job performance, it can cause you to make errors in judgment that might even lead to accidents.


When we feel stressed, stress hormones (eg. cortisol) are created and they can throw off your cholesterol levels. The almost inevitable result is hypertension and heart disease. If you are in a place where the noise is making your blood boil, it could be doing long-term damage.

Mental Health

If you are constantly angry, or feeling defeated and hopeless for a prolonged period, it can negatively impact your mental health, leading to issues like depression and anxiety disorder. If you are in a noisy area and you cannot bring down the volume, it will eventually effect your overall well-being.

Alas, it looks like the world’s volume level continues to go up, so that means additional effort on your part to find time each day in a quiet, relaxing space where you can decompress.

For starters, here is some “noise” that is good for you and will help to lower those stress levels:

Medication Now Free for Ontario Residents Under 25

If you live in Ontario, chances are you have heard about the rise in the minimum wage to $14 an hour. However, equally exciting, especially for families, is the new rule regarding medication for those under 25. Effective immediately, those in that age bracket will receive their medication free.

The program is called OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare and available to the province’s 4 million citizens under the age of 25.

This is excellent news! Senior citizens already enjoy such an accommodation, but it is particularly good that another vulnerable portion of society has one less worry. For lower-income families, every penny counts. Drug and dispensing costs may not be much of a burden if there is an occasional cold. However, when more serious problems occur, and there are several children, this can be a significant financial burden. Generic drugs have helped to reduce costs, but some medications are not available in this format, so the monthly expenses can really add up.

The new law also makes things easier for students. With the rising costs of tuition, books, and accommodation, many college and university students are having a tough time. Even having a part-time job is not always allowing these hard-working young people the chance to break even each month.

The Ontario government’s actions follow a report earlier this year that showed Canadians pay far more for prescriptions than those in comparable high-income countries that also have universal health care.

All that is required to receive free medication is an OHIP card and a valid prescription. In all, 4400 medications fall into this category, all of which can be found in the Ontario Drug Benefit Formulary. Premier Kathleen Wynne mentioned that she hopes to eventually expand the program to all ages, and looks to discuss this later in the year with representatives of the federal government.

Pot and Pets

Legal recreational marijuana is coming to Canada on July 1st and there has been much talk about what constitutes impaired driving under this drug. However, one important point not getting nearly as much attention is how it can adversely affect pets.

Now that marijuana will be as prominent in some households as alcohol, safety concerns need to be considered. Children are often the first thought, but what would happen if your dog ate some pot?

Marijuana toxicity is a real concern when it comes to animals. Some people have tried to get their animals high by blowing smoke in their face. However, pot doesn’t make dogs more relaxed, it makes them quite ill.

On the low end of the scale, a dog that ingests pot can become extremely confused, leading to much barking and hyperactivity. More serious side effects include seizures and tremors, and possibly even a coma and death. Cats are also in danger, but as they are more selective about what they eat than dogs, there are fewer cases of toxicity in felines.

Even if you don’t have children, take the same care with your marijuana. Do not ever leave it out in the open where an animal could come along and eat it. Store your pot in drawers or cabinets that your pets cannot enter.

When high, we are often forgetful, so only take out as much marijuana as you plan to use at one time. That way, you will not end up leaving out some in a spot your pets can easily access.

Cannabis edibles will likely not be legally available in Canada for another year, but these are even riskier as they look and smell like regular treats. Once again, make sure they are put away safely and do not take down more than you plan to use.

Maximize Your Lunch Break

Many people are busier than ever and struggle to get everything done during the course of a day. When that doesn’t happen, things often fall by the wayside. Sometimes these are such minor parts of daily life that we don’t even notice. However, important things, like exercise and proper rest, can also suffer.

The most workable solution is to maximize your day and make better use of the time currently available. One such occasion we can use for this is our lunch break. Here are two ways you can make better use of time that is available five days a week.


When people are short on time, one of the first things to suffer is, sadly, their physical health. If you have a half hour lunch break, there isn’t really time to exercise, aside from taking a short walk after you eat.

However, if you have an hour, this gives you more opportunity to get out there for a walk or possibly even a jog. Don’t worry about breaking a sweat (not desirable anyway when you must get back to work); this is simply about staying active. If you have a sedentary job, such as office work, that extra movement during lunch can help to make the rest of your day more physically comfortable.

Stop Looking at Screens

It can be tempting to simply zone out with your phone during lunch. There is nothing wrong with quickly checking e-mail and messages, but answer only those that require an immediate reply. This is the chance to give your eyes a rest. You can further enhance this period by getting out of your usual working area and enjoying a change of scenery.

