2022 ILA Catalog: Overview and New Product Highlights

The new 2022 ILA Catalog is now available for download. It is full of the products you’ve known and grown to love, along with many new products designed to help you live a more well-rounded independent life. This blog will look at the 5 sections in the catalog, highlighting several new products within each heading. To request a print copy of the catalog call 800.537.2118.

Vision

This section of the catalog includes products such as watches, magnifiers, lamps, braille and blindness aids, glasses, and educational games. When looking for this section in the catalog it covers pages 1 through 45 (not counting the cover page or table of contents page).

Vision Buddy Television Viewing System: The Vision Buddy television viewing system allows a low vision user to see television programs more clearly and easily, using a virtual reality headset.  This brings the television viewing directly in front of the user and may allow them to see the entire frame of their television program.  Using simple plug and play connectivity, Vision Buddy connects to nearly any television, satellite, or streaming player and then streams the HD quality video directly into the headset using real time image correction.  The video image can also be zoomed in or out for optimal viewing.  Sound from the TV can either be heard through speakers in the headset or via headphones which can plug into the headset. 

OrCam MyEye Pro with Smart Reading: The OrCam MyEye Pro is a revolutionary text to speech reader which mounts to a pair of eyeglasses and instantly allows a user to hear aloud any printed or digital text.  The lightweight and wireless MyEye attaches magnetically to a pair of eyeglasses and provides intuitive  reading of text on any surface, both close up and at distance.  Sound is transmitted through a tiny speaker on the device or through a connected Bluetooth device.

Household

This section of the catalog includes products such as kitchenware, daily living aids, telephones, and telephone accessories. When looking for this section in the catalog it covers pages 46 through 56 (not counting the cover page or table of contents page).

SMPL Motion Alert Kit: The SMPL sensors and pagers allow a caregiver to monitor the movements of a loved one in their home within a range of 100-200 feet from the caregiver.  A base combination must include at least one pager and one sensor.  The pager uses radio frequency technology and can receive an alert up to 250 feet away (outside) from the sensor.  Pager can be clipped to a belt and can alert the caregiver to a motion with a combination of sound, vibration, and flash.

3 Blade Slicer and Dicer: This slicer and dicer with 3 interchangeable blades is a great way to keep fingers and knives separated in the kitchen.  As such, it is a great tool for a visually impaired cook and helps keep them safe in the kitchen.  Keep chopping those onions!

EZ Outlet: This electrical outlet cover replaces your existing cover and provides a 3-dimensions guide to help you plug an electrical appliance into the wall. Its deep, contoured guide allows you to safely direct your plug into the electrical slots, without getting fingers near the actual socket. Great for people with limited vision or motor control. Requires simple installation with a screwdriver to replace your existing cover.

Healthcare

This section of the catalog includes products such as blood pressure monitors, scales, medication management, and personal protection equipment. When looking for this section of the catalog it covers pages 57 through 62 (not counting the cover page or table of contents page).

Nail Clippers with 4X Lighted Magnifier: This illuminated magnifier makes nail care and personal hygiene easier with its 1.5″, 4X illuminated magnifier attached to a large easy to use set of nail clippers. 

Professional Grade Face Shield with Replaceable Visor: Independent Living Aid’s full coverage, professional grade face shield comes with reusable visors and can be used in a variety of settings which require high standard, extended wear usage.  Manufactured according to Medical Device standards, this safety visor has an over the head elastic band and 6 points of cradle adjustment to provide a customized fit for long term wear and comfort.

Mobility

This section of the catalog includes products such as canes, walkers, transfer aids, and bathroom aids. When looking for this section of the catalog it covers pages 63 through 67 (not counting the cover page or table of contents page).

Walker Tray with Non-Slip Mat: This single piece tray slides over the handles of an existing walker to provide a carrying surface for meals, magazines or crafts.  It measures 20.75″ x 15.75″ and has a non-slip surface to prevent items from rolling off.  It also has 2 recessed cup holders for carrying a drink or a coffee. 

9 Section Telescoping Cane – 54″: Nine section Titanium telescoping cane automatically locks at each section for lightweight, durable usage.  Cane uses push button locking so it won’t inadvertently collapse when in use if pushed too hard.  Single push button action collapses the entire cane.   Shaft is metal colored; bottom of the cane is red.  Luminous graphene reflective material coats each joint and allows for better reflectiveness in the dark.  Lighter in weight than regular mobility canes. Collapsed cane measures 11.5″ long.  Fixed metal tip has a 0.8″ diameter. Includes an elastic wrist strap.

Hearing

This section of the catalog includes products such as amplifiers, alerting systems, smoke detectors, and hearing aid maintenance. When looking for this section of the catalog it covers pages 68 through 85 (not counting the cover page or table of contents page).

TimeShaker 6Q Clock and Bed Shaker: The TimeShaker 6Q is an electric LED alarm clock with FM radio which also includes a super strong wired bedshaker and a Qi induction wireless charging pad for any device enabled for Qi wireless charging.

SquareGlow Home Kit: Communicate through light with the SquareGlow alerting system.  The SquareGlow line of products is a wireless home or office alerting system which alerts the user to different activities in the home via a system of unique SquareGlow flashers.  Each flasher has 7 customizable colors and 52 ringtones with 4 sound levels ranging from 30-110dB.

Assistive Technology

This section of the catalog includes products such as computer accessories and software, cassette players, headphones, and screen readers. When looking for this section of the catalog it covers pages 86 through 92 (not counting the cover page or table of contents page).

AudClick 2 Alexa Enabled Speaker: Pair your own smartphone or tablet to this portable speaker and access Amazon’s Alexa Voice Control to let you stream music hands free from popular music services like Amazon Music, TUNEIN, iHeartRADIO, and more. To ask for music or to ask Alexa a question, click the top ring of the AudClick2 portable speaker and ask Alexa to play your favorite music.  Through the AudClick2, you can also control any Alexa compatible smart home devices in your home, including smart bulbs, smart TV’s and smart thermostats. 

OrCam Read: OrCam Read is a revolutionary handheld scanner and reader that instantly reads aloud text from any printed surface or digital screen. Point and click the marker-sized device and capture either full pages of text or targeted text sections. OrCam Read can even capture street and building signs in the distance.  OrCam Read is an excellent tool for anyone with any kind of reading challenge, including dyslexia, reading fatigue, visual impairment or those who read large amounts of text – empowering them with real-time access to print material.

