A Publication of WTVP

Back-to-School Savings
While back-to-school shopping has been well underway for some time, more families are waiting to shop this year, according to Deloitte’s 2014 Back-to-School Survey. More than half of respondents said they will wait to complete their shopping until less than a month before the school year, while 26 percent will wait until after the school year begins to finish spending an average of $670 on supplies, clothes and electronics per family, according to the National Retail Federation—up five percent from last year.

While most consumers plan to do most of their shopping at discount or value department stores, 38 percent plan to shop online. In addition, nearly one in five plans to use social media to discover promotions, read reviews and recommendations, and browse products.

The shifting trends suggest families are becoming more conscious about saving. In addition to waiting to scope out the best deals, browsing online for savings, and using social media to get the best bang for your buck, U.S. News & World Report’s Matthew Ong suggests a few more tips for saving during the extended back-to-school season.

Psychology of Color

Color therapy—the idea that light in the form of color can help balance hauman energy—dates back to ancient Egypt, where the practice was first used to treat disease. According to researchers for the Ibn Sina Institute of Tibb, the theory is that all matter is composed of energy, each vibrating at a specific frequency, and color therapy may help balance the frequency of malfunctioning cells, restoring them to their natural state. For instance, warmer colors may stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, increasing energy and blood flow, while cooler colors may stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, decreasing energy and blood flow.

Color therapy has been utilized in the treatment of skin conditions and cancers through techniques like infrared radiation and UV light therapy, but healthcare entities aren’t the only ones who have realized its potential. Marketers also know that color affects our visual experiences—from brand identity to the conveyance of emotions. Samsung ran with this idea last August when it launched a huge digital ad campaign for its new Galaxy Tab S. The interactive “Color Therapy” ads were customized by region across six cities worldwide, each ebbing and flowing into some 100 different combinations of colors and shapes based on the weather—responding to cool tones when it was hot and dry, and warm tones when cold and wet. The goals were twofold: to showcase the tablet’s visual capabilities, and to use color to play on potential consumers’ moods.

You can use color to your business’ advantage, too. Set the right mood with careful color selection in your business logo; reach the right audience through a targeted background hue in your next advertisement; or boost office creativity with the perfect shade for conference room walls.

In its “Psychology of Color” chart, the Carey Jolliffe Graphic Arts agency breaks down the connotations associated with different colors, helping to harness the right color to tell a client’s story, set a business’ mood, or inspire people to take action.

Positive: exciting, energizing, sexy, passionate, hot, dynamic, stimulating, provocative, dramatic, powerful, courageous, magnetic, assertive, impulsive, adventurous, demanding, stirring, spontaneous, motivating. Negative: aggressive, violent, warlike, temperamental, antagonistic, dangerous.

Positive: romantic, affectionate, compassionate, sweet, soft, tender, delicate, innocent, fragile, youthful.
Negative: too sweet, too sentimental.

Positive: rich, glowing, divine, intuitive, luxurious, opulent, expensive, radiant, valuable, prestigious.
Negative: gaudy.

Positive: natural, trustworthy, refreshing, cool, restful, stately, hushed, woodsy, traditional, reliable, money, prosperity.

Positive: calming, cool, heavenly, constant, faithful, true, dependable, restful, contented, tranquil, reassuring, trusting, serene, expansive, open, transcendent.

Positive: powerful, empowering, elegant, sophisticated, mysterious, heavy, bold, basic, classic, strong, expensive, invulnerable, magical, nighttime, sober, prestigious, stylish, modern.
Negative: depression, death, mourning, underworld, evil, oppression, suppression, menacing.

Positive: pure, clean, pristine, spotless, innocent, silent, lightweight, airy, bright, bridal, ethereal, clarity, simplicity, arctic, efficient.
sterile, cold.

View the full chart at


Three-Spice Flight

Lengthy lists of exotic, hard-to-find ingredients and new flavors can make international recipes quite daunting at times. But sometimes, all your most trusted home recipe needs is a bit of a twist to gain some international flair. See how far a mere three ingredients—in the right combinations—can carry your next dish, with these spice combinations from kitchen, interior and garden experts, Kit Stone. Check out the full infographic at iBi

Ginger + Chili + Turmeric = BURMA
Marjoram + Scotch Bonnet Pepper + Coriander = CARIBBEAN
Rosemary + Parsley + Thyme = ENGLAND
Wine + Basil + Garlic = FRANCE
Lemon + Olive Oil + Oregano = GREECE
Onion + Lard + Paprika = HUNGARY
Chili + Tomato + Lime = MEXICO
Cumin + Lemon + Ginger = NORTHERN INDIA
Chili + Tomato + Peanut = WEST AFRICA
Paprika + Mustard Seed + Cayenne Pepper = LOUISIANA

Millennials, Now Stand
By now you’ve probably heard—sitting can be detrimental to your health. A flurry of recent studies conclude the longer you spend sitting every day, the higher your risk of dying prematurely… even if you engage in regular daily exercise. In fact, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the risk of dying early is 15 percent higher for those who sit eight to 11 hours a day, compared to those who sit less than four hours per day.

For those still on the fence, here’s more evidence: standing during meetings can boost the excitement around creative group processes and encourage collaboration, according to a recent study published in Social Psychology and Personality Science. Study participants wore small sensors around their wrists to measure their physiological arousal—how their bodies reacted when excited—during the workday. The teams that stood during meetings were more excited and were less territorial about their ideas than those seated, making for more productive output overall.

The researchers encourage organizations to experiment with office design—eliminating chairs for group meetings, adding whiteboards to encourage creative brainstorming, and if the budget allows, outfitting workspace with adjustable-height desks to encourage varied sitting and standing patterns throughout the day. Walking meetings are also on the rise—20-minute, small group walks offer employees fresh air and the benefits of exercise while tackling the agenda at hand.

What’s more: companies with better space design and alternative workspace solutions may gain a competitive edge in attracting fresh talent, according to a recent article from the Chicago Tribune’s Blue Sky Innovation. While the transition to the eight-hour cubicle workday can be daunting to millennials emerging from university life, an interactive workspace could be the welcoming gesture needed to attract and retain prized employees. And the promise of a longer life can’t hurt. 


Do It All Again

More than 80 percent of U.S. small business owners say they would still become a small business owner today if they had the chance to do it all over again, according to the most recent Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index. Among the key reasons identified for their decision: the independence gained from their career choice, being their own boss, a sense of job satisfaction, having family time and schedule flexibility, and interacting with customers.

Character First
Selecting science and engineering graduate students based on an assessment of character rather than standardized test scores could improve student quality and increase participation of women and minorities in STEM fields, according to a recent article published in Nature. The primary reason half of all American Ph.D candidates don’t graduate, the authors state, is U.S. academia’s overreliance on the GRE’s quantitative score, which measures math ability as a predictor of ultimate success. The test also discourages women and minorities from STEM fields. The authors propose in-person interviews to better assess an individual’s likelihood of success and the elimination of typical selection procedures that reject candidates based on high minimum GRE scores.

Turn It Off!
Background TV has a negative influence on the language development of toddlers, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Children and Media. Parents of toddlers ages 12, 24 and 36 months were observed interacting with their children for an hour with and without an adult television program in the background. When the TV was on, the quantity of words and phrases spoken, and the number of new words introduced by parents were significantly lower. The average American child under 24 months is exposed to an average 5.5 hours of background TV per day. iBi