Don’t ever think of this as wasted time; your brain is recharging and you will be better able to meet the challenges that follow.

Bieber on Police Radar After Neighbors’ Complain

Justin Bieber is one wild child. His behavior has been pretty consistent with the bad boy image he has been projecting recently. He is regularly making it to the top news, not only because of a phenomenal performance but also because of the trouble he has been getting into when the cameras are not around.

Most recently, Justin Bieber had a visit from the California local police when his neighbors in the state complained of loud music and partying until the wee hours of the night. It was reported that the local police went back to the party’s venue thrice to reprimand the singer of the disturbance. The loud party ended with a misdemeanor case filed against Bieber.

This is not the first time that the singer got face to face with law enforcement. In the same neighborhood, the singer also had complaints against him over the speed at which he drove around his exclusive village. Another neighbor was allegedly spit on by Bieber in one of their heated arguments. Clearly, the singer has not been one of the favorite stars in that community after the series of reported incidents.

Outside of California, Bieber did not fail to attract the police’s attention as he was waving (possibly burning) the Argentinian flag on the stage flood where he was performing. However, the young singer has already issued an apology and explanation for this act, claiming that he was not aware that it was a national flag he was playing with. However, big news from Argentina did not simply end with the flag, as it was revealed that Bieber also hired a sex star while touring Brazil, and was even caught visiting other brothels in the country. As if this was not enough, the star also sprayed graffiti paint in one of the hotel’s walls. No formal charges were filed against this act, yet.

Last year, Bieber’s name first invaded legal courts when a certain 17-year old girl claimed to be pregnant of Justin’s child. This case has been dismissed, already.

5 of the Most Popular Luxury Cars in History

For the well-to-do there is really no shortage of luxury cars to choose from as ever more impressive technological wonders roll off production lines all across the globe. From stately sedans to speedy supercars, if you have the cash then the most gorgeous and luxurious vehicles ever designed can be yours.

However, the ever-expanding array of prestige cars means that there is only room for a handful of real classics to make their mark every generation. Let’s take a look at some of the all-conquering cars that captivated buyers from the moment that they were created.

Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow (1965 – 1980)

Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow

Regal, glamorous and beautifully constructed from bonnet to rear bumper, the various Rolls Royce Silver Shadow models made their mark on British car manufacturing as well as rewriting the rules on elegant car design.

Rolls-Royce were determined to remain to last word in luxury automobiles but they decided to play it smart with the Silver Shadow. They managed to square the circle by providing passengers with increased personal and luggage space while actually making the car narrower and shorter than its predecessor, the Silver Cloud. This was achieved using advanced unitary construction techniques and it made the Silver Shadow a more practical vehicle without sacrificing comfort or style.

E-Type Jaguar (1961 – 1975)

E-Type Jaguar

A true icon of 1960s style and elegance, the E-Type is still considered to be Jaguar’s greatest success story. Not only did it boast a beautiful sleek design and high performance, its highly competitive pricing ensured that the E-Type sold by the tens of thousands.

Uniquely engineered for speed as well as style, the E-Type’s famous shape hid either one of two inline-six engines, although the final Series 3 variant featured a 5.3-liter V-12 under the iconic hood.

Ferrari 250 GTO (1962-1964)

Ferrari 250 GTO

It’s not surprising to see a Ferrari featured in any top luxury cars list, regardless of the time frame. Only 39 of these stunning vehicles were produced during its two year cycle but each one was clamoured for by the likes of Hollywood stars, business magnates and European aristocracy.

Its value as a collector’s item has rocketed in recent years, to the point where in May 2012 a 250 GTO became the world’s most expensive car, selling in a private transaction for $35 million.

When you look at the stunning bodywork and perfectly tuned 3.0-liter V-12 engine then it’s not difficult to see why the world continues to go crazy for this prince of prestige cars.

Mercedes S-Class (1972-Present)

mercedes benz S classe

The ultimate in affordable luxury, there’s a reason why the Mercedes S-Class is the favoured vehicle of government officials the world over. Smart, safe, stylish, efficient and oozing comfort from every angle, this is the grandfather of luxury sedans.

S-Class is an anglicisation of the German abbreviation of Sonderklasse or ‘special class’ as in ‘a class of its own’. Not only has each successive model improved its luxurious interior and complement of extras, the high performance vehicles still retain an excellent rate of fuel efficiency (a fact that no doubt endears them to cost-cutting governments!)

