Tag Archives: happiness

Coca-Cola’s Headquarters Have A Refreshing New Look

The company taps Gensler to spruce up its Atlanta offices with communal areas, treadmill desks, and recycled glass bottle flooring.

Over its 131-year history, Coca-Cola has reinvented itself time and again, first as a remedy for ailments, then as a beverage, then as a marketing machine selling refreshment, youth, and happiness.

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general design discussion • The Human Aura

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Since ancient times we have seen images and paintings of diverse spiritual leaders crossways various traditions however one thing that is common amongst all of them is the halo that environs their head which is recognized as the Aura- energy arena. It not only surrounds just the head however also extends all round your body. This aura signifies your physical, emotional mental, as well as divine energies.

The aura is frequently seen a mix of fine colored frequencies wherever each color defines its own distinct nature plus characteristics. The shaking of this aura is actually fine and delicate so we need very fine tools to detect it otherwise may be we can use our inborn instinctive mechanism plus our latent psychic perspective to train ourselves not merely to see the aura however also to interpret the diverse colours and forms in the aura which can disclose us a lot of unspoken information

What Is the Human Aura?

The human aura is an area of subtle, glowing radiation adjacent us and spreading outer from our physical form. Auras are connected to the electromagnetic area of the body plus serve as a visual amount of our mental, expressive, physical plus spiritual states.

Everything that we do otherwise think touches the aura so it is typically in a state of flux, always changing, founded on our mental meanderings plus physical health. The aura is moreover affected by the energies of the atmosphere, the force fields of the world and the radio frequencies that interpenetrate all methods of a matter. The aura is an electric signature of who we are.

The Color of the Human Aura

The colors of the aura might glow and discharge with joy and energy as we keep a state of holiness in God. Or the colors might become dull, constructed and stultified once we are gloomy, while we allow ourselves to be unhappy when we criticize or see life as less than lovely.

Appreciation strengthens the aura as the heart originates a pink plus golden sun-like happiness. And at other times while we put ourselves down otherwise enter into the criticism of others, the size and happiness of our auras lessen. Holding imageries and ideas of ourselves as well as others as less than entire also impinges on our aptitude to send out auric areas of light energy that bless plus uplift.

Thoughts, Feelings, Diet as well as the Human Aura

Diet has an influence on the aura. But more prominently, what we take in with our eyes and ears and whatever we think affects the power and pattern of the aura. While we put our courtesy upon God and all that this period represents for us, the rotating of our chakras quickens and a resonance with the potentials of God starts to cleanse the aura plus expand it.

The Human Aura as well as the Chakras

The chakras are similar generating stations inside us. Alike to the mitochondria, those organelle control houses which reside inside each human cell, these places of light can be an excessive self-regenerating emphasis.

We can imagine our chakras every day. And as we emphasis on a precise chakra, we see its petals rotating and then quickening in perfect balance and equilibrium. We see the entire radiance of these seven main generating stations increasing and blessing ourselves as well as all those who drive within our range of influence.

The excellence of our prayers is reliant on the excellence of our heart, our awareness…and, so, our aura. If we wish to be of superior service and efficacy, if we wish to perform alchemical feats for the good of manhood, we must first go inside, self-assess as well as get in balance. We must appear to our chakras and wash them every day in the light of God. In order, their acceleration will make a rise and expansion in an awareness that is transformational.

The entirety of who we are is transmission to the world over the aura that discharges out from us, even though maximum persons do not see this aurora borealis-similar light show around themselves and others. And if we wish to upsurge the beauty, intensity as well as a size of our aura, it will definitely occur as we emphasize more and more on all that is optimistic, kind, considerate, forgiving, and just as well as loving.
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general design discussion • Send Mother’s Day Gifts to Singapore

Mother’s Day is a special day for all mothers residing all across the world when their kids gift something very unique to their mothers. The tradition of Mother’s Day was first invented by Miss. Anna Jarvis in the year 1908 in West Virginia. This concept of Mother’s Day later on spread to the countries in Asia, Europe, Middle East and many more. Flowers are the main items which are sent with lots of love and happiness. Flowers are composed of various types such as, Pink Roses, Asiatic Lilies, Gerberas, Red Carnations, White Carnations, Sunflowers and many more. People Send Mother’s Day Flowers to Singapore to make their respective mothers feel at home.
http://www.singaporeflowershop.com/Moth … gapore.asp


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Not-So-Zen At Headspace As Layoffs Hit The Company

At least 13 staffers (out of a total of 170) have been laid off by Headspace, the app-based mindfulness startup headquartered in Los Angeles.