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Calendars are an important part of keeping track of day-to-day activities and helping ensure things are not forgotten. There is actually a myriad of reasons that regularly maintaining a calendar is important not only to stay on track but also for your health. This blog will look at some of the many benefits that calendar keeping can bring. Information in this blog came from 5 Benefits of Using a Calendar Every Day, Five Reasons You Should Be Keeping A Calendar, and Why should you use a calendar?

Accountability

Just the act of making an appointment helps set a date and time aside for a specific activity. Not only is setting aside a specific date and time helpful for meetings and doctor appointments, but you can also use this strategy to carve out time to spend with friends or to complete specific tasks on your to-do list. Now you don’t have to leave it up to chance that you’ll finish that lingering task because you already assigned a date and time for it.

If you’re in school, or part of an office work environment, keeping an accurate and up-to-date calendar of due dates of important assignments, tests, projects, and discussions reminds you of what you need to complete and when. Rather than being overwhelmed at seeing assignments and obligations as a long checklist of things you need to do, a calendar provides the space to plan for each due date at the appropriate time.

Prevent Information Overload/Realistic Expectations

Your brain was not designed to keep track of all of your appointments, deadlines, and commitments. Productivity guru David Allen likens the brain to a computer and warns that we only have so much “Psychic Ram.” Our minds can only process so much information at once.

When planning out tasks and activities on the calendar, be realistic. Carve out enough time for each task and write down what time you’ll start and finish the task. If in doubt, slightly overestimate how long it’ll take. Overestimating is a great way to ensure we don’t feel rushed and allows us that extra time in case unexpected events come up. Using a calendar might make us realize that not all of the tasks we had in mind for today can be finished, but it shows us which activities can be.

Setting Priorities

Which tasks are important? Which tasks add value to our lives, and which ones don’t? Putting items on the calendar makes us choose what we want to spend our time on, and what we don’t. This allows us to make room for what’s important and filter out the rest.

It’s an unfortunate feeling when you receive and accept an invitation to a fun event, only to realize later that you already have a commitment during that time.

A calendar allows you to see quickly when you are free and when you have prior commitments. Planning events or other special occasions also becomes easier when you know your availability.

Procrastination/Staying on Track

Struggling with procrastination? Having a specific date and time set aside for a task tells us when we have to do it. It helps us eliminate the excuses and makes us get to work. No longer will we let tasks roll down our to-do list. Now we can catch them before they start to get postponed.

For families keeping a family calendar helps keep the entire family on track. If you’re a parent and are returning to school, or chauffeuring children from event to event, your family may want to stay in the loop of what’s going on in your life. With a calendar, your family can know what night you have class and when important events are. Maintaining open communication, through the use of a calendar, can help your family stay on the same page—literally.

Boundaries

When we see the calendar, we see how our day is structured. It stops us from spending too much time on one activity, and not enough time on another. We can even schedule fun activities and breaks in our calendar to help make sure they don’t drag out and make sure we don’t forget to have fun too. If it helps, use a timer. Once the timer goes off, it’s a reminder to move onto the next task. If the task isn’t complete, schedule another block of time for the task the following day.

Boundary setting can help ease anxiety. Class nights. Assignments. Family events. Athletic games. Work functions. Volunteer sessions. Special occasions. Home improvement lists. Second jobs. There may be a variety of things going on in your life. Having to remember every detail in your head, without writing them down, can elevate your stress in balancing each area of your life.

Calendar Tips

Maintaining an up-to-date calendar can help with day-to-day anxiety, keep you on track, and help you stay accountable. But what are some ways to help ensure that this is being done?

  • Set aside a time every day to go through what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. From this to do list add events to your calendar to ensure you remember to get to them in a timely fashion.
  • Conversely, you should also set aside a time each day to ensure that you are checking off items after you have completed them if you are not checking them off as you go.
  • Color code your various schedules—work, home, school, etc.—to easily distinguish where you spend your time.
  • Keep your calendar in a location that’s easily accessible and visible.
  • Want to use electronic and paper calendars? Keep both for different uses or in separate locations. For example, use a paper month-view calendar for special events and an electronic week or day-view calendar for more detailed assignments, meetings, etc.

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The Art of Resolutions: Things to Avoid, Things to Strive for, and Things to Do as a Family

Every year millions of people from across the world make resolutions for the new year. Statistically a great many fail but others succeed. What separates those who give up from those that persevere? Sometimes it can be really small seemingly inconsequential things and other times it is just knowing the dos and don’ts in planning them out from start to finish. This blog will look at pitfalls to avoid, advice for success, and why tackling them as a family versus individually could be the best plan of action. Information in this blog comes from Avoid These Common New Year’s Resolution Pitfalls, Don’t Make These Doomed ‘Health’ Resolutions (and What to Strive for Instead), and Family Health: Resolutions and practices that can benefit everyone from children to grandparents.

Things to Avoid

Many people have an all or nothing mentality which could make even the best of resolutions fail. Learning how to properly make achievable goals is the key to success. The following four examples are things to avoid when making any sort of plans for a better tomorrow. (From the article entitled, Avoid These Common New Year’s Resolution Pitfalls)

Don’t expect miracles

There’s nothing magical about Jan. 1. Sure, the end of the year is the perfect time to reflect on your personal situation and how you might improve it, but that doesn’t mean you can (or should) expect New Year’s resolutions to overhaul your life.

Extreme goals—rapid, unsustainable weight loss; starting a million-dollar company; doing a DIY gut renovation on your entire house when you’ve never held a hammer—aren’t just wishful thinking, they’re also potentially dangerous. Because they’re such tall orders, you’re unlikely to make much, if any, progress, which only fuels feelings of shame and guilt. What’s worse: Any progress you do make will come at the cost of your physical, emotional, and/or financial well-being.

Don’t overcommit

Another great way to fail at New Year’s resolutions is to set way too many of them. A long list of goals can be totally overwhelming, which pulls your focus and makes it harder to actually achieve what you set out to do. If you truly want to make some life changes, keep the scope manageable. For most people, that means sticking to two or three resolutions at the absolute most.