BMW 7 Series (1977-Present)

BMW 7 Series

The beautiful, timeless flagship of BMW, the 7-Series was introduced in 1977 as a full-sized sedan that handled and looked every bit as good as the smaller cars they produced. Successive models introduced cutting-edge security measures and other technologies to take the driving experience to the next level.

With reliable sales numbering tens of thousands year after year since its inception, the 7-Series stands as one of the most popular lines of luxury cars to grace the market, wowing buyers with effortlessly smooth rides while they recline in glorious comfort.

Fitted vs Floaty Style on a Night Out

Nobody likes that last minute outfit-picking frenzy that takes place before a spontaneous night out, one of the biggest challenges is deciding whether to go sexy and fitted or comfortable and lose fitting! Yes, a bodycon maxi is glamorous but is it always practical on the dance floor?

fitted vs floaty

If you’re often torn between fitted and floaty, here’s a look at the two styles and what sorts of going out dresses you have to choose from in either category:

Fitted Styles

The first dress that springs to mind when looking at fitted frocks is the bodycon. These super-clinging designs aim to show off every curve. Available in mini, midi and maxi lengths it’s pretty versatile, but usually only worn by the body confident – after all, it’s not a fit to hide any lumps and bumps. If you’re thinking bodycon for a night out, you can go all out glamour with stiletto heels and a push-up bra, or opt for a more toned down take, with a denim jacket and dr. martens. Cut-out bodycons, which feature shapes holes in the fabric, are huge this season. Bodycons can be long sleeve, short sleeved or sleeveless.

Next up, the skater dress, ideal for those who want to emphasize their bust but would rather not have a form-fitting skirt. The skater dress skirt hangs and flicks out, cute for twisting dance moves. This design is named after the costumes worn by ice skaters and is guaranteed to make you feel flirty and girly.

Finally, the shift dress. This classic design is fitted and firm, which means it shapes your figure and lets you get away with a multitude of sins below. This is quite a sophisticated and mature fit but many high street stores stock playful patterns and bright shades that make it great choice for women old and young.

Floaty Styles

Let’s start with a summer staple – the full length bandeau Maxi dress; elasticated around the bust and waist and floaty to the floor, this is a really comfortable dress fit for night and day. Not the most seductive of fits if you’re looking for a glamorous night out, but for chilled out drinks with friends they’re pretty and comfortable.

For a more formal floaty style, take a look at mini sleeveless shirt dresses, which take a sophisticated blouse top, strip it off sleeves and feature a floaty short skirt beneath. A very flattering and smart look which can be teamed with tights and heels or summer shoes like gladiator sandals.

Then there is the handkerchief dress which is probably the most elegant and floaty of all designs – although not suitable for every bodyshape. Made from silks or silk-like materials, handkerchief dresses are available in both mini and maxi lengths and usually feature a glamorous halter neckline.

Angharad Swann is a fashion blogger from the UK. When she’s not blogging about frocks – from going out dresses to beach maxis – she models for her sister’s bridal boutique. 

The Most Popular Casino Games Shown in Movies

Of all the games that are played for entertainment, casino games have the most excitement surrounding them. A lot of this comes from the inherent risk of betting one’s own money on the outcome of the game. This level of thrill also translates well to the big screen.

Many movies include casino gaming as either a major part of their plot or simply as scenes within the big idea of the movie. Certain casino games have more excitement associated with them and are featured more often in movies than others. For example, the table game of craps is one that brings this feeling to both players and spectators.

In the 1987 movie, The Big Town, Matt Damon stars as a craps player who realizes he has a gift for the game. This leads him to head to Vegas to play for higher stakes. The movie features some excellent craps scenes with tension as viewers sit on the edge of their seat watching the game with anticipation.

casinos in moviesOther movies that feature craps are Ocean’s Eleven and Oceans’ Twelve.

While this movie takes a different looks a craps, it still provides information as to what not to do when gambling.

After watching these movies involving craps, viewers at home may wish to try the game out for themselves. The best way in which to do this is to go to an online casino like that offers craps.

For new players, learning to place a passline bet is a great way to start. A bet is placed prior to the rolling of the dice. If the shooter rolls either a 7 or an 11, passline bets win. However, if a 2, 3 or 12 are rolled, the passline bet loses. Another other number that is rolled becomes known as the point number. This number must be rolled again before a seven is rolled. If this does occur, then even money is won.

Celebrities Considering Laser Eye Surgery to Get Rid of Glasses!

laser eye surgeryLaser eye surgery procedures are gaining popularity at a pretty brisk pace thanks to a combination of reasons that makes them a very attractive prospect for those with defective vision.