The layoffs came earlier this month amid a department reshuffling that has left employees feeling stressed out, sources tell Fast Company. The app, which offers users guided meditations and mindfulness exercises, has been considered one of the most successful companies in its space, with Forbes recently estimating that Headspace was valued at more than $250 million.

But two people with direct knowledge of the situation, as well as recent Glassdoor employer reviews, paint a more muddied picture of the meditation technology startup and its internal company culture. The job cuts came right as the company launched the redesigned version of its app this month.

CEO Richard Pierson, who took over the company in March, confirmed the layoffs, telling Fast Company that 13 positions have been cut from the company’s marketing department, with further restructuring planned for the London team. Headspace also confirms that the customer experience team is being moved to the product side in a “strategic organizational shift.”

As part of that effort, the company announced earlier today that it has hired former Twitter VP Ross Hoffman as its new chief business officer.

[Photo: courtesy of Headspace]

Pulling Back On Marketing

Pierson says the layoffs were part of a shift away from having an in-house brand agency, which the company had been building in recent years. “We don’t need to invest in the brand that way,” he says now, adding that the company had put together a robust team as part of that investment in  advertising.

It’s not unusual for app startups to invest heavily in marketing as they pursue user growth, and Headspace appears to be no exception. Last year, the company began testing expensive ad pushes specifically targeting New Yorkers–including pricey subway advertisements. Pierson says Headspace’s efforts in New York were a marketing “test” which cost about $2 million, and added that the company has no plans for a big marketing push to accompany its most recent app relaunch.

Pierson insists that, though the company’s advertising efforts and marketing department hiring spree were a “strategic misstep,” Headspace is still doing well and claims the company has been growing healthily for the past year. In an emailed statement, the company says it feels strategically sound: “We feel very confident around our product and growth strategy, it’s not something we divulge in public settings–but our board and investors are very happy with where we’re taking the company strategically.”

A Competitive Relaxation Industry

Headspace was founded in 2010 as a meditation event business run by cofounders Pierson, a former marketing executive whose clients included body-spray purveyor Axe, and Andy Puddicombe, a Buddhist monk. In those initial years, the company morphed into the popular meditation app it is today. For the first few years Pierson worked as CEO. Then, in 2014, Sean Brecker took on the executive role as the business began to really grow, raising $30 million in a Series A round in 2015. Overall, Headspace has reportedly seen over 11 million downloads [Update: a company spokesperson reached out to say the company has logged 15.8 million downloads to date]—and it has hovered between the 9th or 10th position in U.S. Health & Fitness app download ranks since last November, according to AppAnnie.

Earlier this year, Brecker decided to move to the CFO role–and Pierson took over again as CEO amid what seems to have been a challenging time for the startup. For one thing, competition from others in the space was heating up—rival meditation app Calm surpassed Headspace in app downloads earlier this year, according to one source, who called that moment “a wake-up” for the company.

For his part, however, Pierson says he was not aware that Calm had outpaced Headspace in download ranks, and questions the validity of that claim.

SimilarWeb’s algorithmic “usage rank,” which ranks apps by taking into account downloads and active users, put Calm far ahead of Headspace for at least the last month–Calm’s health and fitness app usage has ranked between 67 and 75, whereas Headspace has wavered between 83 and 92. AppAnnie’s rankings also show Calm in the lead–it hovered around the number four and five spot for health and fitness download ranks compared to Headspace, which oscillated between nine and 10.

Rich Pierson

Cultural Woes?

Under Brecker’s leadership, employee satisfaction was relatively high and many staffers applauded Headspace’s open and communicative work culture, according to sources and Glassdoor reviews. The company hosted weekly all-hands meetings during which any question was fair game. “Everyone was so opinionated in a good way,” says one source, describing the work atmosphere under Brecker.