Don’t set up future conflicts

Resolution overload isn’t just a matter of taking on more than you can reasonably handle. It can also look like setting an appropriate number of goals that directly conflict with each other. For example, making 2022 the year you finally build a home gym is a great goal—as long as you don’t also make it the year you cut down on hobby spending. Before deciding on a resolution action plan, do a quick sanity check to make sure you’re not shooting yourself in the foot.

Do keep it simple and specific

The best way to keep your resolutions realistic and plausible is to be as specific as possible. Rather than simply saying you want to “get healthy” or “go green” or “focus on your relationships,” define what those goals actually mean to you.

In practice, this means asking yourself pointed questions: Is “getting healthy” code for “changing your diet?” If so, what kind of changes do you want to make, and why? What does “going green” look like in terms of daily behaviors? What relationships do you want to “focus on,” and how? Whatever your answers may be, use them to lay out specific, concrete criteria for meeting your goals. This way, you’ll know exactly what it takes to stay on track—and when all your hard work has finally paid off.

Things to Strive For

Now that we have looked at things to avoid let us take a look at some ways which can enable you to succeed instead.  Suggestions in this section come from the article entitled, Don’t Make These Doomed ‘Health’ Resolutions (and What to Strive for Instead).

Looking to lose weight? Consider what will make you healthier even if you don’t lose weight. Exercising 150 minutes per week? Eating more fiber, veggies, and protein? You can do those things alongside weight loss goals, or even instead of them. That way you’ll be supporting your health whether you end up losing your goal weight or not.

Want to incorporate more exercise into your life? Is there an exercise you have actually enjoyed in the past? Maybe you could find a way to do it, or to find something similar. Join a dance class, for example, or take up hiking. Or if you really don’t know what you want, try something different each month of the year and see what sticks.

Just rehashing the same old resolutions you yearn to accomplish year after year? What can you learn from your previous attempts? Maybe your resolution required perfection; this time, set some more realistic goals (like “meditate every week” instead of “meditate every day”). Or maybe your resolution was too vague. If so, take it piece-by-piece and make a plan, not a wish.

Things to Do as a Family

Doing things as a family helps everyone stay on the same page and offer encouragement along the way. What sorts of things work best when done as a group? The following are examples provided from the article entitled, Family health: Resolutions and practices that can benefit everyone from children to grandparents.

Exercise regularly

Government research shows that exercise benefits all people: young children to seniors, pregnant women or those in post-delivery, people with chronic conditions or a disability, and those trying to reduce the risk of chronic disease. Set a doable exercise goal and stick with it to gain the heart, muscle and mind benefits that it brings.

Eat healthfully

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that poor diet can contribute to obesity, heart disease and some cancers. To address this:

  • Limit added sugars, saturated fat, sodium, and alcoholic beverages.
  • Bake or broil, rather than fry.
  • Think variety. The 2020–2025 edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourages a varied diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy products and lean proteins. Oils can be from vegetables or other foods such as seafood and nuts.
  • Consult a registered dietitian or nutritionist.

Unplug

The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry states that too much screen time may lead to problems with sleep, weight, poor self-image and lower school grades, so spend quality time with your family—unplugged—and foster use of games and activities that encourage exercise, creativity and enrichment.

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Traditional Christmas Foods From Around the World

The holidays are here once again and for most people that means large family meals. Growing up in the southern part of the United States these meals largely consisted of things like turkey, spiral ham, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and an assortment of homemade desserts. However common in this area, that does not necessarily hold true for other parts of the world or even other areas of the United States. This blog will look at some of the more common dishes from around the world with information coming from Traditional Christmas Foods, Traditional Christmas Food From Around the World [With Photos!], and Traditional Holiday Dishes From Around the World.

England: Christmas Pudding and Mincemeat Pies

“A Christmas Carol” and other U.K.-originated holiday stories frequently mention seasonal dishes such as plum pudding and mince pies.

Christmas Pudding: This dish goes by many names. Whether you call it figgy pudding, plum pudding, ‘pud’ or Christmas pudding, this dessert is a key Christmas tradition in England, Ireland and some parts of the US.  Despite its name, plum pudding doesn’t actually include plums. Pre-Victorian era, ‘plums’ referred to what we now call raisins, and because dried fruits are an important part of this pudding, it is how it earned its name.

Primarily made of suet, egg, molasses, spices, and dried fruits, Christmas pudding is set alight with brandy immediately before it is served. Make Christmas pudding with this recipe.

Mincemeat Pies: Mincemeat, in its original incarnation of a mixture of chopped meat mixed with dried fruits, sugar, and spices was a way to stretch a meat supply and use up leftovers. Over time, less and less meat was included in the recipe, so that the mincemeat we know today is made entirely from fruits, sugar, alcohol, and sometimes, in a nod to its origins, suet.

By the 16th century, mince pies were a British Christmas specialty. Some suppose that mincemeat pies were popular at Christmas thanks to the Saturnalia tradition of presenting sweetmeats to Roman fathers in the Vatican. Puritans condemned mincemeat pies as a Catholic custom, which may explain why they’re less popular in the US than in the UK. Make a traditional mincemeat pie with this recipe.

France: La Bûche de Noël

La Bûche de Noël is a dessert that symbolically represents the Yule Log – a wood log that was traditionally carried into the home, sprinkled with wine, and then burned on Christmas Eve. In the 1940s when the practice started to disappear, this dessert took up the mantle.

To honor this tradition in an edible and decadent way, sweet cakes were baked and rolled to mimic the aspect of a log. Nowadays, chocolate Yule logs are commonly made of layered or rolled genoise sponge cake filled with mousse or buttercream. Often decorated with marzipan or meringue mushrooms, forest creatures, or holly leaves, the log can be simply dusted with powdered sugar and decorated with a few red berries.

Other variations of the dessert have emerged. Now you can find recipes for anything from tiramisu to cran-raspberry mascarpone, caramel cream to Meyer lemon.

Make La Bûche de Noël with this recipe.

Japan: Kentucky Fried Chicken

In Japan, the Christmas season is the most wonderful time of the year for Kentucky Fried Chicken, or KFC, a fast-food chain. Because about 3.6 million Japanese families eat KFC on Christmas Eve, they often need to reserve their meal up to two months in advance.

During the 1970s, KFC put together a holiday party bucket and behind it, a brilliant marketing plan. At the time, Japan didn’t have many Christmas traditions. KFC filled that void by telling consumers “Here is something that you should do on Christmas”. The trend caught on quickly.

