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McDonald's Plays Classical Music to Calm Rowdy Customers

McDonald's Plays Classical Music to Calm Rowdy Customers

A Glasgow McDonald's hopes Bach can keep customers calm

Wikimedia/M.Minderhoud

A Glasgow McDonald's has started playing classical music to calm rowdy customers.

Can music soothe the unruly restaurant customer? One McDonald’s in Scotland is hoping that it can, because in a last-ditch attempt to stop customers from getting into fights and causing a ruckus, it has started playing classical music in the restaurant in the hopes that the smooth grooves will help chill people out.

According to The Mirror, a McDonald’s branch in Glasgow is known for being the site of many altercations between customers. It is also the busiest McDonald’s unit in Scotland. Things got so bad that the police actually complained that the restaurant was keeping them too busy, and the restaurant owners were ordered to hire security staff on Fridays and Saturdays. And now the restaurant is attempting to calm its customers down by piping in classical music by Handel, Beethoven, Bach, and others.

Some restaurants have reportedly found that playing classical music encourages a calmer atmosphere in and around the restaurant.

“Based on the advice of our security team, classical music is used by some restaurants as it encourages calm behaviour,” McDonald’s representatives said. “Typically, classical music is used from early evening onwards.”

Some of the customers seem to like it, too.

“We heard classical music being played the other night and it was actually quite pleasant,” one regular said. “It’s better than the kind of rave music we’ve heard before so I think they may be on to something.”


McDonald's uses classical music to stop anti-social behaviour

The Stockport branch of fast-food restaurant McDonald's has started playing classical music late at night in an attempt to put an end to rowdy behaviour.

Though the technique has been used by Stockport council in the past, this is the first time classical music has been used in this way inside a local business.

After rises in anti-social behaviour in the area around the Grand Central branch of McDonald's, the restaurant has been piping in the music of Beethoven, Brahms and more to try and pacify the more boisterous late-night customers.

The branch is very close to several clubs and pubs and is a popular destination for revellers after closing time. Councillor Philip Harding commented: "The idea is they would disperse as it's not their scene. I believed it was successful [in the town centre] but it's a bit of a different suggestion inside a business."

He added: "I like classical music but I'm not sure the patrons of McDonald's do."


This is why fast food restaurants play classical music at night

Classical music makes everything better. Including those moments of ravishing hunger, when all you crave is a cone of salty chips and the greasiest meat-based item on the menu.

Why do junk food restaurants play classical at night?

Playing classical music in the late hours of the day appears to be part of the mass fast-food chain effort to combat rowdy behaviour in their branches. The soothing sounds of Chopin and Debussy are said to create a calming atmosphere and encourage more acceptable conduct among customers.

The trend began when McDonald&rsquos customers in Liverpool, Cambridge, Huddersfield, Swansea, Southampton and London were reporting instances of a Wagnerian accompaniment to their late-night burger and chips.

McDonald's then confirmed it was their intention to feature classical playlists, to put an end to anti-social behaviour. The Stockport branch of McDonald's have long been a fan of this idea, with councillor Philip Harding hoping that &ldquo[customers] would disperse as it&rsquos not their scene.&rdquo

Is it a good idea?

So there are a couple of possible interpretations of this approach. Firstly, the fewer people hanging about, the more room there is for classical lovers to indulge in some wraps n' Rhapsodies. And secondly, we can't think of a more perfect amalgamation than quick, tasty food accompanied by our favourite Brahms Piano Quartets.

But realistically, will classical music lovers really turn to McDonald's for an audio experience? Seems unlikely. And while classical music can often be relaxing, it can also be as aggressive as any other genre when the time is right. Try chowing down on a Royale with Cheese while the finale of Don Giovanni rings out across the drive-thru - it ain't gonna work.


'Rowdy behaviour'

Hertfordshire Police said its Operation Brillo aims to tackling anti-social behaviour in Welwyn "hotspots" including McDonald's, Woodall Shops and Peartree.

The force said the type of incidents include "rowdy behaviour and using offensive language, which tend to happen in the late afternoon and early evening".

People have been stopped and searched, letters sent to parents and home visits carried out.

McDonald's said it had also implemented its own measures, including banning a "small number of people" and improving the definition of its CCTV.