But lately, those meetings have taken on a different tenor. “When Rich took over, it would be crickets,” says one source, describing the all-hands meeting environments. The atmosphere feels more confrontational and less open, according to sources.

Comments on employer review site Glassdoor echo those sentiments. “For a company with a mission to improve the health and happiness of the world, we are not at all trying to improve the health and happiness of our world internally,” writes one reviewer. “You can’t cross the management. If you disagree or ask the wrong question, you will have a target on your forehead.”

Another Glassdoor post from earlier this week is headlined “Trainwreck.” In fact, of the 40 reviews of Headspace on Glassdoor, the bulk of the negative ones were written in the last few months.

When asked about the shifting cultural atmosphere, Pierson notes that he’s been at the company since the beginning: “it’s not like I stepped in out of nowhere.” Anonymous reviews, he points out, may be from disgruntled fired employees.

Pierson also claims that Headspace consistently takes great pains to foster a communicative culture. “We do as much as we can to have everyone have their voices heard,” he says, pointing to the weekly all-hands meetings, as well as anonymous surveys the company provides. “We take employee feedback really seriously.”

“I don’t think that any company or any culture gets it 100% right all the time,” adds the CEO.

Despite the layoffs, it’s clear employees still care about the product and mission. And Pierson doesn’t shy away from taking responsibility for the firings, adding that he regrets overhiring in the marketing department. The layoffs, according to him, had little to do with the individual people or their performance.

“It’s on me,” says Pierson matter-of-factly. “I made that call.”

If you misread someone’s face, blame these neurons

Have you ever thought someone was angry at you, but it turned out you were just misreading their facial expression? One specific region of the brain, called the amygdala, is involved in making these (sometimes inaccurate) judgments about ambiguous or intense emotions, according to new research.

Identifying the amygdala’s role in social cognition suggests insights into the neurological mechanisms behind autism and anxiety.

“Most people are familiar with feeling that a face just looks too ambiguous to really decide what emotion the person is having.”

“We have long known that the amygdala is important in processing emotion from faces,” says Ralph Adolphs, professor of psychology and neuroscience and of biology at the California Institute of Technology. “But now we are starting to understand that it incorporates a lot of complex information to make fairly sophisticated decisions that culminate in our judgments.”

When looking at a face, brain cells in the amygdala fire electrical impulses or “spikes” in response. However, the role of such face cells in social cognition remains unclear. Adolphs and his group measured the activity of these cells, or neurons, in patients while they saw images of faces expressing different degrees of happiness or fear. The subjects also saw images of faces with more ambiguous or neutral emotions, such as moderate displeasure or muted happiness.

For each type of image, subjects were asked to decide whether the face looked fearful or happy. The researchers then investigated how neurons reacted to different aspects of emotions, and how the activity of the face cells related to the decision made by the subjects.

The researchers found that there are two groups of neurons in the amygdala that respond to facial emotions.

One group, the emotion-tracking neurons, detects the intensity of a single specific emotion, such as happiness or fear. For example, a happiness-signaling neuron would fire more spikes if the emotion were extreme happiness, and fewer spikes if the emotion were mild happiness. Separate groups of neurons within the emotion-tracking neurons code specifically for fear or for happiness.

The other group, the ambiguity-coding neurons, indicates the ambiguity of the perceived emotion, irrespective of the nature of that emotion.

Tired people struggle to identify certain emotions

Showing patients images of emotionally ambiguous faces was the key to understanding how the specialized neurons in the amygdala contribute to decision-making, the researchers say. The faces were so ambiguous that a patient would sometimes judge the same image to be fearful at times and happy at other times. The emotion-coding neurons indicated the subjective decision the patient made about the face.

“Most people are familiar with feeling that a face just looks too ambiguous to really decide what emotion the person is having,” says first author and visitor in neuroscience Shuo Wang.

“The fact that amygdala neurons signal a decision made about a face, such as which emotion it shows, gives us important insight because it shows that the amygdala is involved in making decisions rather than simply representing sensory input.”

