Map Shows Literal Translation of Country Names

Not everyone who has walked through the beautiful pueblos of Spain knows that the country is named after rabbits. Likewise, you may have revelled in the sun-kissed beaches of Maldives, not knowing that the natives called their place a garland of islands. A beautiful name for a beautiful place, really. In an awesomely nerdy project that indulges our interest in travel, the Australian company Credit Card Compare created a map with the literal meaning of all the country names in the world.

“Learning the etymology – the origin of words – of countries around the world offers us fascinating insight into the origins of some of our favourite travel destinations and the people who first lived there,” the company says. Zooming in on continents and regions, from Europe to South America and Africa, the map offers a different perspective.

Varied reactions sprung up online, ranging from pure fascination to a personal need to verify the facts and study further, but one thing is for sure: the company’s research provides us with valuable insight to see the places we have been and the places we have yet to be in a new light.

“The interest has been enormous far beyond Australia because of some of the unexpected names. People are contacting us with their positive feedback and reasons for some corrections to one or two names. We plan to release even high-def downloads suitable for big poster-sized prints.”

A while ago, I wrote about the many different ways you can maximize your weekend. It could be difficult—though definitely not impossible!—to cram an exhilarating getaway in that two-day window. But sometimes, when you cannot go out there yet and travel, relaxing at home and making discoveries about the places you dream to explore could suffice. Make yourself a hot chocolate or a mojito, cozy up, and start with this map.

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Mediterranean Diet Prevents Heart and Brain Aging

Many people have different concepts of the best diet habits and what the best diet consists of. Here at our blog, I have written before about my personal stakes in maintaining a healthy diet and a co-worker has also said her piece on vegetarianism. Now, I consider myself far from a diet skeptic as I truly believe in having an eating regimen, but some fads just seem quite absurd, like surviving only on lemonade or grapefruit or baby food for weeks. A growing body of research agrees with me.

Scientists continue to affirm that this certain type of meal plan seems to be best: high consumption of vegetables, protein, and healthy fats; then low consumption of processed foods and refined carbs like white bread. This comes in various versions and labels as some people are completely vegetarian, while others choose to include eggs and dairy, or meat and fish, or all of the above, in their meals. But the base principle remains the same.

This Mediterranean diet or “plant-based” diet (or another label that you prefer) seems to be the healthiest.

In the latest issue of the Journal of Gerontology, scientists outline six recent studies of one version of the diet – the Mediterranean meal plan – and suggest that the eating regimen is closely linked to healthy aging, better mobility, a lower risk of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease, and improved cognitive function.

One study says that a “plant-based” diet may help slow cognitive decline among people who’ve had a stroke, and provide protection of the brain against neurodegeneration (seen in diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s). As for the more physical benefits, this Mediterranean diet provides protein for the muscles, fiber for the digestive system, and vitamins for tissues and bones.

This balance is also key to keeping you full after a meal and energized throughout the day so you don’t feel the need to overeat, Nichola Whitehead, a registered dietician in the UK, previously told Business Insider. “You need to have a balanced meal — things like whole grains, fibre, and vegetables — in order to sustain your blood sugar. Empty calories [like white bread or white rice] give a temporary fix,” she said.

Her use of the word temporary echoes with me as I think about other dieting plans. A “crash diet” doesn’t sound as good when you focus on the word crash, doesn’t it? For me, dieting is best when planned well and executed mindfully. Science can attest to that.

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Contact Lenses that Adjust to the Sun

The medical industry does not lack developments specific to addressing eye conditions. Some particularly interesting examples are the world’s first synthetic retinas and a teen-made AI system that diagnoses eye diseases. Today, I bring good news to my fellow four-eyed people: you can now wear FDA-approved contact lenses that adjust to the sunlight.

“This contact lens is the first of its kind to incorporate the same technology that is used in eyeglasses that automatically darken in the sun,” Malvina Eydelman said in a statement. Eydelman is the director of the Division of Ophthalmic, and Ear, Nose and Throat Devices at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

The light-reactive lenses, which Johnson & Johnson calls Acuvue Oasys Contact Lenses with Transitions Light Intelligent Technology, are for everyday use and lasts up to 14 days. While it might not yet be available for purchase, it could hit the stores soon enough, as it has already been approved by Food and Drug Administration last week.

The contact lenses contain a photochromic coating that adapts to UV light exposure. Johnson & Johnson says the lenses will automatically return to a regular tint when exposed to normal or dark lighting conditions.

The company also reassures future buyers that wearing darkening lenses does not mean having to look like a demon or an alien; a gray tint just appears, which is nearly imperceptible in brown eyes and just the slightest bit noticeable in lighter eyes. So no worries there, pal.

Now I can barely wait for summer to try this one out.

