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Three is a Trend: She's Blushing

Three is a Trend: She's Blushing | Cultural Trendz |
The latest fashion news, trends, hottest designers, runway models, beauty looks, celebrity red carpet and fashion week coverage from Harper's BAZAAR's blog, BAZAAR Report. In a season dominated by black — even on the runways of those oft-celebrated for their deft approaches to print and color — a muted pink hits not unlike a warm breeze during a bristling winter. The rich blush walked the runway on a modified shift at Simone Rocha, on a color-blocked fur at Fendi and on an embellished peplum pencil at No.21. It's unabashedly feminine and a welcome anomaly. Read more: click on the image above.
Vilma Bonilla's insight:

Awesome color combo! On Monday, my color pallate was a simple muted pink top paired with a black peplum blazer and skirt suit. It worked out beautifully.

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Researchers show how mindfulness and thoughts change your genes

Researchers show how mindfulness and thoughts change your genes | Cultural Trendz |

With evidence growing that training the mind or inducing specific modes of consciousness can have beneficial health effects, scientists have sought to understand how these practices physically affect the body. A new study by researchers in Wisconsin, Spain, and France reports the first evidence of specific molecular changes in the body following a period of intensive mindfulness practice.

The study investigated the effects of a day of intensive mindfulness practice in a group of experienced meditators, compared to a group of untrained control subjects who engaged in quiet non-meditative activities. After eight hours of mindfulness practice, the meditators showed a range of genetic and molecular differences, including altered levels of gene-regulating machinery and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that shows rapid alterations in gene expression within subjects associated with mindfulness meditation practice,” says study author Richard J. Davidson, founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Most interestingly, the changes were observed in genes that are the current targets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs,” says Perla Kaliman, first author of the article and a

researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona, Spain (IIBB-CSIC-IDIBAPS), where the molecular analyses were conducted.

The study was published in the Journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

Mindfulness-based trainings have shown beneficial effects on inflammatory disorders in prior clinical studies and are endorsed by the American Heart Association as a preventative intervention. The new results provide a possible biological mechanism for therapeutic effects.

Gene Activity Can Change According To Perception

According to Dr. Bruce Lipton, gene activity can change on a daily basis. If the perception in your mind is reflected in the chemistry of your body, and if your nervous system reads and interprets the environment and then controls the blood’s chemistry, then you can literally change the fate of your cells by altering your thoughts.

In fact, Dr. Lipton’s research illustrates that by changing your perception, your mind can alter the activity of your genes and create over thirty thousand variations of products from each gene. He gives more detail by saying that the gene programs are contained within the nucleus of the cell, and you can rewrite those genetic programs through changing your blood chemistry.

In the simplest terms, this means that we need to change the way we think if we are to heal cancer. “The function of the mind is to create coherence between our beliefs and the reality we experience,” Dr. Lipton said. “What that means is that your mind will adjust the body’s biology and behavior to fit with your beliefs. If you’ve been told you’ll die in six months and your mind believes it, you most likely will die in six months. That’s called the nocebo effect, the result of a negative thought, which is the opposite of the placebo effect, where healing is mediated by a positive thought.”

That dynamic points to a three-party system: there’s the part of you that swears it doesn’t want to die (the conscious mind), trumped by the part that believes you will (the doctor’s prognosis mediated by the subconscious mind), which then throws into gear the chemical reaction (mediated by the brain’s chemistry) to make sure the body conforms to the dominant belief. (Neuroscience has recognized that the subconscious controls 95 percent of our lives.)

Now what about the part that doesn’t want to die–the conscious mind? Isn’t it impacting the body’s chemistry as well? Dr. Lipton said that it comes down to how the subconscious mind, which contains our deepest beliefs, has been programmed. It is these beliefs that ultimately cast the deciding vote.

“It’s a complex situation,” said Dr. Lipton. People have been programmed to believe that they’re victims and that they have no control. We’re programmed from the start with our mother and father’s beliefs. So, for instance, when we got sick, we were told by our parents that we had to go to the doctor because the doctor is the authority concerning our health. We all got the message throughout childhood that doctors were the authority on health and that we were victims of bodily forces beyond our ability to control. The joke, however, is that people often get better while on the way to the doctor. That’s when the innate ability for self-healing kicks in, another example of the placebo effect.