Today, the KFC Christmas bucket doesn’t include just fried chicken. It also includes a Christmas cake – another important food item on Japan’s holiday menu.

Order online from KFC.

Lithuania: Kūčios

Kūčios, the traditional Lithuanian Christmas dinner, is held on December 24th every year. And hosting kūčios is no small feat – this meal can take up to a week to prepare.

For Lithuanians, the holidays are about spending time with family, so a week-long meal prep is certainly a great opportunity for families to get together and is likely why the tradition has persisted.

Originally kūčios had nine dishes. It was a pagan practice that later expanded to 12 dishes (one for each apostle) when it was appropriated by the Christian church.

No meat, dairy, or hot food are a part of this meal. Instead, it includes fish, breads, and vegetables. Some of the items you might see on the menu are herring served in a tomato, mushroom or onion-based sauce, smoked eel, vegetables such as potatoes, sauerkraut (it’s cabbage so it counts as a vegetable, right?), and mushrooms, bread or cranberry pudding.

Example of a dish, make this cranberry fruit jelly with this recipe.

Mexico: Bacalao

Bacalao, or salted cod, is not common in most countries during the holidays, but it’s a staple dish in Mexico.

Before refrigeration existed, salting and preserving meats and fish was necessary. Today, this is no longer the case, but the practice still exists. And when, in the case of bacalao, the fish is rehydrated and cooked, the result is tender and delicious.

In Mexico, the ingredients to make the Bacalao a la Mexicana include tomatoes, ancho chiles, onions, cinnamon, potato, and olives. It’s filling and it certainly warms you up!

Make bacalao with this recipe.

Italy: Panettone

Italy has numerous regional traditions when it comes to Christmas dinner.

In some parts of Italy, they celebrate with The Feast of the Seven Fishes. This meal includes seven different fish prepared in seven different ways. More often than not, two of the featured items are baccalà (salted cod) and calamari.

In other areas, they eat roasted lamb, or poultry roasted or boiled and seasoned with sauce.

Sweets also play an important role during the holiday season, and in Northern Italy, one of the infamous holiday sweets is panettone – a cake with candied fruit, chocolate, raisins, and nuts.

There are plenty of legends on how panettone became associated with Christmas. Some say the sweet Milanese bread was developed in the 1400s by the Duke’s falconer and his love Adalgisa, a poor baker’s daughter. Working in secret at night, the two created a rich bread that revived the bakery’s business. At Christmas, they added dried fruit and citron, a resounding success that made the baker wealthy and allowed the couple to marry. A less romantic possibility is that as a “Pane di Tono” or luxury bread, the lofty loaf—with its expensive ingredients and long proofing and preparation time—was reserved for Christmas.

Make panettone with this recipe.

United States: Fruitcake

Calvin Trillin theorized that there is only one fruitcake and that it is simply sent from family to family each year. Most Americans turn their noses at the very thought of fruitcake. But for some reason, this item keeps making the rounds.

The recipes for the heavily fruit-laden, sometimes boozy fruitcakes we associate with Christmas today have their roots in the Middle Ages. Dried fruits and sugar were expensive imports, so using them in large quantities was strictly a special-occasion endeavor; that’s why fruitcake was also a traditional wedding cake option. Plus, in the days of hard-to-regulate wood-burning ovens, successful cake baking was a tricky effort, and taking the risk of burning such precious ingredients was only reserved for the very knowledgeable and only during special occasions.

Although there are as many fruit cake recipes as there are cooks, they all agree on the use of spices, a combination of dried or candied fruit, and some liquor or wine.

Make a traditional fruitcake with this recipe.

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Gift Giving Traditions From Around the World

Gift giving is a tradition as old as time and there are many customs and traditions that vary the whole world over. Have you ever wondered about gift giving origins or how your family’s gift giving compares to those of other countries or religions? This blog will take a brief look at the history of gift giving and highlight a few of the more unique traditions from around the globe, including what one article says are traditional American gift giving traits. Information in this blog came from History and Traditions of Gifting from Around the World, Guide to Gift Giving Around The World, 20 Unique Gift-Giving Traditions Around the World, and Curious Gift Traditions Around The World.

History of Gifting

Gift-giving is one of the oldest human activities that dates to the origin of our species before civilizations came to be. Cavemen would give gifts to express their affection and appreciation towards one another and tribe leaders would praise someone for their contributions by giving them a gift. Naturally, back then gifts were more primitive; they would gift things such as an animal tooth, a tree bark or a unique looking stone, which could then be worn as necklaces or other accessories.

In the Middle Ages, gifts were given to show allegiance to and to foster political and religious favors to those in charge. Gifts were also exchanged on New Year’s Day, and common valued gifts at the time came in the form of foods to show power and generosity. A variety of romantic gifts that may strike us as a little weird were also given at that time including love songs composed by men and performed in front of women, washbasins, personalized garments and sewing strands of your hair into your soul-mate’s clothes.

Britain

The culture of gifting in Britain is characterized by a number of unique gifts, such as lottery tickets. These are often considered as appropriate gifts for marriages, while pre-Christmas celebrations are commemorated with gifts of oranges, candles, and ribbons. In Britain, people sometimes receive a decorative key on their 21st birthdays. Although diamonds are usually gifted on the celebration of 75 years of marriage, they are also often associated with 60, as Queen Victoria marked her jubilee while being on the throne for sixty years.

China

China has a long-standing tradition of customary reciprocity, which extends itself into their gifting habits. A gift in China is always well-wrapped in a wrapper of an appropriate color: gold or silver for weddings, red for joyous occasions, and black or white for funerals. Gifts in China are never enthusiastically accepted, as it is seen as a sign of greed. It is customary to insist the recipient to accept the gift even after they decline it once or twice. Gifts in China are usually thoughtful and impersonal, as jewelry, clothing, etc. are considered as items which may be gifted only to romantic partners.

Fiji

While people in many countries typically present diamonds to seal an engagement, Fiji prefers to use whale teeth. Tradition in the Oceanic country dictates that the groom’s family presents the bride’s family with the tooth of a sperm whale, known as a tabua. Believed to have supernatural powers, a tabua is highly prized and is supposed to bring good luck to the marriage. In addition to engagements, they also are traditionally gifted at funerals, weddings, and births. Since they are both expensive and rare, they are considered more precious than other gemstones.