"[We] will continue to ask anyone causing a disturbance to leave the premises," the spokeswoman said.

"We are working very closely with the local council and police.

"We are pleased that since introducing these extra security measures we have seen a decrease in anti-social behaviour in and around the restaurant."


10 Ways to Calm Down a Classroom

Whatever strategy you choose, your students will benefit more if you stay consistent with it. Predictability in their schedules is essential in giving them structure and making it easier for them to know what behaviors you expect from them.

1. Create a Relaxing Atmosphere

Let’s face it — harsh fluorescent lights, bright decor and 30 little ones crammed into a classroom is not a calm environment. So how can we fix that? For a short period after lunch or recess, dim the lights. Have students put their heads down and gently rest their cheeks on the cold desks.

Play soothing music. Classical music, slow jazz or soft acoustics are good options. Let your kids drift off to the sound of violins or peaceful piano notes. Instead of music, you could also put on other relaxing sounds, such as ocean waves or a soothing storm. Video and music sites have vast collections of calming music and sounds. You can find playlists like “Peaceful Piano,” “Floating Through Space” and “Sounds of the RainForest.”

In a similar vein, you can also find relaxing videos to play. Maybe your kids are more visual and need something to focus on. Aquarium and nature videos are great options for this. You can also find videos of outer space scenery, waves lapping on the beach and even a crackling fire for those cold winter days.

When you’re transitioning the kids from recess to class, make sure they understand how to travel and walk quietly with you. The longer they are allowed to be rambunctious, the longer it will be before they are calm in your classroom. It may also help to split kids up into small groups when they reenter the classroom, especially in winter months when kids can get rowdy while taking off their cold-weather gear. This option gives them more space and fewer distractions. Another approach could be to give students short time limits to get in their seats and be quiet — “You have 30 seconds to get in your seats and put all eyes on me. Go!”

2. Have Kids Start Independent Work, Such As Reading or Writing

After lunch or recess is a great time to focus on independent work and do activities like sustained silent reading (SSR). Hopefully, the students will get absorbed in whatever they’ve chosen to read or write about and will settle down to focus. There are several types of independent work that kids can do. Here are our top five:

  • SSR: Sustained silent reading has been around for a while and involves setting aside a specific amount of time each day for students to read a book of their choice. It encourages consistent reading and can positively influence kids’ attitudes toward reading. You can do SSR at any age level. A trip to the school library at the beginning of the year is a great way to get them started.
  • Writing: One way to improve writing is by doing it consistently. Having students write each day is an excellent method for increasing how much they write. It gets them in the practice of writing, so they use what they’ve learned. Plus, having them write by hand is an effective way to improve their spelling and composition skills. Compile some writing prompts appropriate for your grade level and put them up on the board each day.
  • Journal: Aside from assigned writing, you can also give your students time to journal. Have your students designate a notebook for journaling and give them time to write every day about their lives.
  • Doodle or color: Leaving room for artistic endeavors in the classroom is a fun way to get students focused. Printable coloring pages are a convenient, low-budget approach to getting exciting designs in front of your kids. Depending on your classroom setup and your budget, you might find it easy to give them a box of crayons or markers to share. You can even collect and display their masterpieces on the wall if they aren’t unmanageable in number.
  • General work time: Another route that may work best with older kids is not to assign anything specific, and leave students time to catch up on work, read or do whatever they like that is quiet and productive or relaxing. This approach also provides an opportunity for students to ask you questions.

3. Lead Yoga or Stretching Exercises

Yoga can be an incredibly relaxing activity. It can reduce stress, increase muscle and improve posture. It stands to reason that kids can benefit from it too. Have them spread out and make some space. Dim the lights and get stretching. With many poses, you can encourage the kids to act out some of their favorite animals. Here are a few poses you can do with children:

  • Cat Pose: Get on all fours. Arch your back, and tuck your chin toward your chest.
  • Downward-Facing Dog: Bend down and put your palms on the ground in front of you. Lift your rear end upwards, straighten your legs and relax your neck.
  • Mountain Pose: Stand up straight, press your palms together in front of you, with your elbows out.
  • Child’s Pose: Sit down with your knees tucked in, so you are sitting on your heels. Lean forward, so your face is close to the ground, and keep your arms parallel to the rest of your body. Touch your hands to the ground in front of you.
  • Tree Pose: Stand on one leg. Put the bottom of your other foot against your inner thigh.
  • Warrior II Pose: Step back with one foot. Raise your arms up at your sides, parallel to the floor. Twist your arms, so they are in line with your legs.