Mindfulness Practice Specifically Affects Regulatory Pathways

The results of Davidson’s study show a down-regulation of genes that have been implicated in inflammation. The affected genes include the pro-inflammatory genes RIPK2 and COX2 as well as several histone deacetylase (HDAC) genes, which regulate the activity of other genes epigenetically by removing a type of chemical tag. What’s more, the extent to which some of those genes were downregulated was associated with faster cortisol recovery to a social stress test involving an impromptu speech and tasks requiring mental calculations performed in front of an audience and video camera.

Biologists have suspected for years that some kind of epigenetic inheritance occurs at the cellular level. The different kinds of cells in our bodies provide an example. Skin cells and brain cells have different forms and functions, despite having exactly the same DNA. There must be mechanisms–other than DNA–that make sure skin cells stay skin cells when they divide.

Perhaps surprisingly, the researchers say, there was no difference in the tested genes between the two groups of people at the start of the study. The observed effects were seen only in the meditators following mindfulness practice. In addition, several other DNA-modifying genes showed no differences between groups, suggesting that the mindfulness practice specifically affected certain regulatory pathways.

The key result is that meditators experienced genetic changes following mindfulness practice that were not seen in the non-meditating group after other quiet activities — an outcome providing proof of principle that mindfulness practice can lead to epigenetic alterations of the genome.

Previous studies in rodents and in people have shown dynamic epigenetic responses to physical stimuli such as stress, diet, or exercise within just a few hours.

“Our genes are quite dynamic in their expression and these results suggest that the calmness of our mind can actually have a potential influence on their expression,” Davidson says.

“The regulation of HDACs and inflammatory pathways may represent some of the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic potential of mindfulness-based interventions,” Kaliman says. “Our findings set the foundation for future studies to further assess meditation strategies for the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions.”

Subconscious Beliefs Are Key

Too many positive thinkers know that thinking good thoughts–and reciting affirmations for hours on end–doesn’t always bring about the results that feel-good books promise.

Dr. Lipton didn’t argue this point, because positive thoughts come from the conscious mind, while contradictory negative thoughts are usually programmed in the more powerful subconscious mind.

“The major problem is that people are aware of their conscious beliefs and behaviors, but not of subconscious beliefs and behaviors. Most people don’t even acknowledge that their subconscious mind is at play, when the fact is that the subconscious mind is a million times more powerful than the conscious mind and that we operate 95 to 99 percent of our lives from subconscious programs.

“Your subconscious beliefs are working either for you or against you, but the truth is that you are not controlling your life, because your subconscious mind supersedes all conscious control. So when you are trying to heal from a conscious level–citing affirmations and telling yourself you’re healthy–there may be an invisible subconscious program that’s sabotaging you.”

The power of the subconscious mind is elegantly revealed in people expressing multiple personalities. While occupying the mind-set of one personality, the individual may be severely allergic to strawberries. Then, in experiencing the mind-set of another personality, he or she eats them without consequence.

The new science of epigenetics promises that every person on the planet has the opportunity to become who they really are, complete with unimaginable power and the ability to operate from, and go for, the highest possibilities, including healing our bodies and our culture and living in peace.


Vilma Bonilla's insight:

These findings are amazing! #mindfulness #meditation

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The difference between instructivism, constructivism, and connectivism

The difference between instructivism, constructivism, and connectivism | Cultural Trendz |

We spend so much time in education trying to make things better.

Better policies.

Better technology.

Better standards.

Better curriculum.

Better instruction.

Better assessment.

Better response to assessment data.

And too with research, teacher collaboration, school design, parent communication, and so on. In fact, many of the “fads” in education that ebb and flow are simply micro-experimentation with this macro and general notion of “better”–zooming in on one thing–whole child education, whole language reading, or gender-based classrooms, and so on.

So while viewing a presentation from Jackie Gerstein recently (that we’re going to share in full tomorrow), I was stopped at the very simple distinction she made between instructivism, constructivism, and connectivism. These differences dovetail behind broader differences between pedagogy, andragogy, and heautagrogy–fundamental assumptions about how and why people learn that have to be considered if our end goal is not to make students better at school, but rather to improve literacy and critical thinking for global citizens everywhere.

So as you focus in your PLC or staff meetings on better “research-based instruction,” you’re looking at ways to improve how to better deliver instruction–more to understand how to better “give learning” than to cause it.

The Difference Between Instructivism, Constructivism, And Connectivism

Instructivism is definitely more teacher and institutionally centered, where policy-makers and “power-holders” create processes, resource-pools, and conditions for success.

Constructivism sees the teacher step aside to a new role as facilitator, pairing students with peers, learning processes, and another another at key moments based on data and observation while the students create their own knowledge and even early learning pathways.

