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A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
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Innovation is awesome, right? I mean, it gave us the internet!

However, there is always a price to pay for modernization, and in this case, it’s in the form of digital eye strain, a group of vision problems that can pop up after as little as two hours of looking at a screen. Some of the symptoms are tired and/or dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, and neck and shoulder pain1. Ouch!


Eye strain from staring at devices is a widespread issue. Most people work, play, and maintain relationships through screens, which averages out to 6 hours and 35 minutes per day (and that’s in addition to work or school)! That translates to 46 hours and 5 minutes per week, or 2,402 hours and 55 minutes per year.2

With numbers like these, attention to eye health is more important now than ever; our dependence on technology certainly isn’t going anywhere. And just like innovation brought us technology, innovation also holds the key to combating the effects it has on our bodies. Here are some key suggestions from eye care professionals to help reduce common symptoms of digital eye strain. Spoiler alert: none of them involve wearing glasses!

Follow the 20-20-20 rule.

You can find some relief by taking a 20-20-20 break: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. It’s easy to remember because we all want 20/20 vision, and it’s a good excuse to look out the window.

Adjust your workspace screen to be slightly below eye level and about an arm’s length away.

This simple tweak to your work area can really improve your posture, as well as the amount of strain on your eyes. A win-win!

Adjust the brightness of your device.

Brightness levels also play into how hard our eyes have to work. Our screen brightness should match our surroundings, especially during the evening hours.

Say hello to Biofinity Energys® contact lenses!

These contact lenses are specifically made to address eye dryness and tiredness caused by digital devices. Digital Zone Optics® lens design and Aquaform® Technology are two innovations that when combined help with the tiredness and dryness that can be caused by digital eye fatigue.

Additionally, Biofinity Energys® monthly replacement contact lenses are designed to help our eyes better adapt for a more comfortable wearing experience3. This part is tricky because contacts can be hard to adjust to, and trust me—no one wants what feels like gritty sandpaper in there. Comfort is key!

If you’re sick of wearing glasses all the time and feel ready to do something new, visit biofinityenergys.com to learn more and to get your free trial certificate.


References:

    1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6020759/
    2. Asurion-sponsored survey by Market Research Firm Solidea Solutions conducted August 18-20, 2019 of 1,998 U.S. smartphone users, compared to an Asurion-sponsored survey conducted by market research company OnePoll between Sept. 11 – 19, 2017 of 2000 U.S. adults with a smartphone.
    3. Biofinityenergys.com

    Ronny Tertnes' "liquid sculptures" are otherworldly.

    Human beings have sculpted artwork out of all kinds of materials throughout history, from clay to concrete to bronze. Some sculpt with water in the form of ice, but what if you could create sculptures with small drops of liquid?

    Norwegian artist Ronny Tertnes does just that. His "liquid sculptures" look like something from another planet or another dimension, while at the same time are entirely recognizable as water droplets.

    I mean, check this out:



    According to SLR Lounge, Tertnes uses ultra high-speed photography, flash rigs, smoke and different types of liquids to create and capture his colorful split-second sculptures. He mixes water with various substances to create texture, color and movement in his photos, and the effect is otherworldly. He does some editing in Photoshop as well. The form in his photographs comes from the unique movement of a single droplet, which can end up looking like a human, a flower, an alien or an abstract glass sculpture. Sometimes they look like people dancing. Just incredible.

    Tertnes has shared many of his photos on Facebook and on his website, where you can purchase prints, calendars and more featuring these beauties:

    It's fun to ask what other people see when they look at these images.

    Amazingly enough, Tertnes has described himself as a "hobby photographer."

    Sometimes he creates mirror images that end up looking like animals or alien creatures.

    If you're into (or have a marginal understanding of and interest in) NFTs, Tertnes has a Liquid Sculptures NFT store as well.

    And finally, here's a slideshow where you can hear him play the guitar and look at his beautiful liquid sculptures. Enjoy.