You can even get helpful posters to display the poses and remind kids of the things they are emulating when they do them, like a strong surfer, a friendly dog or a wise owl.

4. Lead Relaxing Breathing Exercises

These can be done during yoga or by themselves in a peaceful atmosphere. Controlled breathing can bring down anxiety, manage pain and discomfort, help balance unpleasant thoughts and even fight inflammation. Below are some breathing techniques that your kids may benefit from and have fun with. Similar to the yoga poses, many of these can be animal-themed. You may also want to use something like a timed breathing video to help students visualize their breaths.

  • Bunny-breathing: Inhale or sniff in short bursts and exhale in one motion.
  • Balloon breathing: Kids can pretend they are blowing up a balloon by exhaling slowly, then deflating the balloon by inhaling slowly too.
  • Bumblebee breathing: Slowly inhale, then release the air with a light buzzing noise.
  • Belly breathing: Sit up straight or lie down with one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Breathe in and out slowly, making sure to exhale through your nose. Pay attention to the movement of your stomach.

If you do these regularly, you can even let students lead the class.

5. Listen to Guided Imagery or Read Aloud

Guided imagery can be impressively helpful. In one study, children who listened to guided imagery CDs several times a week saw a 63.1% decrease in pain levels, compared to 26.7% of kids who received only standard medical care in the control group.

One useful scenario from that study had the children picture a particular object that melted like butter in their hands. It made them warm and shiny, and they would place their hands on their stomachs to spread warmth and light. This placement would create a barrier that prevented anything from irritating their bellies. While this approach applies to pain, guided imagery can also work for relaxation.

You can find a variety of guided imagery scripts online that you can read to your students, or you could play recordings. These would work well with the calming atmosphere from our first tip.

Similar to guided imagery, after lunch or recess would be an excellent time for a read-aloud. Gather everyone onto the rug and have the kids circle around you as you read to them. Bringing the class together for a listening activity like this can help keep them quiet and focused on you.

6. Do Warm-Up Exercises and Brain Games

Find simple activities that require enough focus that your kids have to pay attention, but not so much that they will miss out on essential content if they are still a little inattentive. These warm-up activities can include:

  • Math problems: Ask the students to work on a problem based on the skills they’ve been learning.
  • Grammar practice: Have students make corrections to a sentence that has errors in grammar or spelling. This practice is a great way to keep concepts in mind that they may not have seen for a while.
  • Beach Ball Toss: This one requires a little more work on your part. Use a marker to write different numbers on a beach ball. These numbers correspond to categories and questions that you have on a list. Throw the ball to a student. Whatever number their right thumb is closest to is the category they have to answer. You’ll read questions that go with the number.
  • Simon Says: Simon Says isn’t as educational, but it can help kids lose any extra energy they’ve got and pay attention to you.
  • Opinion Questions: Ask students introductory questions about the topic they’ll be learning about. If they’re learning about a geography feature, you could ask them if they’ve ever seen it and where. If they’re learning about an animal, you can ask them what their favorite kind of animal is and why.

7. Teach Mindfulness and Self-Calming Strategies for Students

Mindfulness is a psychological practice that focuses your thoughts on the present. It encourages you to pay attention to your environment, feelings, emotions and senses. In kids, mindfulness can help them become more self-aware and start to assess how their emotions affect their behavior. Mindfulness is not about “clearing” your mind like some might associate with relaxation techniques. It is more about focusing your mind on your present environment.

Some mindfulness practices include what you would expect, such as yoga-like deep breathing. Other activities tend to focus on the senses. Note that these are all done with eyes closed, except for the sight activity.