Connectivism is similar to constructivism–in fact, a learner participating in connectivism would likely do so at times with an constructivist approach. The difference here lies in the central role of relationships and networks in connectivism. Rather than supplemental, they are primary sources.

Gerstein’s definition’s appear below. More tomorrow.

Read more:

Via TeachersWithApps, Suvi Salo, Ivon Prefontaine
Vilma Bonilla's insight:

I love to see adults learners learn from each other. I favor constructivism and connectivism respectively

Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, Today, 7:47 AM

Learning to be is interesting, but might not go far enough. One way to interpret being is as a noun which is always the jumping off point for becoming, a verb.


Having a teacher involved is important.

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Why readers, scientifically, are the best people to fall in love with

Why readers, scientifically, are the best people to fall in love with | Cultural Trendz |

Ever finished a book? I mean, truly finished one? Cover to cover. Closed the spine with that slow awakening that comes with reentering consciousness?

You take a breath, deep from the bottom of your lungs and sit there. Book in both hands, your head staring down at the cover, back page or wall in front of you.

You’re grateful, thoughtful, pensive. You feel like a piece of you was just gained and lost. You’ve just experienced something deep, something intimate. (Maybe, erotic?) You just had an intense and somewhat transient metamorphosis.

Like falling in love with a stranger you will never see again, you ache with the yearning and sadness of an ended affair, but at the same time, feel satisfied. Full from the experience, the connection, the richness that comes after digesting another soul. You feel fed, if only for a little while.

This type of reading, according to TIME magazine’s Annie Murphy Paul, is called “deep reading,” a practice that is soon to be extinct now that people are skimming more and reading less.

Readers, like voicemail leavers and card writers, are now a dying breed, their numbers decreasing with every GIF list and online tabloid.

The worst part about this looming extinction is that readers are proven to be nicer and smarter than the average human, and maybe the only people worth falling in love with on this shallow hell on earth.

According to both 2006 and 2009 studies published by Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University in Canada, and Keith Oatley, a professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto, those who read fiction are capable of the most empathy and “theory of mind,” which is the ability to hold opinions, beliefs and interests apart from their own.

They can entertain other ideas, without rejecting them and still retain their own. While this is supposed to be an innate trait in all humans, it requires varying levels of social experiences to bring into fruition and probably the reason your last partner was a narcissist.

Did you ever see your ex with a book? Did you ever talk about books? If you didn’t, maybe you should think about changing your type.

It’s no surprise that readers are better people. Having experienced someone else’s life through abstract eyes, they’ve learned what it’s like to leave their bodies and see the world through other frames of reference.

They have access to hundreds of souls, and the collected wisdom of all them. They have seen things you’ll never understand and have experienced deaths of people you’ll never know.

They’ve learned what it’s like to be a woman, and a man. They know what it’s like to watch someone suffer. They are wise beyond their years.

Another 2010 study by Mar reinforces this idea with results that prove the more stories children have read to them, the keener their “theory of mind.” So while everyone thinks their kids are the best, the ones who read have the edge as they truly are the wiser, more adaptable and understanding children.

Because reading is something that molds you and adds to your character. Each triumph, lesson and pivotal moment of the protagonist becomes your own.

Every ache, pain and harsh truth becomes yours to bear. You’ve traveled with authors and experienced the pain, sorrow and anguish they suffered while writing through it. You’ve lived a thousand lives and come back to learn from each of them.

If you’re still looking for someone to complete you, to fill the void of your singly-healed heart, look for the breed that’s dying out. You will find them in coffee shops, parks and subways.

You will see them with backpacks, shoulder bags and suitcases. They will be inquisitive and soulful, and you will know by the first few minutes of talking to them.
They Won’t Talk To You… They’ll Speak To You

They will write you letters and texts in verse. They are verbose, but not in the obnoxious way. They do not merely answer questions and give statements, but counter with deep thoughts and profound theories. They will enrapture you with their knowledge of words and ideas.

According to the study, “What Reading Does For The Mind” by Anne E. Cunningham of the University of California, Berkeley, reading provides a vocabulary lesson that children could never attain by schooling.

According to Cunningham, “the bulk of vocabulary growth during a child’s lifetime occurs indirectly through language exposure rather than through direct teaching.”

Do yourself a favor and date someone who really knows how to use their tongue.
They Don’t Just Get You… They Understand You

You should only fall in love with someone who can see your soul. It should be someone who has reached inside you and holds those innermost parts of you no one could find before. It should be someone who doesn’t just know you, but wholly and completely understands you.