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How To Make The Most Out Of Your Weekend

 

For work-a-holics like myself, scrambling to make a weekend worthwhile is more than just a challenge. With so much on my mind, I don’t often get to experience them to their fullest potential. But with 52 weekends in a year and the occasional extra day, there are ways to make each of them rewarding.

Plan ahead. Not every weekend requires stringent planning, but having an idea of what you want to achieve is key. Are you looking to be productive? Do you fancy a road trip? Jot it down! If you’re mostly scatter-brained, having a weekend journal may be a new investment to consider. But leave enough room for spontaneity — you never know what you might run into. Don’t overcomplicate your itinerary.

If work is a major presence in your daily life, you may want to take a few days off to do something social. Making the effort to see friends is almost always gratifying, both for yourself and for them. If you set up a potluck, you’ll have the added bonus of free food.

Chances are, you’ll also need alone time. Relax but don’t forget to exerciseSpoil yourself — there’s no shame in doing so every once in a while. Try out a brand new spa treatment or take yourself out on a date to your favorite restaurant. Know that while it may be exciting to spend your time with a significant other, “me moments” are also cherished ones. And though “stay-cations” may be unwinding, keep yourself active. A simple jog will do the trick.

If you’re adventurous, now would be the time to explore the outdoors. This isn’t an every-weekend activity, so pick a date that is perfect for being outside. Being away from the city provides a great breath of fresh air. Even without the extreme sports, an unfamiliar and scenic atmosphere will undoubtedly leave you energized.

Engaging in a lot of activities may leave a bit to do at home, but don’t stress too much over chores. This is your time to feel like a king or queen. Sunday is perhaps a good time to plan your week. Think about what you have to do and the best times to complete certain tasks. It may bring about the Sunday-to-Monday blues, but try to avoid this.

There are a number of ways to make your Sunday night equally as enjoyable as the rest of the weekend. Discover something new while in the comfort of your home. Maybe you’ve bookmarked a new Netflix show that you haven’t quite gotten around to seeing yet? Or you can take the time to read a book that challenges you. It could be that weekends are the perfect time to learn a new language. Whatever the case, always make room to grow.

Most importantly, avoid routine. Your week is pretty much a regimen, so always aim to do something just a little bit different. While it’s perfectly acceptable to do things you already love and enjoy, doing the same old thing can get pretty boring. Treat your mind and body to something fresh.

Our weekends aren’t always going to be perfect. But we can make them more enjoyable and fulfilling.

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Have A Drink At The UK’s Only Pub And Zoo

I have grown up with zoos. I was the first in my class to see a panda which, according to my first-grade teacher, is the world’s most useless animal. Zoos were easily my go-to when my parents suggested a trip out of town. I have spent birthdays with apes, celebrated good grades with camels, and graduated with giraffes. As an adult, while my fondness of zoos has remained, I’d prefer to stare at zebras with a glass of wine in hand. At the Fenn Bell Inn in the U.K., you can do just that!

The pub zoo, in St Mary Hoo, Kent, is the brainchild of landlord and animal lover Andy Cowell.

Mr Cowell took over the pub in 2014 and housed his collection of exotic animals in the garden.

Now he has opened his zoo to the public, who will be able to see four different breeds of monkeys, genets (an African wild cat), meerkats, lemurs, birds of prey, raccoons and South American coatis.

While many of the animals at Fenn Bell, who are rejected from various keepers, are given a second shot at a comfortable life, keeping them doesn’t come cheap. Weekly upkeep hits around £700–or 233 pints of beer!

So what are you waiting for? Book a trip and treat yourself to a pint of draft beer. After all, you’d probably be paying for a parrot’s next meal!

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Turning Trash Into Fashion

With a steady rise in global population comes an undeniable increase in waste. Seeing a rapid decline of resources, we are constantly on the hunt for a more sustainable lifestyle–and that includes recycled fashion! Eco-friendly firm “Miniwiz” is encouraging households and industries to ‘upcycle’, or reuse materials creatively.

Most of fashion’s assumed pollution problem comes from its supply chain and its materials. It can take more than 20,000 liters of water to produce a single kilo of cotton.

Recycling regular household and industry goods could offer another sustainable model for a broader range of fashion companies.

A plastic gown wouldn’t bother me if it made me look like a queen.

Exhibitionists of traveling show “Gardening the Trash” have also taken a new perspective on trash.

“We used to look at waste as a problem, but it actually is an opportunity, and it takes all the knowledge of the community. Trash is now the new medium to do things differently.”

“We want to shape and create the dimensional effect, to demonstrate trash is a material with a lot of possibilities,”

The fashion world is becoming more well-versed in the likes of renewable energy and recycling, without faltering in style. The H&M Conscious Collection, Freedom of Animals, and Kowtow are just a few brands that have hopped onto the sustainable train. So quit the fur and leather and opt for something more environmentally friendly. After all, rabbits are much cuter in action.

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