Iceland

Since Iceland is one of the most literate countries in the world, the country’s holiday gift-giving tradition is every book lover’s dream. The tradition is called “Yule Book Flood” and it begins before Christmas, when the country distributes a free national catalog that contains every recently published book in Iceland. Using the catalog, gift-givers choose books for their loved ones and then present the gifts on Christmas Eve. Then everyone spends the evening happily reading their newly acquired books at home.

India

Indian tradition specifies the exact way a gift should be handed over. Since the left hand is considered unclean, it should not be used for eating, shaking hands, or giving gifts. Gift-givers must always offer the gift using the right hand in order to be respectful. Gifting money is also a welcomed tradition in India, but the amount of cash or value of a check must always be an odd number. Instead of $50, $51 is considered more appropriate since odd numbers are good luck.

Ireland

Similar to the Chinese tradition, gift-giving etiquette in Ireland requires that the recipient must refuse the gift at least twice before accepting it on the third offer. This tradition dates back to the Irish Potato Famine, a period in history that marked mass starvation and destitution throughout the country. During this time, many people had nothing to offer their guests, although the old rules of hospitality dictated otherwise. For example, if a cup of tea was offered, guests would refuse at least three times to ensure they weren’t being too burdensome on their host by taking precious resources unnecessarily.

Italy

Although the concept of Santa Claus or “Bobbo Natale” in Italian is prevalent in parts of Italy, La Befana maintains a larger presence for children throughout the country. The kindly witch delivers presents on January 6, a day celebrated as the Epiphany in the Catholic church. Bearing some similarities to Saint Nick, La Befana flies through the air on a broomstick, dropping either cherished gifts or lumps of coal in children’s stockings, depending on their most recent behavior.

Kenya

Many cultures don’t approve of the act of spitting, especially when it comes to gift-giving, but for the nomadic Maasai people of Kenya, it is essential. The Maasai recognize spitting as a blessing, which is why it’s common for gifts to be spit on before being presented to the recipient. The act of spitting on a gift (or spitting on anything for that matter) demonstrates respect toward the recipient and wishes them good luck. Even more common is the act of spitting on newborn babies and brides, or before shaking hands in greeting.

Malaysia

Malaysia has a few unusual practices regarding gifting, as it has a rich culture of reciprocal bonding. Corporate gifts in Malaysia are often avoided, as they may be perceived as bribes. Gifts are never opened immediately by the recipient in front of the giver, as it is often believed that a poor choice of gift might embarrass both parties. Due to the multicultural nature of Malaysia, a wide range of customs are observed while gifts are exchanged between people from different religions. Gifts in Malaysia are always given and received with both hands and is given shortly before departure, instead of making the present immediately after arrival.

Scotland

In Scotland, New Year’s Eve is referred to as Hogmanay, a holiday that originated from winter solstice celebrations held by the Vikings. There are some interesting traditions surrounding gift-giving on this holiday. To bring good luck and fortune, the first foot to cross your home’s threshold on New Year’s Day should be a dark-haired male, since blonde hair used to be associated with invading Vikings and their raids. This person should also bring symbolic gifts that include whiskey, coal, salt, shortbread, and black buns.

Spain

Flowers are an important item of gift in Spain and is often considered as a special gift for occasions. However, in Spain, flowers are always gifted in odd numbers, except the number 13, as it symbolizes good luck. Gifts in Spain are accepted very eagerly and are opened as soon as they are received, in a display of appreciation.

United States

Americans generally do not bring gifts to customers when meeting for the first time or as a thank-you for doing business together. Americans may, however, give gifts to coworkers, colleagues, and customers during the holiday season (late December). It is common for bosses to give gifts to executive assistants and other subordinates at this time.

When a gift is given to a person from the U.S., the giver might not receive one in return. Americans often open the gift right away, in front of the giver, so that they can see what it is and express thanks for the item.

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Reading with a Vision Impairment

They say that reading is fundamental but for many persons it’s a skill that gets harder with age and/or declining eyesight. Luckily there are products that can make enjoying your favorite book or periodical enjoyable again, even if that means a machine is reading it to you. This blog will look at the importance of reading and the many varying ways that someone can enjoy the art of reading either visually, by touch, audibly, or a combination therein. Information in this blog came from Importance And Benefits Of Reading Skills In Communication, All The Reasons to Read: It’s Important, Reading Tips For People With Low Vision, and Low vision aids for reading and daily activities.

The Importance of Reading

One of the advantages of reading is that it engages various parts of your brain. When you read, you exercise your comprehension abilities and your analytical abilities. It fires up your imagination and stimulates the memory centers of your mind. It helps recall information as well as stabilize your emotions.

The importance of a reading habit is that it strengthens mental muscles. Reading is one of the best mental workouts there is. It’s been found that regular mental stimulation can slow down and possibly even prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Reading keeps the mind agile and young.

In other words, reading can help expand your mind, helps with creative thinking, improves concentration, helps you gain a greater perspective, can help you destress, give you a sense of belonging, can be a great conversation starter, and can help increase your vocabulary.

Types of Devices to Help with Reading with Low Vision

Approximately 3.22 million people in the United States have a visual impairment. For people with a visual impairment, reading is often one of the most difficult challenges. Many people with low vision stop reading altogether, because what used to be an effortless and enjoyable activity now requires preparation and a lot of adjustment.

There are many low vision devices that can make reading easier and more rewarding for people with macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, tunnel vision and other low vision conditions.

Low Vision Devices for Reading

1. Reading Magnifier

The most used visual aid for reading is a hand-held magnifier.  In the correct power, magnifiers allow people with low vision to read labels, oven dials, and the text on medicine bottles. There are different kinds of magnifiers, including small pocket magnifiers, full-page illuminated magnifiers, and magnifiers that are mounted on adjustable stands.

2. Video Magnifier

While traditional optical magnifiers, such as magnifying glasses, are generally helpful, some people benefit more from a video magnifier.

A video magnifier, or closed-circuit television (CCTV), has a camera that transmits magnified images (up to 50x or higher) and displays them on a large monitor or TV screen.

3. Portable Electronic Magnifiers

A portable electronic magnifier resembles an iPad or tablet. By holding this device in front of reading material, you can view the magnified version on its LED screen.

4. High-Power Reading Glasses

Strong magnifying reading eyeglasses enable a person with severe visual impairment to read fine print.