According to Psychologist David Comer Kidd, at the New School for Social Research, “What great writers do is to turn you into the writer. In literary fiction, the incompleteness of the characters turns your mind to trying to understand the minds of others.”

This is proved over and over again, the more people take to reading. Their ability to connect with characters they haven’t met makes their understanding of the people around them much easier.

They have the capacity for empathy. They may not always agree with you, but they will try to see things from your point of view.
They’re Not Just Smart… They’re Wise

Being overly smart is obnoxious, being wise is a turn on. There’s something irresistible about someone you can learn from. The need for banter and witty conversation is more imperative than you may believe, and falling in love with a reader will enhance not just the conversation, but the level of it.

According to Cunningham, readers are more intelligent, due to their increased vocabulary and memory skills, along with their ability to spot patterns. They have higher cognitive functions than the average non-reader and can communicate more thoroughly and effectively.

Finding someone who reads is like dating a thousand souls. It’s gaining the experience they’ve gained from everything they’ve ever read and the wisdom that comes with those experiences. It’s like dating a professor, a romantic and an explorer.

If you date someone who reads, then you, too, will live a thousand different lives.


Vilma Bonilla's insight:

Love it!

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Quick breakfast ideas for your workday – To go!

Quick breakfast ideas for your workday – To go! | Cultural Trendz |

Did you start your workday right? If you’re like most busy professionals, most mornings you’re rushing to get out the door, and sitting down to breakfast is the last thing on your mind. The most important meal of the day suddenly takes a backseat to everything else that seems, well, more important.

But whether you’re a teacher, attorney, or financial advisor, with a little planning you can have a healthy breakfast every morning that doesn’t come out of a package.
Overnight Oats

The thought of cold oatmeal might not sound appealing at first, but mixed with yogurt and allowed to sit overnight, the oats get soft and chewy and just plain delicious. Mix a yogurt with ⅓ cup of dry oatmeal and put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, add some fruit, and you’ve got a complete, filling breakfast! Vanilla yogurt with some cinnamon and banana is a great combo, or strawberry yogurt with a spoonful of cocoa powder stirred makes for a great chocolatey treat!

A scoop of protein powder gives smoothies real staying power. With up to 25 grams of protein in each serving, your smoothie will keep you full all morning long. The night before, just add a scoop of your favorite flavored powder and a cup of milk to your blender. In the morning, add a frozen banana or some berries, and blend ‘er up! Pour it into a travel cup, and you’re good to go – in under five minutes!
Homemade McMuffin

A much better alternative to fast food, a homemade McMuffin is a great go-to quick and easy breakfasts. It just requires a little night before prep work. Spray a small bowl with nonstick cooking spray and crack an egg or two into it. Scramble ‘em up and add some cheese, salt and pepper, and torn spinach leaves. In the morning, put an English muffin into the toaster, and microwave your eggs, covered, for 1.5-2 minutes. Slide the egg patty onto your toasted muffin and top with a slice of tomato.

Sitting down to homemade waffles is practically laughable on a workday. But if you can toast, you can have your waffles and eat them, too! Just take two frozen waffles and toast ‘em up. Then, spread peanut butter on one waffle, top with sliced bananas, and pop the other waffle on top. Magic waffle-wich! Better yet, add a sprinkle of chia seeds on top for an extra energy boost- they’ll help you stay full longer and give you a healthy dose of omega-3s.
Breakfast Burrito

Wrapped in a tortilla with a little salsa, eggs are just more fun. Scramble two egg whites with ¼ cup of cottage cheese and microwave for two minutes or until cooked. Spread the eggs onto your favorite tortilla, top with salsa, and wrap the whole thing together into a burrito. If you have an extra minute, up the ante with a few slices of fresh avocado for some heart-healthy, flavorful fats.

With just a little planning, any busy professional can have a delicious, healthy breakfast in no time!

Melissa Woodson is the community manager for @WashULaw, one of the premier LLM degree programs offered through Washington University in St. Louis. In her spare time, she enjoys running, cooking, and making half-baked attempts at training her dog.



Vilma Bonilla's insight:

Most important meal of the day. Make time for it! ~ V.B.

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Stop creating a “this” or “that” culture

Stop creating a “this” or “that” culture | Cultural Trendz |

Oh, yes, I got sucked into the culture of “this” or “that” creating game several years ago.

Back then I designed and regularly presented a workshop, which I called “Making a Real Recognition Culture.” I even wrote regularly about it when politely asked.  No matter the format the content was always well received and respected.

