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Laser Power
March 2011

21st Century Pet Therapy OptionsLaserPower

Pet owners around the country are discovering a new wrinkle in an existing technology to deliver both pain relief and healing for their furry, feathery or scaly companions. Laser technology has been used in the veterinary field for many years for surgery. Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Class IV laser therapy to deliver non-invasive relief for pain and inflammation, as well. Treatments benefit pets suffering from arthritis, back injuries, acute sprains or spasms and dermatological hot spots and wounds, plus enhance post-operative rehabilitation.

 
The Herbal Kitchen
March 2011

Eight Easy Picks for Container Gardening

HerbalKitchenHumans have had good reasons to grow basil, rosemary and other culinary herbs for thousands of years. Edible herbal accents and aromas enhance the beauty and flavor of every dish they touch, be they sprigs of fresh parsley tossed into hot couscous or marjoram and thyme sparking a savory risotto.

A big garden isn’t needed to grow most kitchen herbs; in fact, it’s often better to grow these culinary gems in pots. In any household, the sweet spot for cultivating herbs is a puddle of sunshine near the kitchen door. Time and again, the cook will dash out to gather a handful of this or that while two or three dishes simmer on the stove. Dinner is less likely to boil over when herbs can be snagged in a matter of seconds.

 
Urban Psychology
February 2011

Where We Come From Countsurban_psychology

Making a life is about more than making a living, and a University of Michigan study has found that some cities lead with their heart, while others lead with their head. “The place where we grew up or currently reside… defines who we are, how we think about ourselves and others, and the way we live,” suggest researchers Nansook Park and Christopher Peterson. Hence the common query: “Where are you from?”

With more than half of the world’s total population living in cities, the researchers maintain that it’s time to assess what is right about urban life. So, they surveyed character strengths among more than 47,000 residents of the 50 largest U.S. cities.

They report that heart-strong cities tended to be warmer, less crowded and more community/teamwork oriented, with more families with children, and perhaps kinder and gentler overall. The five highest scoring heart-oriented cities were: El Paso, Texas; Mesa, Arizona; Miami; Virginia Beach; and Fresno, California.

Head-strong cities tended to be more intellectual, innovative and creative, with a greater number of patents per capita. They are often labeled as hot spots for talent and high-tech industries. The five top-scoring cities in this category were: San Francisco, Los Angeles and Oakland, California; Albuquerque; and Honolulu.

Some cities scored above average on both counts, including El Paso, Honolulu and Detroit.

Is it better to lead with your head or your heart? Each has its own advantages, the researchers conclude. Life may well be good in other towns, too, simply in different ways.

 
Eco-Kudos
February 2011

America Names Top Smart-Growth Cities

eco_kudosThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Smart Growth Awards recognize innovation in everything from creating small public spaces in densely packed urban cores to investing in compact communities and preserving forests and farmland. It all makes for greater livability.

This past year, the Big Apple took honors for overall excellence. “New York City has achieved a relatively small carbon footprint, given its size, through its commitment to creating compact and walkable neighborhoods,” according to the agency report. The city has also built dedicated bike lanes and carved out public spaces in urban jungles like Times Square.

Portland, Oregon, wins kudos for its realistic growth plan to accommodate an anticipated 600,000 population by 2030, strengthening employment and concentrating commerce, while preserving its neighborhoods and connections with nature. In Maine, 20 towns collaborated in a commercial and tourist byway, while preserving the region’s rural character. San Francisco earned praise for transforming a previously neglected alleyway into the vibrant South of Market retail area, as did Baltimore for its green rehab of an historic building into a mixed-use space that revitalized the surrounding neighborhood.

 
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