5. Tele-Microscopic Glasses

Tele-microscopic lenses are mounted on top of eyeglass lenses and may be prescribed for one or both eyes. They allow people with low vision to read, write, use a computer, and perform other tasks at a comfortable distance.

6. Text to voice devices.

There are a range of devices available, like the OrCam Read that can recognize text from books, phone screens, computer monitors, and more and can convert that text to computer voice. There are also apps (such as Audible) that can be added to smart devices which can read a multitude of material out loud to you.

Non-optical, “Adaptive” Low vision Aids

For the visually impaired, something as simple as checking the time on their watch or being able to see the difference between a one-dollar bill and a ten-dollar bill can become a difficult chore.

In addition to low vision devices, inexpensive non-optical adaptive aids can assist with routine daily activities. These devices include:

  • Large-print cookbooks
  • Large-numbered playing cards, clocks, telephones, and watches
  • Electronic “talking” clocks, kitchen timers, thermometers, blood pressure meters and even pill bottles
  • Large felt-tip pens and wide-lined paper for writing notes
  • Wallets that separate different bill denominations into different pockets
  • Color-coded pill boxes
  • Voice-recording electronic organizers
  • Signature guides

ILA has close to 200 products available for purchase that can enhance your ability to read/hear what has been written. These items range from lighting, magnified reading glasses, and large print items to more advance electronic devices such as CCTVs, portable magnifiers, and computers. To see everything in this broad category on their website click on reading.

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Year-round Consumer Safety Advice

Scammers don’t take a break for the holiday; in fact, they tend to ramp up their efforts in hopes that people will be even more gullible to their nefarious acts. There are things you can do to better protect yourself from these thieves all year long. As the sophistication of scammers increase so much your due diligence in protecting your money and personal information. This blog will look at some of the more common occurrences, creating unique passwords and will include applicable links throughout where you can learn more.

Text Messages

More and more scammers are sending out text messages with clickable links. These are a ploy to get you to follow the link and either infect your phone (or other mobile device) with a malware or to con you into providing sign on information for anything from Amazon to your bank claiming you need to verify information for a recent order/transaction. The best mode of action here is to just delete the message without reading it if possible. If you are not sure how to delete messages on your model of phone a quick Google search or checking the online manual for your device should provide the solution.

To learn more about this type of scam, ways to help prevent them, and ways to report the fraudulent activity  read the FTC article How To Recognize and Report Spam Text Messages.

Email

Just like with text messages, email scams are generally designed to get you to input sensitive information with an online account or to simply click on a link that can then infect your device with a virus. One way to determine scam emails is if it is riddled with typos or seems oddly impersonal or conversely too personal greetings. (If it read dear madam/sir or my beloved for example). If you legitimately have an account with wherever the email is claiming to come from your best mode of action is to go directly to that site or call the number on the back of your physical card and tell them that you received an email that you’d like to verify is legit. Some companies may want you to forward the fraudulent email to their fraud department. Double checking the full email address may also prove fruitful as it can be a giveaway of not being real (like it if says microsoft@randomsite.com). Otherwise, the absolute best way to deal with these type scams is to simply delete the email without opening it.

To learn more about how scammers often update their tactics and ways to better protect yourself against these threats read the article How To Recognize and Avoid Phishing Scams provided by the FTC.

Phone Calls

Scammer phone calls can appear on both your landline and cell phone. No number is safe. Some thieves will spoof local phone numbers trying to trick you into thinking the phone call is coming from someone nearby. Most of the time automated calls are not to be trusted unless verifying something like a prescription ready for pickup or confirming a doctor’s appointment. In both of those cases chances are nothing personal will be asked and the most you’ll need to input is to confirm or cancel an appointment.

Otherwise automated or actual random calls are not to be trusted, especially if claiming to be from the IRS (they will never call you), the power company threatening to shut off your power, someone claiming to be calling about your student loans (especially if you do not have any), pretending to be from a credit card company wanting to verify a purchase,  someone claiming to be from Microsoft and claiming there’s an issue with your computer, wanting to extend your car warranty, or claiming your social security number has been reported and a warrant is out for your arrest. The best mode of action here is to just hang up. Better yet there’s a chance that if you screen your phone calls it may cut down on the number of calls you receive since a live person did not answer to verify it was a legit number. (The main other type of automated or unsolicited phone call is more prevalent during election season from politicians or people promoting politicians which some will see as informative and others as much as a nuisance as actual spam calls).

To  learn more about types of spam calls, ways to protect yourself, and how to report fraudulent activity read any of the following articles: the FTC’s article Phone Scams, an AARP article Phone Scams, or an article from the US government Common Scams and Frauds.

Social Media

If you’ve ever had your account hacked on social media, or have friends or family who have, then you know how aggravating it is when scammers invade your online presence. If you’ve already been hacked the best thing to do is immediately change your password to something hard to figure out. The next best thing to do is limit how many online quizzes you do or how many questionnaires you answer and post on your page. Doing these things makes it easier for your account to be hacked because often you’re giving away the answers to your security questions (things such as mother’s maiden name, first place you lived, your favorite things, etc.).

Giveaways

Another place you can be scammed on social media is through fraudulent giveaways. While many of these are harmless with people just trying to get likes and more comments to up their ranking there are others that request for more sensitive information to enter which should be scrutinized more closely. The Better Business Bureau offers this advice:

  • Look for the blue checkmark. Many social media platforms verify pages from brands and celebrities so that users can tell real pages from copycats. Make sure you look for that trust mark before liking and sharing content. 
  • Watch out for new accounts: If you think a giveaway is real, click on the business or celebrity’s profile. If it’s a new account with very little other content, that’s a big red flag.
  • Look out for spelling errors and typos: Real brands use giveaways to promote their company. Spelling errors and typos will make them look bad! They are a big warning signs of a scam.
  • The giveaway asks you to complete too many tasks: If a giveaway asks you to comment on multiple posts, follow several accounts, and tag a couple of brands, it becomes almost impossible to keep track of everyone participating and pick a winner at random (as required by law).
  • There are no terms and conditionsOnline giveaways should include contact details of the organizer, how to take part, how the winner will be selected, and eligibility requirements. If you don’t see information, that’s an instant red flag.
  • Don’t click “like” on every post in your feed. Scammers are counting on getting as many mindless likes as possible, so be sure you only “like” posts and articles that are legitimate. Don’t help scammers spread their con.