These days we banter around the idea that we can create any type of culture you want from a million different stripes needed right in your very own workplace. Which is quite amazing when you really think about it.
Cultural Profusion

Recently, I have seen and searched such cultural variations on the theme with the following references:

    Creating a culture of engagement
    Building a culture of innovation
    A culture of learning
    A culture of safety
    A culture of creativity
    A culture of discipline
    A culture of performance excellence
    A culture of… well, you name it and I am sure it is there

…and I even read an article by Jon Lovett on the culture of shut up! Which just might be more applicable to this discussion than it first sounds.

    How many cultures does it really take to make an organization successful?

Now my point is this – like the infamous “how many does it take to change a lightbulb jokes” – how many cultures does it really take to make an organization successful? Could we really ever have all these multiple cultures merging together and actually functioning simultaneously in the same organization? I don’t believe so and nor do I think it’s feasible.


Culture Shock

So what is a company to do?

My recommendation: You only need one very vibrant, living, breathing, infused culture to drive anything and everything you ever really wanted or need in any organization.

Take Zappos as a classic example. I had the chance to visit the Zappos head office in Las Vegas, Nevada this past January. It was a fun, educational and amazing experience.

All they have is one culture. They have ten core values that are uniquely Zappos and unlike the standard corporate-speak on the walls of many companies. But what stood out is that they live their culture everywhere, everyday.

Who wouldn’t when one of your values is “Create Fun and a Little Weirdness” as we witnessed one department’s team members parading the floors of the company in bizarre costumes? Or what about “Deliver WOW Through Service” and call center folks are empowered to send flowers, cards or chocolates to a customer they feel really needs that positive boost.

Zappos’ culture is their brand. It drives how they hire, manufacture, deliver service, retain people, innovate, and serve their community and even how they give recognition to people.

Many people want to copy Zappos’ culture but you cannot copy another group’s beliefs, values and how you do things. It just wouldn’t be authentic because you would be stealing.

The key action leaders of any organization must take, is to create your culture. Period.

Your organizational culture should drive every initiative, practice, your ways of doing things, how you treat people, the propulsion of your brand to the forefront, and it must absolutely inspire everyone to lead out and achieve a higher purpose for the good of all.

And amazingly, your wonderful culture will ultimately lead you to the side benefit, but not the focus, of the profits you hope to make.

It just happens.

And so will…







…performance excellence

And no one will ever shut up talking about you and your company because of the great things you are doing.

All from one culture.

I like simplicity.

Q: How do you get your culture to drive every practice you need to be successful?


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An old fashioned man . . .

"Why you gotta be so rude?"

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Funny reggae tune with a romantic twist.

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7 bad speaking habits that turn people off

7 bad speaking habits that turn people off | Cultural Trendz |


Not even the best ideas can put you on the path to success if no one will listen to you.

Speaker and author Julian Treasure gave a popular TED Talk last year that explained how anyone can speak effectively, whether in a conversation or in front of a crowd. How well you influence others is as much about you do say as what you don't.

Here are the bad habits you need to avoid if you want people to listen to you, which Treasure calls the "seven deadly sins of speaking":

1. Gossiping

Speaking badly of somebody else seems to have a chain reaction, Treasure says. If you engage in gossip, you can give yourself a bad reputation and inspire others to start gossiping about you.

2. Judging

If you fill your conversations with judgments of others, you're making the person you're speaking with self-conscious of being judged themselves, Treasure says. They'll be afraid to open up to you and may shut down completely.

3. Being negative

"My mother, in the last years of her life, became very, very negative, and it's hard to listen," he says. "I remember one day, I said to her, 'It's October 1 today,' and she said, 'I know, isn't it dreadful?'" Choosing to be optimistic will make you more enjoyable to talk to. Plus, it's better for your health.

4. Complaining

Complaining easily becomes a habit, and before you know it, you'll be known as the person who complains about the weather, the news, work, and everything else. It's what Treasure calls "viral misery."

5. Making excuses

Some people have a "blamethrower," Treasure says, putting the blame on anybody and anything except themselves when met with failure. While others may let the occasional excuse slide, a constant stream of them reveals that you do not take responsibility for your actions.

6. Exaggerating

Exaggeration "demeans our language," Treasure says. Adding dramatic flair is essentially a form of lying, and "we don't want to listen to people we know are lying to us."

7. Being dogmatic

It's dangerous when opinions and facts become confused. Nobody wants to be bombarded with opinions stated as if they were true.

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"How well you influence others is as much about you do say as what you don't . . . speak effectively, whether in a conversation or in front of a crowd . . . Here are the bad habits you need to avoid if you want people to listen to you ."

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