Friday, January 31, 2020

Poverty Went Down For The Average American In The 20th Century, But Why?

The last twenty years have been a little disappointing for the average worker. Wages are flat when you
take inflation into account, and prices for life’s essentials, like rent and healthcare, have been going up.
But despite the recent blip in the historical record, poverty rates fell for most of the twentieth century, and
they’ll probably continue to fall in the future. 

The question on the minds of many people, though, is why? What was it that allowed poverty rates to go
down so sharply in the years following WWII? 

As you can see from the following infographic, there’s something of a debate on the subject. Some
people are firmly in the camp that says that it is the market economy that produced the wealth that
allowed people to work their way out of poverty to a semblance of financial success. Others argue that it
was the action of the government that brought up the standard of living among the poorest members of
our society with a variety of programs. 

The “War on Poverty” began in the 1930s with a range of policies enacted by President Roosevelt
designed to reduce “want.” Many of the programs involved trying to get people into employment through
public works. 

The modern era of social security and welfare began with Lyndon B Johnson, who introduced the Food
Stamp Act and Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, which offered less well off Americans both food and a
bunch of work-related training. 

Are you interested in why poverty fell so much? Read on to find out more. 

Infographic by Norwich University

Friday, January 17, 2020

What Big Life Changes Do You Want This Year?

Everyone has to go through life changes. Some of them happen to us far quicker in life. Like the moment
you woke up and all of the sudden hormones were raging through you. Or the last time you walked out of
the school gates. Or the first time that you started a full time job. The point we're trying to make is that life
changes at many different points, and it doesn't stop just because we settle down and get a full time job.
In fact, some of the biggest changes in your life might be about to come your way. The truth is, you just
don't know what's around the corner, and without realising it one event is going to lead to another. Small
changes in your life such as getting into a relationship, or having a promotion at work, are all setting you
on a path that will lead to big changes. Those in themselves are big changes to try and deal with. So, if
you keep on reading, we'll explore some of the changes that might be coming your way this year. 

Putting A Ring On Your Finger 

Well, you're not going to put a ring on your own finger but hopefully someone will be putting one on
yours. Getting engaged is a truly special moment, but one we think is lost on modern society. Everyone
seems to be getting engaged no matter how long they've been together, or how secure their relationship is
. So, hopefully you're thinking of a proposal because you know the person you're with is the one you want
to be with for the rest of your life. You might have even spoken to them about the idea of a proposal. A lot
of couples choose to go engagement ring shopping if there are talks of it on the horizon. It allows the
person proposing to have the best understanding of what style and size you'd like. Tacori is a really good
engagement ring designer if you were thinking of looking at some. Whatever you do, make sure that this
is the right person for you. A break up when you're engaged or married is far harder! 

Moving Job Roles 

Having a job is probably not your most fondest part of your life, but it is a role we all have to take on.
Often however, we do not take on the roles that we truly want, only the roles we can get at the time. So,
make this year about finding a job that you truly enjoy. Moving job roles is so daunting to most people,
especially if it means you're moving company. But this leap of faith could take you on such a great path
in life, you just have to be willing to take the risk. 

Moving Home 

Moving home is such a scary thing to do. However, it's far more common for people to move out than it
was before due to the amount of people who are renting. Renting agreements usually last for a year at the
most, so it might not be available to renew. However, moving home adds excitement. It's a chance for you
to be able to move to a completely new location and have a completely different start in life. 

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Good Oral Health Can Help You Maintain A Healthy Pregnancy