To read more about Social Media scams see the articles: Scams that start on social media, Social Media Scams, and 6 Common Social Media Scams to Avoid.

Password Advice

Creating hard to guess passwords doesn’t have to be as hard as it sometimes seems. There are several ways to create a rememberable yet difficult password. It’s also a good idea to write down your passwords somewhere inconspicuous.

Password suggestion 1: Use something you no longer have access to like an old tag number for your car or an address for a previous place of employment. You could also combine these items such as using the number from an old car tag coupled with part of the street address with a former place of employment.

Password suggestion 2: Look around you and pick a couple of random items to use towards your password such as the brand name of whatever your drinking coupled with an item on your desk. An example here would be something like DasaniRemoteControl.

Password suggestion 3: If you have a favorite saying or are feeling especially creative to invent one use the first letter of each word of the sentence to create your password. Some sites also require you to use numbers and/or special characters as well. So, if you like the saying “Every Good Boy Does Fine,” which is traditionally a pneumonic device for reading sheet music, you would use EGBDF and then tack on a couple of numbers or a special character.

Password don’ts: The biggest piece of advice is to never use easily guessable things for your password like your date of birth, information also found in your sign on ID, current phone numbers, or consecutive letters or numbers.

For more detailed suggestions on creating stronger passwords read How To Create Unique Passwords For Every Account That Are Hard To Guess And Easy To Remember or 9 rules for strong passwords: How to create and remember your login credentials.

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Thanksgiving Origins, Traditions and Fun Facts for 2021

Thanksgiving is upon us once again but how much do you know about this national holiday? This blog will look at Thanksgiving origins, traditions, and some fun statistics with information coming from Thanksgiving 2021 and 2021 Thanksgiving Fun Facts – Infographic with 60+ Facts.

Thanksgiving’s Ancient Origins

Although the American concept of Thanksgiving developed in the colonies of New England, its roots can be traced back to the other side of the Atlantic. Both the Separatists who came over on the Mayflower and the Puritans who arrived soon after brought with them a tradition of providential holidays—days of fasting during difficult or pivotal moments and days of feasting and celebration to thank God in times of plenty.

As an annual celebration of the harvest and its bounty, moreover, Thanksgiving falls under a category of festivals that spans cultures, continents, and millennia. In ancient times, the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans feasted and paid tribute to their gods after the fall harvest. Thanksgiving also bears a resemblance to the ancient Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot. Finally, historians have noted that Native Americans had a rich tradition of commemorating the fall harvest with feasting and merrymaking long before Europeans set foot on America’s shores.

Thanksgiving Traditions and Rituals

In many American households, the Thanksgiving celebration has lost much of its original religious significance; instead, it now centers on cooking and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends. Turkey, a Thanksgiving staple so ubiquitous it has become all but synonymous with the holiday, may or may not have been on offer when the Pilgrims hosted the inaugural feast in 1621. (It wasn’t until October 3, 1863 that then President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday.)

Today, however, nearly 90 percent of Americans eat the bird—whether roasted, baked or deep-fried—on Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Federation. Other traditional foods include stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Volunteering is a common Thanksgiving Day activity, and communities often hold food drives and host free dinners for the less fortunate.

Parades have also become an integral part of the holiday in cities and towns across the United States. Presented by Macy’s department store since 1924, New York City’s Thanksgiving Day parade is the largest and most famous, attracting some 2 to 3 million spectators along its 2.5-mile route and drawing an enormous television audience. It typically features marching bands, performers, elaborate floats conveying various celebrities and giant balloons shaped like cartoon characters.

Beginning in 1989 with President George H.W. Bush, the president of the United States has “pardoned” one or two Thanksgiving turkeys each year, sparing the birds from slaughter and sending them to a farm for retirement. A number of U.S. governors also perform the annual turkey pardoning ritual.

6 Thanksgiving Facts for 2021

If you have ever wondered how much money was spent or how the typical US family celebrates the holiday, WalletHub has gathered over 60 facts covering this and more. Here are the top 6 facts for 2021.

$312: Average person’s spending over the five-day Thanksgiving period.

10 Hrs. 2 Mins.: Length of time the average American male would need to spend on the treadmill to burn the 4,500 calories consumed at the average Thanksgiving meal.

$604+ Million: Estimated amount Americans spend on Thanksgiving turkeys each year, with 46 million turkeys killed for the holiday.

$26 Million: Amount of property loss caused by residential building fires each Thanksgiving.

46%: Share of people celebrating Thanksgiving who try to avoid having to talk politics at the dinner table.

65%: Share of Americans who expect COVID-19 to impact their Thanksgiving celebrations this year (only 15% expect the impact to be significant).

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November has been designated for diabetes awareness since 1975, but it wasn’t officially recognized until the early 1980s, when then President Ronald Raegan officially declared it so. This blog will look at prediabetes, eye related issues, and working out with video games. If you want to test your knowledge on diabetes, take a quiz from Discover Diabetes. To see what your risk factors are there is another quiz available at the American Diabetes Association.

Prediabetes

An article from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases states that prediabetes is a serious health condition where your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. According to the CDC, more than 1 in 3 U.S. adults have prediabetes—that’s 88 million people—but the majority of people don’t know they have it.

The good news is that by making small healthy lifestyle changes, it is possible to prevent type 2 diabetes and even reverse your prediabetes.

Here are some tips to help manage prediabetes and prevent diabetes.

Take small steps. Making changes to your lifestyle and daily habits can be hard, but you don’t have to change everything at once. It is okay to start small. Remember that setbacks are normal and do not mean you have failed—the key is to get back on track as soon as you can.

  • Move more. Limit time spent sitting and try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity, 5 days a week. Start slowly by breaking it up throughout the day.
  • Choose healthier foods and drinks most of the time. Pick foods that are high in fiber and low in fat and sugar. Build a plate that includes a balance of vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates. Drink water instead of sweetened drinks.
  • Lose weight, track it, and keep it off. You may be able to prevent or delay diabetes by losing 5 to 7 percent of your starting weight.
  • Seek support. It is possible to reverse prediabetes. Making a plan, tracking your progress, and getting support from your health care professional and loved ones can help you make the necessary lifestyle changes.
  • Stay up to date on vaccinations. The COVID-19 (booster shot, if eligible) and flu vaccines are especially important for people who may be more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 or the flu, such as people with diabetes.

