Stress and Your Health

No one can blame you if you don't want to think about heart disease. You've got enough to worry about; your maniac boss, the batty woman in the apartment downstairs who complains when you walk too loudly, and let's not even talk about all that Valentine's Day pressure. How can you add something else to your to-do lost? Women often tell me their days are full from the time they get up to the time they go to bed, and I think it's getting worse.
If you haven't had one millisecond to think about yourself today, stop. Take a deep breath. And another one. Why is slowing down, even a little, so critical? Because doctors on the front lines of cardiovascular care are becoming convinced that stress is a killer. We've known that men had heart attacks because they had stressful jobs and roles; now women have those jobs. In so many ways, women are now men. Women are juggling so much that they’ve forgotten what's happening mentally affects them physically.

Stress doesn't just keep you from exercising or eating right (though that's often true); it also has a direct impact on your cardiovascular system. Scientists are still trying to prove how much damage stress can do, but evidence worldwide is beginning to show the link is irrefutable. Studies in Denmark and Japan found that highly stressed people had twice the risk of stroke as those who felt more at ease. Researchers in London discovered that stress levels could help predict which women and men were most likely to have heart disease. And a study at Johns Hopkins University showed that people whose blood pressure shot up during a stressful lab test were six times more likely to have a heart attack within six years n people who coped better; and the effect was more powerful than smoking or high cholesterol!

As the science gets better, I think we'll be stunned by how prevalent and powerful the stress connection is, especially for women. The ramifications of simply carrying on with our busy lives could be devastatingly high.

Scotland - Outlander's Country

I'm a fan of Outlander, which is a show about an English woman who travels back in time to Scotland. Thus, I've taken the time to do a bit of research on Scotland's past, thanks to Wikipedia.

Scotland is a country in the northern part of the island of Great Britain. Along with England, to the south, and Wales, to the southwest, and Northern Ireland on the other British iasland Scotland is a part of the UNited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Scotland is an ancient country with a long history of independence.

Scotland is about 30,000 square miles in area, which is about the size of the state of South Carolina. About five million people live there, which is more than twice as many as live in South Carolina! Oh, and the capital of Scotland is Edinburgh.

What's Scotland Like?

Scotland can be divided into three main parts, the Highlands in the north, and the Lowlands in the center, and the Uplands in the south. The coastline is rocky and irregular, indented with many sea lochs (narrow inlets) and firths (wide inlets). The country is dotted with beautiful lakes, also called lochs. Many islands surround Scotland, including the Shetland and the Orkney Islands to the north and the Hebrides to the west. The Uplands are a region of rolling hills and valleys, with many rivers such as the Tweed, the Clyde, and the Trevior. The Lowlands are the industrial heart of Scotland. Three-quarters of the people live here, although it is only one-tenth of the country. The Lowlands have the best farm land of the ctounry and rich mineral deposits. The Highlands occupy the entire northern alf of Scotland and have scenery of breathtaking beauty. In this region is Ben Nevis, 4,406 feet high, the highest point on the island of Great Britain.

There are many beatiful and famous lakes, including Loch Lomond, the largest lake in Scotland. Among the many rivers are the Tay, the Dee, the Don, and the Spey. The summer home of the British royal family, Balmoral Castle, is on the Dee.

The climate of Scotland is mild for a country that lies so far to the north. The summers are cool and the winters are cold except in the Herbrides, where waters from the Gulf Stream of the Atlantic Ocean help to keep the winter weather mild.

I just finished the last episode of the season and I must say, the main British character (I forget his name) who whips Scottish people is my favorite character. One of the biggest things I hate about the show are the elongated sex scenes, but other than that, the story is quite compelling.

Playing Unepic on Wii U

unepic wii u gameplay

Unepic was a fairly popular puzzle based game that was originally designed for desktop computer play. It has a loose story about someone having to use the bathroom while playing D&D and then the lights going off and they are in a castle. The puzzle, of course, is all about making it through to get back to the house where you started. It is billed as a “role-playing-game” but it would be more accurate to name it a character game. While you do have many character stats and even an inventory, you don’t develop the character as you would in true RPG. It is a multi-leveled linear play system.

The game design is decent, the story half-baked, and the graphics haven’t been updated – so why would Unepic be the game that was brought out for play on the Wii U? The answer lies in the humor of the game. While offering up some decent game play the whole game is also poking fun at the genre of role playing games.