  • Body Scan: This scan is a great way to get your kids to relax their muscles, especially if they’ve been running around and are still full of energy from recess. Doing this works similarly to the guided imagery, in that they listen to you or a recording that instructs them on relaxing the different parts of their bodies. As they release tension from their muscles, they slowly relax their whole bodies.
  • Taste Test: Give your students a small piece of food, such as a raisin, and set a timer. You may want to start at 30 seconds and build your way up to longer times. Have the kids put the piece of food in their mouth and not eat it. They can roll the candy around, feel it on their tongues. This activity encourages them to focus on the sensory details of the experience and not about whatever else is running through their brains.
  • Sound: Again, have the kids close their eyes. This time, ask them to focus on a sound they can hear. It might be cars whizzing by on the highway, the rickety ceiling fan above them or a teacher’s heels clicking down the hall.
  • Feel: Have kids find something to feel. This item can be their desk, a pencil bag, their coat or whatever is in reach. Set your timer and have them touch the object. They can run their fingers across it, pinch it, rub the back of their fingernails on it, whatever they like to help them focus on it and think about the way it feels.
  • Sight: Have your kids pick an object in the room and focus on it. They can take it all in and pay attention to the colors, the brightness, any reflections or small pieces.
  • Gratitude: Being thankful for your present situation is another component of mindfulness. Ask your students to list off three things they are grateful for that day. Doing this will help them focus on the good, less-stressful aspects of life and build a foundation for positive thinking.

8. Play Educational Videos

If you’re using videos in your lesson plan, now would be a great time to show them. It’s a great way to kick off students’ learning and draw them in. You can also just show them cool videos that are good for their development in general — a spotlight of a unique artist, general life skills or something else. There are a variety of calming videos online that blend elements of guided imagery and relaxation videos. Older kids might enjoy TEDEd’s collection of animated student talks.

9. Make a Designated Space to Destress

This method is more for those few students who can’t seem to calm down with the rest of the class. These designated areas are sometimes called calming corners or quiet places, among many other names. They provide a space for children to address their emotions and cool down. These work well for kids with behavioral problems and any student having problems with focus or energy. In addition to short-term results, a quiet area can teach calming techniques for students to use outside of class.

A calming corner is typically separated from the rest of the classroom with a divider, like curtains or other low partitions. Remember, you’ll still need to be able to see the student. You can furnish the corner with cozy, peaceful items, like a soft rug, a beanbag or butterfly chair and pillows.

This space can also include mindfulness activities. Relaxing music or sounds with headphones can be a nice distraction for students, as can magazines and books. You may also want to put up posters to help students understand their thought processes and mindfulness exercises. You’ll want a timer as well, so the students understand the purpose and limitations of the quiet place. It is a place to collect themselves, calm down and rejoin the rest of the group, not hang out all day. It requires a clear discussion with the students, so they understand why and how they’re using it.

Sensory toys are another item you can put in here. While primarily used for children with attention disorders and special needs, some sensory toys are designed for relaxation as well. A glitter jar, for instance, can be used to redirect a students’ focus. Other sensory toys include stress balls, putty and tangles.

10. Encourage Students to Practice Their Handwriting

Even if your school has done away with cursive, having students sit down and write by hand for a few minutes every day can have impressive benefits.

The act of writing by hand has been shown to do several things for the learning process. It improves working memory — a fantastic plus for the pre-lesson environment. Taking notes by hand uses more processing power and can be especially helpful for retention. Practicing the skills needed for effective writing and note-taking can be beneficial for students’ learning while focusing them on one task.

Aside from writing by hand, the act of writing, in general, can be beneficial. Asking your students to write expressively about their lives can lead to several mental and physical health benefits. Multiple studies have shown positive results associated with writing, such as less frequent doctor’s visits, lower blood pressure and increased liver functioning. Expressive writing can also improve mood and reduce depressive symptoms. It often works by allowing the writer an outlet to discuss problems in their lives that they might otherwise not feel comfortable discussing. Kids who have trouble expressing their emotions may find significant benefit here.


Chipotle taste-testing queso sauces at New York City test kitchen

Good news for cheese fans: Chipotle revealed on Monday that the chain is taste-testing queso sauces at its new kitchen in New York City.

Steve Ells, the CEO of the Chipotle, and Mark Crumpacker, the head of marketing, confirmed that the company will be testing different items at its Chipotle NEXT Kitchen location in New York City. The store, which serves as sort of a testing ground for new recipes, is offering salads with avocado citrus dressing, two kinds of margaritas and, perhaps most importanly, the oft-requested queso, reports Eater NY.