Good Oral Health Can Help You Maintain a Healthy Pregnancy

While pregnancy can be incredibly rewarding, it can also be challenging. Pregnant women suffer from a range of health problems, such as cramps, heartburn, backache, constipation, indigestion, urinary frequency, and other issues. 
Although these problems are challenging enough, pregnant women also adopt lifestyle changes to maintain a healthy pregnancy. They may avoid consuming raw protein, fish with high mercury content, soft cheeses, high levels of caffeine, any alcohol or tobacco. They also stay away from kitty litter, certain medicines, and toxic substances.
However, many people don’t realize the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene during pregnancy. When excess bacteria from the mouth of a pregnant woman enters her bloodstream through her gums, it can travel to the uterus and initiate the growth of prostaglandins. These chemicals may result in premature labor. What’s more, such bacteria can also pass on to the baby.
Pregnant mothers with an oral infection known as periodontitis are also known to deliver babies with low birth weight. If you’re a pregnant mother, then make sure that you brush your teeth twice a day daily for two minutes with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, and drink fluoridated water. 
What’s more, reduce your consumption of acidic and sugary drinks and foods high in sodium, sugars, and saturated fats. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, wholegrain foods, and other items that are a good source of protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, and phosphorus. Multivitamins such as folic acid and iron are also a good idea. Food that contains calcium will not only help your oral health by initiating the remineralization of your tooth enamel but ensure that your growing baby develops stronger teeth. 
Drinking water instead of other drinks is advisable. While brushing every day will improve your oral hygiene, a toothbrush can’t remove all food from your mouth. Water can wash away leftover food. It also strengthens your teeth by exposing them to fluoride, calcium, and phosphate. The regular consumption of water also prevents dry mouth, which increases the chances of tooth decay. 
Also, find a good family dentist who is professional, experienced, and friendly. They will improve your oral hygiene by removing leftover plaque before it hardens into tartar and results in tooth decay or gum disease. Both diseases can affect your pregnancy. They can also offer important advice.
Not only is it important for a pregnant woman to see a good family dentist, but it’s vital for the oral health of your family. You can check this out to learn about an excellent dental clinic that treats the elderly, adults, and children. 
It’s important to take your child to a family dentist within the first six months of their tooth eruption. They will help you learn more about how to improve your baby’s oral hygiene. It’s important to start early by cleaning their gums and tooth with a damp soft and clean cloth between feedings. A good family dentist will make sure their oral hygiene is good by maintaining records and watching out for potential issues, such as orthodontic concerns. 
Many children feel anxious during a dental appointment because they didn’t start seeing a dentist until they were older. Others develop anxiety because they’ve been treated by inexperienced dentists. That’s why it’s advisable to find a family dentist who is passionate about treating kids. They will take care of you before and after your pregnancy. 

How To Avoid Getting Taken In By Fake News

The phrase "fake news" might be one that you had never heard a few years ago, but now it's everywhere.
Most people probably like to think that they're capable of detecting fake news, but even the smartest and
most careful of us can get taken in by something that's at least partially fabricated. With so much fake
news floating around out there, how can you avoid getting tricked by it?

Get Your News from Multiple Sources

One of the most important things to do if you want to avoid falling for fake news is to get your news from
multiple sources. This is a good idea whether you read something on social media, on a website you've
never heard of before or even from a respectable newspaper. By using a range of resources, you not
only get a good overview of the facts but a range of opinions too.

Be Careful with Social Media

A lot of fake news is spread via social media, often using automatic bots to share it far and wide. If you f
irst come across a story on social media, especially if it links to an obscure website or blog, it always
pays to double-check and see what other sources say. It can be tempting to like or share a post right
away but holding back until you confirm the truth is smart.

Take a Trip to the Library

Where should you go if you want to learn about media literacy and avoiding fake news? Your local library
or university library is the perfect place. You can learn about how to find out the truth, and you have
access to a variety of resources and archives.

Infographic Design By University of Southern California

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Talk About Money With Your Little Kids

Talk about Money with Your Little Kids

As a parent, you need to talk to your kids about money — and the sooner that you do it, the better. You
can’t expect them to instinctively know how to handle personal finances the moment that they graduate
high school. You have to teach them these important lessons to equip them for the “real world.” 

Kids Between 2 to 6: 

It’s a little too early to teach them what interest rates are or how to make a monthly budget, but it’s the
right time to introduce the concept of money to them. 

Whenever you bring them to the grocery store or market, explain that you have to exchange the items in
your basket for payment. Have them hand the money to the cashier and take the change. If grocery
shopping with your kids is a major hassle, you can teach the same lessons about financial literacy by
playing store at home. Start as the cashier, then let them take on the role and see if they can calculate
change for any of your purchases.

