Field Trip by Phone
Unveiling the cool, hidden and quirky things in the world around you, Google’s “Field Trip” app offers users an instant lowdown on everything from local history and architecture to good eats, great shopping, and obscure places of interest within their vicinity. Pulling information from trend-setting publications and expert opinions, Field Trip runs in the background on your phone and notifies you when you come into proximity of something intriguing—such as a world-famous museum, an off-the-beaten-path coffee shop, or an unknown hometown gem. The app offers three different notification modes, and can even detect when the user is driving and automatically switch to “talking” about the current locale. What’s more, users can track and easily share their new discoveries through email and social media. Best of all, it’s free and compatible on Android and iOS devices. Learn more at fieldtripper.com.
Heroes Take Flight!
Not long after the national World War II Memorial opened in the spring of 2004, Retired Air Force Captain Earl Morse noted something disheartening. A physician’s assistant who served many veterans, Morse reveled in his patients’ excitement upon the memorial’s completion. But his delight quickly turned to concern upon learning that many of them would not be able to make the trip to visit their memorial due to financial and physical difficulties.
Feeling compelled to help the heroes who had done so much for his country, Morse raised enough money to fly a dozen WWII veterans to the nation’s capital in 2005, rounding up a group of volunteers to serve as their guides. By the end of that year, Morse had helped more than 130 veterans visit the memorial and fulfill their dreams through what came to be known as Honor Flight.
Following Honor Flight’s initial success, similar efforts began to spring up across the country, leading Morse to cofound the Honor Flight Network in 2006. Today, the nonprofit organization flies WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans to Washington, DC free of charge to tour the capital and the memorials dedicated in their honor, with the assistance of volunteer guardians. Currently, more than 120 hubs operate out of cities in 41 states, including Peoria.
This June, the inaugural Greater Peoria Honor Flight (GPHF) is set to chauffeur several local veterans on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to tour the National Mall and Arlington National Cemetery. While these hometown heroes gear up for takeoff, GPHF is still seeking donations, guardians and other volunteers to help make the trip a success. To learn how you can help, call (309) 740-9294 or visit greaterpeoriahonorflight.org. Find out more about the Honor Flight Network at honorflight.org.
A Smart Solution for Stubborn Fat
The latest technology in body contouring comes to central Illinois.
Even the most health-conscious dieters and avid exercisers still stress over body image. Despite their best efforts, little areas of stubborn fat often stick around—whether due to genetics or other factors. Offering a new solution for an old problem, Soderstrom Skin Institute has introduced what’s considered the most advanced laser-assisted lipolysis system available today: SmartLipo Triplex.
Less invasive than previous body contouring methods, the unique technology behind SmartLipo Triplex delivers the optimal blend of three laser wavelengths to aid in the permanent removal of fat and enhance tissue tightening. Requiring only oral or IV sedation, the system ruptures fat cells while coagulating surrounding blood cells and boosting the body’s production of collagen—leading to a leaner and tighter physique with less bruising, swelling and soreness than traditional liposuction. Best of all, says Dr. James Jeffries III, who joined the Soderstrom surgical team last year, patients will see immediate results.
“I haven’t done a traditional liposuction in almost six years now, because [SmartLipo Triplex] is so much easier on the patient. You see your results so much faster,” he explains. “At two weeks with this technology, you are where a person with traditional liposuction is after four or five months. It’s a significant difference.”
While traditional liposuction can only be performed on larger areas of fat, like the abdomen, thighs or flanks, SmartLipo Triplex can treat those areas as well as smaller trouble spots, like the neck, back, arms and jowls. Following the procedure, patients can return to work as soon as the very next day, and continue to see improvements in their skin and muscle tightening over the following weeks. With a 100-percent satisfaction rate and appointments booking up months in advance, Dr. Jeffries is more than pleased with his work in central Illinois. “I believe in the technology, and I enjoy doing the procedure,” he asserts. “[My patients] are happy, and they didn’t have to go through a whole lot to get that.” For details on SmartLipo Triplex, call 888-970-7546 or visit soderstromskininstitute.com.
Five Ways to Tame Your Inbox
Feeling overwhelmed by email? Besides taking care of your regular duties at work, most employees are now expected to sift through dozens, if not hundreds, of emails every single day. With the daily inundation of messages, weeding out the junk from the time-sensitive memos that require follow-up is no easy task! Try these five tips to keep your inbox in check:
- Study the shortcuts. Learn the ins and outs of your email system, especially the most efficient ways to send and receive messages.
- Embrace the automated message. Eliminate redundancy and save time by creating default messages to respond to your most common queries.
- Set up an automated account. If sending saved messages one-by-one is still eating up your day, take the previous tip a step further and set up a separate email account, such as [email protected], to send out automated responses.
- Establish traffic control. Direct emails from specific recipients to individual folders and organize your messages before they even hit your inbox.
- Update your address book. Add loyal customers and important connections to your contact list so their messages don’t go to your spam folder and to reduce the time you spend sifting through junk mail.
Typing out your passwords will someday be a thing of the past. According to a new study by UC Berkeley, “pass-thoughts” could replace traditional authentication methods within the next few years, allowing users to access their online accounts just by “thinking,” through the use of electroencephalogram (EEG) technology. Researchers recorded participants’ brainwaves and found that computers could identify each subject by their individual “pass-thoughts” with 99 percent accuracy. Given current breakthroughs in embedded sensor technologies, what sounds like an outlandish scene out of a sci-fi film could become everyday reality before you know it.
A Bee’s Buzz
It turns out some insects benefit from a morning pick-me-up just as much as humans. A new study published in Science reports the naturally caffeine-laced nectar of coffee and some citrus plants gives bees a delicious jolt that enhances their learning and memory processes, encouraging them to return to pollinate those flowers again and again. Researchers found bees that sipped on caffeinated nectar were three times more likely to remember the related scent after 24 hours than those who did not, and twice as likely to return for a buzz after 72 hours.
Baby’s first concert may have therapeutic effects, according to new data out of the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. Researchers observed that premature babies staying in intensive care demonstrated improvements in heart rate, sucking behavior, sleep patterns and calorie intake after listening to live music, ranging from sung lullabies to the low beating of drums. Their findings suggest soft sounds paced to the baby’s breathing rate and mood that mimic the noise of the in utero environment can boost neurological function and enhance vital signs. iBi