According to Eater, Queso is the most sought for side dish that is asked for by customers but is not included on the restaurant’s menu.

“All of our competitors sell queso, and we know some customers don’t come to Chipotle because we don’t offer it,” Ells said in a company memo. “But because we refuse to use industrial additives, added colors, flavors or preservatives in our food, it’s very difficult to make queso that meets our standards.”

Chris Arnold, Chipotle’s spokesman, also confirmed that the chain would make a queso sauce that is all natural, reports Fox 47.

“It was very important for us to do this in a way that was true to our ingredient philosophy,” Arnold said.

Fox 47 has also obtained a list of ingredients that will be used to make “Chipotle Genuine Queso,” the first few of which include cheddar cheese, milk, tomatillos, water, tomatoes and peppers.

If the recipe proves popular, Ells said the new item would be introduced into new markets fairly rapidly.

Chipotle's latest news comes as fast-casual eatery is still reeling from an E. coli and norovirus outbreak between 2015–2016 during which dozens of people became ill. The company’s shares tumbled and the chain worked to retain a positive image following the incident.


Nadaman’s new YouTube channel shows us the ins and outs of traditional Japanese cooking.

Japan has a wide array of traditional foods, from cheap foods like beef bowls to luxury meals of sushi and sashimi. But some of the best food that you can find in Japan is kaiseki ryori, which is made up of fresh, seasonal, meticulously designed dishes, often of seafood, served over multiple courses. One of the most famous restaurants in Japan for that is Nadaman.

Nadaman, founded in 1830, is a historical restaurant that serves traditional Japanese food with a modern flair, and it is well-loved by food connoisseurs throughout the country. Sadly, though, with things as they are currently, all of Nadaman’s restaurants are closed until at least May 6. So what’s a person to do if they want a delicious traditional Japanese meal?

Well, make it at home, of course! Nadaman has a created a YouTube channel as part of a special celebration for the 190th anniversary of the restaurant’s founding, which will include videos about nadaman’s cooking, recipes, and restaurants.

The channel, which is called ‘Japanese Restaurant “Nadaman”‘, just launched on April 12, and its first video (shared above) is a recipe for “Sakura shrimp rice cooked in a clay pot”. It’s a calming video that plays classical music as a Nadaman chef shows you each step of the recipe, from washing the ingredients to the final product. And though the video is only in Japanese, the description has everything written down in English, so you can try it even if you can’t speak Japanese.

There are currently only two videos on the channel–the other is “How to cook tasty rice”–, but Nadaman plans to add more videos between now and December that cover one of three categories: recipes, cooking techniques used by Nadaman chefs, and videos about the omotenashi, or Japanese way of providing excellent service, of their main restaurant Sazanka-so, which is near the Tokyo Imperial Palace.

The videos will all feature 10 different head chefs of Nadaman’s restaurants, and the recipes will include original dishes created by the chefs themselves as well as traditional Nadaman menu items. There seems to be lots to look forward to in the coming months, so if you consider yourself a chef and/or love Japanese food, you’ll want to subscribe to the channel!

If some of the ingredients included in Nadaman’s recipes are inaccessible for you, because they tend to use seasonal ingredients local to Japan in their dishes, don’t worry. Japanese actor Hiro Mizushima also has an easy-to-follow channel about Japanese home cooking, which has recipes with ingredients that are easier to find, so you’ll be set for Japanese food until the stay-at-home recommendations are lifted!


Perhaps unsurprisingly, it doesn't seem like the new buns have made it to the McDonald's in the small town we sampled. The bun here not only seemed standard size, but its grill-pattern was far from perfect and the heat was not retained.

Overall, we were impressed with the new buns while also noting that really, the old ones were still pretty good. Our taste-testers who had already enjoyed the crispy chicken sandwich, though, had a note for the chain: instead of updating this bun, why not just switch to that decadent potato roll for all Mickey D's offerings?

For more on the latest fast-food trends, check out 9 Best Limited-Time Fast Foods on Menus Right Now, and don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.