Men have an edge at identifying Transformer faces

In addition to recording single cells from the amygdala, the researchers also carried out a neuroimaging study using fMRI (in a separate group of participants), and additionally studied the emotion judgments of three rare subjects with lesions of the amygdala. The lesion subjects showed an abnormally low threshold for deciding when a face was fearful, and the fMRI study also showed the specific effect of emotion intensity and ambiguity in the amygdala. The study is the first to combine so many different sources of data.

These findings also suggest a mechanistic basis for potential treatments involving the painless electrical stimulation of the amygdala, which are currently the subject of ongoing clinical trials. “Researchers at multiple institutions are currently evaluating whether deep-brain stimulation of the amygdala is effective in treating severe cases of autism or post-traumatic stress disorder,” says collaborator Ueli Rutishauser of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and a visiting associate in biology and biological engineering at Caltech.

“Patients with severe PTSD are thought to have a hyperactive amygdala, which electrical stimulation might be able to inhibit. Our findings that amygdala neurons carry signals about the subjective percept of emotions indicates a more specific reason for why such electrical stimulation might be beneficial.”

The paper appears in Nature Communications. The Caltech Brain Imaging Center is one of the affiliated research centers in the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience at Caltech. Funding came from the Autism Science Foundation, the Simons Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health Conte Center, and the National Science Foundation.

Source: Caltech

The post If you misread someone’s face, blame these neurons appeared first on Futurity.

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To Interact With This Interface, Just Smile

The smile: It’s a universal, biological expression of happiness and joy. But what if your smile–or frown–was the basis for more than just how you interacted with your peers? What if certain elements of your environment required you to communicate with your facial expressions?

University of London masters student Freddie Hong is exploring how our faces–and specifically, our smiles–could serve as an interface. For a class on physical computing at Goldsmiths College, Hong built a connected door that only opens when you’re smiling,  thanks to facial recognition software. “The focus of this project was to provide the audience an experience of what it feels like to have your emotions read by the computer,” he tells Co.Design in an email.

[Image: courtesy Freddie Hong]

While developing the project and testing out the door, Hong noticed that being forced to smile made some users uncomfortable. But instead of tweaking the interface to make the smile more like a “button” that users could quickly “push,” he actually lengthened the time it took to read each user’s smile. This intentionally compounded the feeling of awkwardness–and drew attention to the fact that the machine is analyzing the user’s face.

The Smiling Door points to the next wave of emotive technology, which will use facial recognition software to analyze the difference between a smile, a grimace, and a frown. That’s something the startup Affectiva, an offshoot of MIT Media Lab that uses advanced facial recognition to track and analyze emotions, is already doing. Microsoft, too, has its own Emotion API that developers can use to add emotion-based context to their products. Embedding emotional awareness into our products seems like the logical next step for UX design–regardless of how invasive or manipulative it may be.

[Photo: courtesy Freddie Hong]

It’s a paradigm that Hong takes to an extreme with his prototype, a vision of the future where we’re being read and analyzed by the machines that surround us at every moment. Still, could there be an upside to having to fake a smile to get through the Smiling Door? Studies have shown that even a forced smile can reduce stress and even make you happier. If you had to smile on your way to the office each morning, maybe a long commute wouldn’t feel quite so horrendous.

But it would mean allowing our emotions to be manipulated by unthinking algorithms that were likely developed to make someone else money. Either way, smiling for the camera would take on an entirely new meaning.

Can Robots Really Be Companions To Elderly People?

Yves Béhar designs a personal assistant for seniors that addresses some of the biggest challenges of bringing technology into our homes.

Yves Béhar designs a personal assistant for seniors that addresses some of the biggest challenges of bringing technology into our homes.

Even the most outgoing seniors can live a very isolated life at home. The couch can seem more inviting than a walk. The TV more tempting than learning a new hobby. And over the years, this isolation can snowball into stagnation, taking a physical and emotional toll that impacts personal mobility, cognition, and happiness. The world has more seniors than it has ever known. Maximizing their quality of life is one of the great public health challenges of our time.

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7 Smart Ways To Give The Gift Of Experiences, Not Things

From language lessons to virtual reality, here are some suggestions for experiential gift giving this holiday season.