Kids Between 7 to 12:

Introduce more complicated ideas about money, like earning and saving. Give them a small weekly
allowance that they can stash in a piggy bank. Whenever they want to buy candy or get a toy that you
don’t want to foot the bill for, let them know that they can use their own money to get it. 

The move will teach them several lessons:

  • Saving for financial goals
  • Buying things that you need versus what you want
  • Delaying your gratification

Handing them money to save and spend also gives them the opportunity to make mistakes. It’s better
that they learn the pang of wasting a week’s allowance as a kid than wasting a paycheque as an adult.

Tweens and Teens: 

Now, you can talk to your kids more seriously about money to prep them for their adult years. Here are
some things that you can cover at this age:

  • Saving for higher education
  • Making a budget
  • Using a credit card
  • Collecting paycheques
  • Interest

This is also a good time to discuss your income, savings and even your debts. Maybe you need to
get out of debt with a consumer proposal or maybe you maxed out one of your credit cards to settle an
emergency expense. Being honest about your money problems will give them a clearer perspective of
the household’s finances. It will make it easier to explain why you can’t splurge on new clothes or take a
big family vacation this year. 

The sad truth is that parents often pass down bad money habits to their kids — whether it’s acting too
loose or too strict with spending. Children notice how you deal with your finances, and they will copy you
if you’re not careful. The best thing that you can do is give them the tools to be responsible with money
early on and hope that they leave the bad habits behind.

Kids are sponges. They absorb everything that you put in front of them, whether you like it or not. So,
take advantage of this time. Talk to them about money as much as you can so that they go from having
a full piggy bank to a full savings account when they grow up.  

Preparing For A Baby

Having a baby is one of the biggest life changing decisions you can make. Before having a little one,
there’s a good chance that you will lead a life with relatively little responsibility for others’ wellbeing.
However, when you have a baby, you suddenly find yourself fully responsible for everything another person
needs. They’ll be entirely dependent on you. This will change your entire routine. You’ll have to put
someone else’s needs before your own every second of every day. You’ll have to do a lot of conscious and
purposeful planning to ensure you can tick all of your little ones’ boxes, providing them with a good quality
upbringing. So, what can you do to best prepare yourself? Here are a few tips and tricks that should help
you along the way.

Creating a Space for Your Baby

When you have a baby on the way, you’re going to have to quickly consider where they are going to be in
your home. Of course, you’ll carry your little one around from room to room with you and you may want to
have the baby’s moses basket or cot in your room when they first arrive. But eventually, they’ll need a
room of their own. If you’re not in a big enough house, you may want to consider moving and increasing the
amount of space you have. This can be a long process, so it’s a good idea to get started sooner rather than
later. If you have a spare room already, it may be time to start looking at nursery baby essentials.

Picking Up Skills

When you have a baby, you’re going to find yourself completing a whole number of tasks on a day to day
basis that you’ve probably never performed in your entire life. This means you’re going to have to pick up a
huge number of new skills that might not necessarily come naturally to you. Now, there are more than we
can go through in just one article. But here are a few essentials you should look into and practice - perhaps
on a doll - before your little one arrives. Of course, practicing on a doll will be easier than a real baby. They
don’t move or squirm. But it’s better practice than none and, as we all know, practice makes perfect.

Changing a Nappy

You’re going to find yourself changes a lot of nappies when your baby arrives. In fact, most parents will
change their baby ten to twelve times a day. That’s often more than once an hour. So, it’s an essential skill.
You’re also going to want to get it right early on. Improperly put on nappies can leak, or can cause irritation
and discomfort to your baby. To save mess and tears, do your research beforehand. Generally, it’s best to
watch a video guide or look at an illustrated guide. This will give you more of a visual idea of how to change
your little one. You’re going to need a changing mat or towel, cotton wool and a warm bowl of water or
specially designed baby wipes, a bag or bucket to put the dirty nappy in, barrier cream to protect your
baby’s skin, and a clean nappy. It may seem difficult at first, but it’s a skill you’ll quickly pick up and it will
become habit.