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The #1 Drink to Avoid to Lose Weight, According to Science

Oftentimes, the easier way to approach weight loss is to add—not take away. Start exercising (even a walk a day will do it) add healthy fruit, vegetables, and whole grains drink more water… Eventually, by starting these healthy habits, you'll start to displace the less-than-good-for-you things you've been doing and eating. However, there is one drink to consider cutting out of your diet immediately when you commit to losing weight, as it's the beverage most closely linked to weight gain in America: soda.According to a study published in the journal BMC Public Health, 20% of the total calories you consume in a day come entirely from beverages. For the average person consuming 2,000 calories a day, that's about 400 calories added to your diet from beverages alone. So what exactly makes up those 400 calories? The BMC study found that it was a combination of coffee and tea (with the add-ins), energy drinks, fruit juice and drinks, milk, and alcohol. But these energy-dense beverages pale in comparison to the drink that ties for contributing the most calories to your diet: soda.The study found that soda contributed anywhere between 35 to 141 calories to your diet per day, depending on your age.It should come as no surprise that soda is linked to weight gain, as it contains roughly 150 calories per can.Speaking of which, those calories are completely empty, coming entirely from sugar. In fact, a can of soda contains anywhere between 35 to 61 grams of sugar per can! (Related: 30 Worst Sodas That Are Never Worth Drinking.)The average American adult consumes 13 pounds of sugar exclusively from soda every year. And studies show that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages like soda contributes to weight gain in both adults and children. That's especially the case as many sodas contain high-fructose corn syrup. Your body is only able to process the fructose from this sweetener through the liver, and it cannot use fructose for energy like it can with glucose. This contributes to even more weight gain along with metabolic disregulation and impaired glucose tolerance.Through the years, dozens of studies have linked soda consumption to weight gain. And it gets worse: an International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity study found that despite participants exercising if they consumed soda, they still gained weight. In other words, exercising won't help you fend off the weight gain associated with drinking soda.Soda isn't just linked to weight gain, it also has a terrible effect on your overall health, as the beverage has been linked to type 2 diabetes, heart complications, depression, liver diseases, and risk of early death.Because cutting back on calories—any calories from any food or beverage—will help you with weight loss, you don't need to rely on removing soda alone from your diet to lose weight. That's especially the case as fewer and fewer Americans drink soda on a regular basis (45.8% of U.S. residents surveyed in a recent study reported consuming no soda at all.) But if you are a soda drinker, you should seriously consider cutting back on your habit. Replace your bubbly drink with water, or try any of these 25 Healthy, Low-Sugar Soda Alternatives.For more healthy eating news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