Time and again, science has proven that experiential gifts bring far more happiness to people than a traditional gift. To aid your gift giving, we’ve put together a list of some experiential gifts you could dole out this holiday season. Happy shopping!

Fluent City offers language and culture classes.[Photo: courtesy of Fluent City]

1. The Gift Of Language And Culture

For your city-dwelling East Coast friends, there’s Fluent City, an education startup that offers private and group language classes. It has recently expanded to include other subjects, like a Bloody Mary mixology class and a four-week French cultural immersion course. Sign your friends up before December 20 and get $50 off.

2. The Gift Of Virtual Reality

Ah, what a year for virtual reality to make its commercial debut. And while giving someone this particular experience as a present does require the purchase of a thing in the form of a VR system, it’s the virtual-reality journey itself that will make the lasting impact. If you’re seeking a top-of-the-line model, go with the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive (provided you have the means). For something a bit more affordable, there’s always Sony’s PlayStation VR.

3. The Gift Of Travel And Discovery

Airbnb recently introduced Experiences, a program that offers guided tours and multi-day outings led by locals. Treat your friends or family to, say, a taste of the burlesque scene in London, a hiking excursion in San Francisco, or a three-day music immersion in Havana. If you’re searching for a gift for a friend traveling through Asia, there’s also BeMyGuest.

4. The Gift Of Personalized Lipstick

Usually, gifting lipstick would fall squarely in the “gift of things” category. But at the Bite Beauty Lip Lab (currently only located in New York City, Toronto, and the Bay Area), you can create a lipstick from start to finish, customizing it to get exactly the shade and finish you want. Bite Beauty’s lip products are handmade and all-natural—so much so that you could eat your lipstick (though we’re sure you would rather wear it).

5. The Gift Of Dine-In Cinema

At the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (in various U.S. locations), moviegoers can dine in style as they watch films: The theater’s servers come to you, and its full menu stocks cocktails, craft beer, flatbread, and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Plus, Alamo Drafthouse has strict rules about people not using their phones in the theater—perfect for family time.

6. Give The Gift Of Boozy Music Lessons

This one’s for your friends who are New Yorkers and music aficionados: With boozy music lessons at Bantam Studio, students can learn the violin, guitar, ukelele, or mandolin between sips of beer and wine.

[Photo: Flickr user Omid Tavallai]

7. The Gift Of Baking

Learn how to make the famed birthday truffles—or, if you prefer, the crack pie or grasshopper cake—whipped up by Momofuku Milk Bar chef and founder Christina Tosi. For better or worse, you can take home everything you make at the end of the class. (Maybe also give the gift of SoulCycle classes while you’re at it.)

general design discussion • Enjoy this memorable festival along with dear ones and showe

Blossoming flowers is the best option which is in demand now-a-days and consequently the total scenario gets excited by the delivery of flowers. The flowers are of various varieties like Roses, Gerberas, Lilies, Gypsophilas, Carnations and many varieties. The flowers are designed in a unique way so that they can pro-vide immense happiness in the lives of people who they care about. In Seoul the flowers are sent with an objective to refresh their hearts and therefore people Send Christmas Flowers to Seoul to make the hearts of the people happy. During Christmas the flowers are delivered to the different countries all across the world inspite when there is a huge demand of these items. Flowers are delivered to the different countries with an objective to delight the near ones and in Seoul the scene is similar, thus Christmas Flower Delivery in Seoul happens. http://www.seoulflowersonline.com/Chris … -Seoul.asp


You Can Design A Happier Office Culture. Here's How

Data from 10,000 Pebble users doesn’t lie: Here are hacks to make your workplace culture happier and more productive.

Data from 10,000 Pebble users doesn’t lie: Here are hacks to make your workplace culture happier and more productive.

In the 1960s and ’70s, the psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi gave pagers to study subjects, ranging from motorcycle gang members to sheepherders. When the pagers buzzed, the participants’ job was to record their happiness levels. These studies ushered in the modern era of happiness research (and gave birth to an idea you’ve probably heard about—the times when productive hours float by like minutes in “flow“).

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