Swaddling is extremely popular for keeping your little one comfortable and content. It’s an ancient practice
that a huge number of people still use today. Swaddling entails wrapping your baby in a thin blanket. The fit
is snug. Generally, babies will feel safe and secure when they are swaddled. They also can’t move around
excessively or roll over easily, which can help to give you peace of mind too. Swaddling is often found to
soothe babies and many parents report that the practice even reduces crying (this can help you to get a
decent night’s sleep). Again, this technique is generally best learnt through watching video tutorials, as
these will show you how to correctly fold and tuck a swaddling blanket around your little one. Remember,
there will come a stage will come when your baby will need to start transitioning from swaddling. If you
notice that your baby seems desperate to escape their swaddle and often fidgets when swaddled, it may
be time to move on and remove swaddling. Do this in a phased process.


Weaning isn’t something you will have to consider as a brand new parent. But it will arrive at some point or
another. Warning is a process in which a baby is encouraged to stop depending on milk and to move onto
solid foods. This can be a complex process and many babies aren’t all too happy about it. But once your
baby reaches six months old, it’s a good idea to start slowly introducing them to slightly solid foods with
subtle new tastes and textures. Soft baby porridges are widely available and tend to be a great option to
start out with. You can then start introducing foods that are specially formulated for babies, such as
jarred baby food or pouches of baby food. They’re soft and easy to swallow, but can show your baby
stronger flavours. Every baby is different and will respond to this process differently. Some are ready and
eager to try stronger flavours, others shy away. But all will generally come round to the idea. If you’re ever
concerned about weaning, contact your doctor or your health visitor.

These are just a few different things you might want to focus on in preparation for a baby. There are, of
course, many more things you’ll need to invest in and many more skills you’ll have to pick up. But
hopefully, the areas mentioned above will get you set off in the right direction! Incorporate them into your
routine and plan sooner rather than later to give you the most time possible to prepare and adjusty!

Monday, January 6, 2020

3 Tips For Making Your Vacation More Of An Adventure

There’s something about vacations that just helps to make life seem more exciting and magical – almost
like the feeling kids get on Christmas Eve.

Many of us spend the majority of each year waiting for that precious moment when we get to disappear for
a couple of weeks and say goodbye to work, familiar surroundings, and many of our everyday obligations,
in order to enjoy something completely different.

Of course, that’s the dream – but probably almost everyone has also had the unfortunate experience of
procrastinating, getting lazy, wasting time, and finding that their vacation has passed by entirely without
much to look back on.

Here are a few tips for making your vacation into more of an adventure, instead.

Really push yourself out of your comfort zone, and do things that make you nervous (within reason)

We all have our comfort zones, and usually also a pretty clear sense of what types of activities make us
nervous or uneasy.

Of course, it’s important to always act in line with your values and not to do things that make you feel
uneasy in a moral sense. But, when it comes to things that make you feel “uneasy” in terms of making you
feel a bit nervous, anxious, or self-conscious, it’s often best to push yourself to cross that threshold.

When you are on vacation – and especially when you’re travelling to exciting locales such as those offered
by the BP Privilege Club – one of the best ways of having an adventurous experience is to do things that
make you nervous (within reason, of course.)

Try local foods that seem strange to you. Go SCUBA diving. Get out of your comfort zone.

Be “in the moment” as much as you can, and leave the technology behind

Travel photos are more popular and accessible today than they’ve ever been, thanks to various social media
sites. But it’s strange to consider that, for those pictures to exist, someone usually has to find themselves in
an extremely beautiful environment only to then spend a decent amount of time disregarding their
surroundings and trying to get the right selfie angles.

As much as you can, you should try to “be in the moment” on your vacation, and preferably leave most of
the technology behind. 

You’re going to find far more magic in the moment itself, if you aren’t distracted by your newsfeed.

Visit new places and let the atmosphere “reveals itself” to you

When you visit new locations, it’s pretty much inevitable that you are going to go into the experience with
certain expectations. Anyone who visits Paris, or Rome, for example, is likely looking for a romantic
postcard scene to unfold before their eyes.

The problem with expectations like these is that they can often be confounded. What’s more, having big
expectations often doesn’t really allow the actual atmosphere of the place to “reveal itself” to you, directly.

Next time you’re travelling, get into the mindset of someone looking to “discover” what a location has in
store. Not the mindset of someone who already knows exactly what they want to experience, and who is
going to be deeply irritated if things don’t go according to plan.


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