There are lots of inside jokes and sardonic asides that make this game fun to play. If you have a sense of humor about yourself and the world of gaming, this is a way to play that will also keep you laughing. One quality that was enhanced when the game came to Wii U was the audio. Now you can clearly hear all the Easter eggs that are hidden that make sly references to the gaming culture or other RPG worlds.
Fans of the original Unepic worried that in coming to the advanced technology of the Wii U that it would lose much of its appeal. The developers decided to stick with the original game design and graphics, which may disappoint those who are new to the Unepic world. The graphics are simple, linear 2D. There is nothing fancy going on, but the action is direct and fast.

The other concern of fans was that the developers would redesign the inventory system. In Unepic, you need a host of weapons and items as each one is used very specifically. To have a displayed inventory window would have wrecked the visual scroll of the movement. The developers created a fully integrated way to access your inventory with only a minimum of interruption to the game.

Before you launch yourself into buying the game you had better make sure that you have the right controller for it. You can’t use the handhelds or Pro Controller for this game; it requires a screen controller or the tablet. The way they resolved the inventory issue makes a touch screen necessary for play. The controls also do not correspond to the buttons on the controllers. The other thing you should know is that while the graphics are old school, the sound and game play rate is anything but old. The game may look like it is from the 90s, but it takes every advantage it can of the Wii U system.

Minecraft - Learn to be Creative and Destructive

minecraft creative mode castle

Minecraft has become popular all over the world where more than five million people play the game online at any given time. The best part of this game is, people can play the game and experience a unique world to do anything. From customized files like mods, maps, and texture packs, the game has evolved the gaming community. The ability to play Minecraft for free is another reason why it is gaining more and more popularity throughout the world.

As an online game, its main concepts are to break textured 3D blocks, place them, and create whatever you want with them. The game is also called sandbox game as it provides some of the features which ought to be adventurous, including an open ended world that spans across millions of blocks. The most important thing is it can be played online on the web browser and that without any cost. Age doesn’t matter, as both young to old can play this game in single player or multiplayer. To play online with other players, users must join a server.

Minecraft has been awarded the Best Game Developer Choice award the Best Innovation award. It is a very creative game that enables the players to build things from blocks. The game also involves collecting of resources and combat. The game is composed of 3D objects like cubes which have to be arranged in a grid pattern. The main materials involved in the game are the stone, dirt, water, tree trunk and ores. Players have to collect these materials, craft tools and other resources from them, and use them for defense, offence, building, and food. The game comprises of two modes namely Survival mode and Creative mode.

Survival Mode

In the Survival mode as the name suggest, the player has to survive at the specific term that requires protection from the monster with the weapons which the player has. In this mode the player has to refill the food like bread etc. at different times. In this mode two players can fight.

In the beginning of the game you try to build structures to get protection against the nocturnal monsters but as the game progresses the players start building together a new wonderful imaginative things. The best part of Minecraft game is the wide range of strange, randomly created world where you can play in.

Creative Mode

Creative mode is much different, where the player can be either constructive or destructive, meaning the player can build or destroy the structures according to their mood. In this mode the player cannot harm or destroy the other player. During the game, the players come across various non-human creatures which are known as mobs such as spiders, skeletons etc.

Sony’s PS4 Virtual Reality Headset – Project Morpheus

project morphus demo

In a Game Developers Conference presentation in San Francisco on March 18, Sony let the world know that they’re really into virtual reality. A headset display prototype dubbed Project Morpheus was revealed and its Sony’s new initiative to give the gaming industry a push towards the future. It’s still currently a prototype but is expected to continue development until its ready. Here are some specifications of the current developer kit that will probably blow your mind:

  • Full 1080p HD display
  • Over 90 degrees field of vision plus 360 vision
  • 100 hertz of tracking
  • Fully adjustable
  • Works even with glasses on
  • Three meter working volume
  • Supports custom wireless headsets/headphones

But did you know that “Morpheus” isn’t a reference to The Matrix character, but the Greek god of dreams? It's okay, I didn’t know either until I read about it. Sony knows they are a direct competitor with Oculus VR’s Oculus Rift, a similar device. However, Sony believes their device will be the preferred medium to use and may be used for other applications in other industries. In fact, they even partnered with NASA to create a demo so people can feel like they’re walking on the surface of Mars.

Sony is quite ambitious as they dream of their device sitting by the coffee table, giving the user an opportunity to quickly take a break and go into “VR mode” with ease. Apparently auto-adjusting capabilities will be added in the future, which is pretty cool.VR is kind of exciting because a lot of new things have to be considered like 3D sound, higher resolution and frame rates, crisper images, and minimal lag or latency. Sony has been working on this project for over three years and have already made many partnerships along the way to bring their revolutionary device to light. They even had the God of War team develop a headset that would allow the user to “become” Kratos. Damn, that’s awesome!