    Photo from Mark Abbott's Facebook

    Looking for an authentic holiday feel-good story?

    Mark Abbott has now been dubbed "Mr. Christmas" after transforming his home into an absolutely mesmerizing winter wonderland.

    We’re talking illuminated reindeer (all nine of them), a glowing blue tunnel of light leading up to the front door, a candy cane forest, a snow machine, some outdoor music and an eight-foot-long sleigh. If that’s not enough seasonal spectacle, I don’t know what is.

    But how and why this dazzlingly decorated Christmas house came to be is the real heartwarming tale.

    Fifteen years ago, Abbott was registered as homeless. He shared with The Big Issue that he had been juggling three jobs to make ends meet. Then he lost his home after an expensive bill racked up for work on his car. The one he used to get to all three of his jobs. Needlessly to say, it was a difficult time in his life.

    Abbott had been couch surfing and sleeping in his car before getting help at St. Martins in Norwich, in the east of England.


    St. Martins describes its mission as “enhancing understanding and compassion towards homeless people in our community through education and advocacy.” It provides residential care for those with mental health and substance abuse related issues, housing care for the elderly and a "direct access hostel," where Abbott stayed at for the next nine months.

    While there, he saved up enough money to get on a housing register. And now, according to The Big Issue, Abbott is a proud father of three and has turned his passion into a business running a children’s dance company.

    Not to mention, Abbott spares no expense for gorgeous Christmas lights each year.

    “I’ve always liked Christmas lights, they’re so pretty. And I’ve always liked the festive thing, even the cold weather,” he told The Big Issue, adding “I do really love it when I see kids’ faces. The biggest thing for me is that it’s bringing people together.”

    He certainly succeeds in that department, as families flock from miles away to glance at the breathtaking scene.

    This year, two onlookers suggested that Abbott should use his festive display for charity, and having never forgotten the support he received from St. Martins, he knew exactly who to raise money for. He told BBC News “With the pandemic you hear stories of families being made homeless. I've got three kids now and I couldn't imagine being homeless with children.”

    With around 17,500 lights and 4,000 feet of wires, Abbott is giving back to the institution that once helped him all those years ago. Which means running more than 50 sockets to power the lights. But that cost is being covered by a friend Abbott made while he was homeless. Gratitude and generosity really are the gifts that keep on giving.

    If you’d like to donate to St. Martins, you can do so here.

    Alternatively, there are many ways you can help make a difference for those experiencing homelessness this season. The Independent has a short-but-sweet list of ideas that you can find here.

    If Abbott’s "Christmas comeback" is any indication, you never know how a little kindness can help turn around someone’s life in a major way.

    Keanu Reeves "John Wick" red carpet, Fantastic Fest 2014 Austin, Texas

    A recent NFT (non-fungible token) boom has a lot of people scratching their heads over why someone would pay over a million dollars for a digital art file that can be easily replicated by right-clicking “Save as.” But NFT enthusiasts are willing to pay ridiculous amounts for the artwork because they have a certificate of digital ownership that cannot be replicated.

    Much like a piece of physical artwork such as painting, you can create a replica of an NFT but there are a limited number of originals. This has ushered in a new era where digital assets can now possess the type of scarcity usually attributed to physical objects.

    This new form of manufactured scarcity seems to many as another way for powerful people to claim ownership over things that are shared by the general public.

    “Sure, you can enjoy this drawing of an ape,” the NFT owner proudly states. “But I own the ape! It says so on the blockchain.”



    In a recent interview with The Verge about how the digital world is slowly encroaching upon real life, “Matrix Resurrections” stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss were asked by Alex Heath about the notion of digital scarcity. The question made Reeves lose composure and he let out a large cackle, exclaiming “They’re easily reproduced.”


    Reeve’s outburst inspired Heath to push back, claiming “But it's not the same."

    “The Matrix” star's outburst was cathartic to many people who think that NFTs are nothing but an elitist scam. The clip quickly went viral on social media, earning a lot of hilarious and thoughtful responses.