Diabetic Related Eye Diseases

According to Prevent Blindness, diabetes-related eye disease refers to eye problems that people with diabetes may face as a complication of the disease.  Diabetes-related retinopathy (DR) is a disease that damages the blood vessels of the eye, causing them to leak and bleed into the retina. Individuals may not experience symptoms in the early stages of DR, which is why it is important for individuals with diabetes to have an eye exam annually, or as directed by their doctor.

If diabetes-related retinopathy is left untreated, fluid can leak into the center of the macula, called the fovea, the part of the eye where sharp, straight-ahead vision occurs. The fluid makes the macula swell, blurring vision. This condition is called diabetes-related macular edema. It can occur at any stage of diabetic retinopathy, although it is more likely to occur as the disease progresses.

Other eye conditions common among people living with diabetes include:

  • Cataract, a clouding of the lens in the eye, which can cause vision to become blurry and colors to become dull. Aside from aging, diabetes is the most common risk factor for cataract.
  • Glaucoma occurs with damage to the optic nerve and possible loss of side vision, usually caused by an increase in fluid pressure inside the eye.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, finding and treating diabetic retinopathy early can reduce the risk of blindness by 95 percent.

Working Out with Video Games

The following excerpt is from an American Diabetes Association article entitled, Working Out with Video Games.

You may not automatically associate playing video games with fitness. You may think, “Isn’t that how kids waste time when they should be outside getting fresh air and exercise?” Not necessarily. Over the past decade or so, a number of developers have created video games designed to get players of all ages on their feet.

Being active every day is a key part of managing blood glucose, or blood sugar, and reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease. But finding the time and staying motivated can be tricky. Like exercise videos, fitness video games are an excuse-proof exercise because they let you work out in the comfort of your own home. Unlike regular exercise videos, however, video games have sneaky ways to keep you coming back. The value is that there’s an interactivity with the game—so you can win or lose. There’s often competition, either with yourself or a participant. There’s a leaderboard and other reward mechanisms.

Exercise video games, or “exergames,” are highly customized to individual users, thanks to sensors that track a player’s movements. If you complete certain actions, you win points or fun rewards. Don’t like the shirt your onscreen character (or avatar) is wearing? Do a few more leg lifts and you’ll have enough points to choose a new one.

Arguably the best part: Many exergames don’t feel like exercise. These games are designed first and foremost to be fun. Getting the workout is a side effect of playing the game.

*Image source from blog banner comes from: Healthline.

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Daylight Saving Time Ends an Overview of DST Around the World

In the United States, it’s that time of year again, the end of Daylight Saving Time. Except for Arizona, Hawaii, and US Territories,  it’s the biannual time for pets, farm animals, children, and even adults to be confused for a few days while everyone gets used to the difference in time. This blog will look at the phenomenon of Daylight Saving Time around the world and some of the controversies surrounding it. For a more in-depth dive check out All time zones with DST,  Daylight saving time by country, and Daylight Saving Time.

Dates for the time change

The change from Daylight Saving Time to Wintertime (Standard Time) is done in each country according to individually defined rules. Within the USA, this is always the 2nd Sunday in March and the 1st Sunday in November. The time is always 2:00 a.m. in the respective time zone. Within the USA, there are 7 different time zones and thus always 7 different times for the changeover. While in New York one has already changed to the next time, in Chicago, Denver or Los Angeles the changeover is still to come.

In the European Union it is always changed on the last Sunday in March and last Sunday in October. Summertime in Europe therefore starts 1-2 weeks later and ends 1 week earlier than in the USA. Also, the timing is different. The entire EU changes the clocks at the same time (2:00 a.m. CET in March, and 3:00 a.m. CEST in October). EU countries that are not in CET at all adjust the changeover to it. Portugal (CET -1) thus changes its clocks at 1 a.m. local time.

The Brazilians formerly set their watches to Wintertime in February (before abolishing DST), while neighboring Paraguay is waiting until the end of March. In nearby Chile it is the first Saturday in April and the first Monday in September.

See the graph below for other timelines of the time change in other countries:

Wintertime is Summertime in the southern hemisphere

Due to the movement of the sun between the northern and southern tropic, the annual times also shift depending on the position on the globe. In the southern hemisphere, the sun is closer in December than in the northern hemisphere. At the time of the European winter months there is summer. As a result, in the southern hemisphere you change to Summertime while the northern countries switch to Wintertime.

Global Map Outlining Countries Current and Former Observances of DST

Today, approximately 70 countries utilize Daylight Saving Time in at least a portion of the country. Japan, India, and China are the only major industrialized countries that do not observe some form of daylight saving.

While the adoption of Daylight Saving Time is almost always rife with controversy, most of the world (except for countries around the Equator) has implemented DST at one point or another. This map depicts countries that currently have DST, that previously had DST, and that never had DST.

Controversies Surrounding DST

The changeover between summer and winter times is not without controversy. Many countries are no longer participating in the time changeover at all. Countries near the equator do not need them anyway because of the similar position of the sun throughout the year. The real goal of summertime is to make better use of daylight. The effect was particularly noticeable financially when the coffers were empty in the post-war years and during the oil crisis in the 1970s.

The savings effect is now considered to have been largely disproved. Instead, the time changeover twice a year causes problems for many people. Especially children need up to a week to adjust their internal clock. Problems also arise in agriculture, because dairy cows, for example, are even worse at handling changed milking times than humans.

On the other hand, it has also been proven that more sunlight also produces more vitamins, causes less depression and, on balance, makes people feel better. In fact, the time changeover brings us 1 hour more sunlight – if you are not a late riser and early riser.

The discussions about the pros and cons of the time change are being held worldwide. Russia, for example, has now completely abandoned summertime and Turkey has declared it to be year-round time. Other countries have also completely or partially abolished summertime in recent years.

In 2018, the EU Commission conducted an online survey on the abolition of the time changeover. Around 84% of the 4.6 million participants were in favor of abolishing the time changeover. However, an overwhelming proportion of the votes came from Germany. As a result, the Commission planned to abolish summertime as early as April 2019, but after the EU member states considered this time frame too short, the Commission backed out. The new deadline was supposed to be March 28, 2021 – but the European Commission failed to agree on a uniform approach in time.

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