Apart for the promise of not having to wear either glasses or contact lenses again, Laser eye surgery is effectively a simple process, largely safe, quick and has a short recovery time. That makes it almost ideal for the busy paced modern lifestyle and idyllic for many who wish to have the perfect natural vision that aids them in their respective professions.

Yet, before you jump into the procedure, it is best to exercise caution and know exactly what you are getting into, to ensure that perfect results are obtained —

  • Evaluate the qualifications of your Laser eye surgeon. None of us wish to end up with poor vision because of a compromised procedure and it is important to remember that not all ophthalmologists are qualified to perform Laser eye surgeries. Check for your surgeons experience in the specific procedure you are undergoing and if you have any doubts, most clinics will provide you with necessary statistics that will help in making the decision.
  • Understand the specific procedure that you need and what it involves. Depending on your own vision defect, you can undergo either LASIK or LASEK or even non-laser procedures such Intra-Ocular Lenses and Conductive Keratoplasty. Consult your surgeon and know exactly what you need and the care each procedure involves.
  • Examine the statistics that are relevant to your own prescription. Various procedures and their results vary with each specific prescription and hence it is important to know exactly the results you can expect for your individual problem.
  • Carefully pick a clinic that will not only offer top notch quality, but also performs all the necessary pre-surgery tests that determine your suitability for laser eye surgery and will help you deal with any slight complications well in advance.
  • The recovery time post a Laser eye surgery might be short, but it still requires specific attention and a periodical check up to ensure that there are no problems. Make sure your clinic offers that and also confirm on the availability of your surgeon for post-operation consultation.

Top Gifts for Your Teenage Girl

In the olden times, 21 used to be the age when one was considered to be an adult and old enough to have her own key to the front door of her parent’s house.

To keep the tradition going even though the legal age has been revised, a “key to the door” is often gifted to the person celebrating his/her 21st birthday.

But then what all could be ideal 21st birthday presents?

So many, we would say. Times are changing and the preference of the youth too has changed a lot. But a gift is a gift, and presenting a 21 year old on her birthday with a key and love is the most important aspect here.

Well, you could always make personalized gifts, as they would be closer to the heart and make it go fonder.

Making a collage using all the old and new photos and giving it a good frame would make a really cool gift.

To be in good spirits on a wonderful day, a bottle of single malt or wine depending on the likes and dislikes of the person celebrating the birthday.

A twenty one year old girl would definitely love to be in vogue. So how about a fashionista statement for her? Think of something that would make her feel she is grown up and ready to mingle. Trust us, a nice cocktail dress would take her to cloud nine.

A designer handbag should be a favorite for years to come. A charm bracelet with charms that remind her of various happy times in her life would be very appropriate. Speaking of jewelry, simple diamond or pearl earrings are always a hit and should last for ever.

A new smartphone would be cool, especially if you provided the first year usage for free. Be careful on how she uses it. If she texts a lot, you may want to consider a sliding keyboard. If she views a lot of video or music, other smartphones suited for those purposes are desired.

Gadgets are aplenty, and you just need to choose with your wallet in mind and the durability of the devices you pick. If she is in college, a laptop or tablet might just be the best present ever. Speaking of college, buying a few college textbooks may be a great idea.

Beauty industry continues to grow despite the global economic slowdown

Economies world over are experiencing a hard time with some of the nations in the European Union already on the brink of major economic disaster. While this has generally seen people cutting down on expenditure and the excesses, it seems for now that the beauty industry is somehow strangely immune to this effect.

Despite the urban middle class being all the more cautious when it comes to spending cash on luxury products and expansive holidays, high-end beauty products still seem to sell better than ever before.

The global beauty market has seen a constant upswing in the last few years and while the financial analysts look for clues that will help them unravel this mystery, the answer might lie more in the way we think and perceive the world around us, than in sheer numbers and economic prudence.

While many are turning to DIY home beauty remedies for solutions, the bottom line still is that people are willing to spend money on quality beauty products despite the tough economic times.

Products like lipstick, nail polish and even tanning supplies have seen a raise in the sales and many analysts now believe it is the emerging markets and developing nations such as Brazil and India that have the biggest potential to sustain this upswing with largely untapped areas.

With both Latin America and South East Asia just opening up and embracing the global beauty product firms, it seems only natural that the coming years will see a similar upswing despite the tough financial times. As far as the developing markets go, it is the US that still leads the pack in growth with a sales performance that was best in the last 5 years.

The trend in the sales of beauty products might slow down as emerging markets get saturated, but it should continue in a positive fashion in the years to come thanks both to growing “cosmetic consciousness” and popular media.