20 Bad Habits That Could Turn You Blind, Say Experts

You're staring at a screen right now. And chances are, you don't know the #1 thing you can do to protect your eyes while doing so. That's why we wrote this. The truth is that the power is within your sights—diet, lifestyle choices and good eye hygiene have a lot to do with preserving vision as we age. Here's what top experts say you should focus on. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these 19 Ways You're Ruining Your Body, Say Health Experts. 1 You're Getting Too Much Sun "Regardless of where we live or the time of year, sun overexposure is an ever-present danger to our eye health," says Trevor Elmquist, DO, a board-certified ophthalmologist and founder of Elmquist Eye Group in Florida. "We all know about the importance of sunscreen, but many don't consider the harmful effects of UV rays on our eyes."The Rx: "Make an effort to wear wide-brimmed hats, UV-blocking contact lenses and close-fitting, UV-blocking sunglasses to protect your eyes and prevent long-term damage," says Elmquist. When shopping for sunglasses, check the label, and only buy shades that block 99 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation. 2 You're Not Eating An Anti-Inflammatory Diet "Diet plays a surprising role in vision health, both helping and harming," says Lisa Richards, a nutritionist and author of The Candida Diet. "Refined and processed foods have inflammatory effects in the body, including the eyes. Chronic inflammation can be damaging to the eyes and cause poor vision."The Rx: Ground your diet in lean protein, healthy fats and the full color spectrum of fruits and vegetables. "We should seek to ⟪t the rainbow' for more than just our general wellness, but our eye health as well," says Richards. "Fruits and vegetables, along with lean meats, fatty fish, whole grains and low-fat dairy provide the eyes with support they need to prevent damage.""It's true that carrots are good for your eyes," adds Elmquist. "A diet that's rich in fruits and vegetables, especially dark, leafy greens as well as fish high in omega 3-fatty acids can help protect your vision." 3 You're Not Following the 20-20-20 Rule Several eye doctors told us that if you stare at your phone or a computer screen all day, practice 20-20-20 to reduce eye strain: "Every 20 minutes, look away from screens and focus about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds," explains Elmquist. And don't forget to blink. "Blinking regularly is also critical for cleansing and lubricating the surface of the eye," he says. "Studies show that we tend to blink less when using a digital device, and the smaller the screen, the less we blink."The Rx: You might need to remember to make blinking a routine. "Each time you get up to use the restroom or go to a meeting, try to do five complete blinks to remoisten your eyes," suggests Charissa Lee, OD, an optometrist and director of education at Johnson&Johnson Vision. "Complete blinking is important to activate your oil glands in your lids and to spread these beneficial oils—and your protective tear film layer—across your eyes." 4 You're Giving Yourself Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) "We unknowingly ruin our vision when we create a lifestyle that speeds up the aging process," says Kellie Blake, RDN, LD, IFNCP, a registered dietitian nutritionist based in West Virginia. Oxidative stress—the process of cell damage that antioxidants prevent—can increase as the body ages, she explains. "If our lifestyle speeds up this process, the delicate tissues of the eye are susceptible to damage, and diseases like dry eye syndrome (DES) can result. DES can cause vision loss if root causes are not addressed, like an inadequate vitamin D level, a nutrient-poor diet, autoimmune disease, medication use and inflammatory skin conditions."The Rx: "We can slow down the aging of our cells and protect our eyes by creating a lifestyle that keeps our mitochondria healthy," says Blake. "Following a plant-based, nutrient-rich diet is critical, but we must also obtain restful sleep, practice mindful movement, and manage stress in a healthy way." 5 You're Using Expired Makeup "Because makeup can come in contact with your eyes, applying expired makeup products means giving an easy passage to bacteria and other infections," says Christine Joy, OD, an optometrist and VSP Network doctor in New York City.The Rx: "As a rule, you should replace your eye makeup every three months to reduce risk of infection," says Joy. "Also, make it a practice to remove makeup every night, and never share your makeup." 6 You're Stressing Out If you're constantly tearing your hair out, your eyes will pay for it. "Unmanaged chronic mental stress takes a physical toll on the body and can be problematic for the ocular system," says Jeanette Kimszal, RDN, NLC, a registered dietitian based in New Jersey. "According to research, chronic stress that cause surges of the stress hormone cortisol can negatively impact the nervous system. When the nervous system isn't functioning properly, it can affect our brain and eyes, resulting in problems with vision."Cortisol also tells the body to hang onto fat, particularly around your midsection. And it's sneaky. Adds Kimszal: "The biggest problem with stress is that someone may not feel they are under stress, but their body could still be pumping out cortisol. This constant stressed state can also deplete the body of needed nutrients."The Rx: Fight stress with exercise, spending time with loved ones, and relaxation techniques such as meditation and mindfulness. Diet can help: "Vitamins C and E, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids are needed to maintain healthy vision," says Kimszal. 7 You're Rubbing Your Eyes Your mom was right: Your face really could freeze that way. "Rubbing your eyes too frequently can cause microvascular damage to the small blood vessels under the skin," says Anthony Kouri, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Toledo Medical Center. "This leads to dark circles and puffiness. Rubbing your eyes also causes premature aging to the skin around the eyes, including wrinkles and drooping eyelids."The Rx: Hands off! "Avoid rubbing this area to maintain your youthful look," says Kouri.RELATED: 9 Everyday Habits That Might Lead to Dementia, Say Experts 8 You're Smoking Smoke getting in your eyes might have inspired a pretty ballad, but in reality, there's nothing romantic about it. "Smoking creates oxidative stress on tissues throughout the body. In the eyes, the areas most prone to this are the macula [an area in the center of the retina] and the lens," says Wang. "The formation of free radicals may contribute to the development of macular degeneration and cataracts, which have been shown to occur more commonly and at an earlier age in those who smoke. Externally, the smoke is an irritant on the delicate structures of the cornea and conjunctiva, which can lead to chronic dry and red eyes."The Rx: If you haven't stopped smoking, what more are you waiting for? See your doctor if you're having trouble quitting nicotine patches and gums can help. 9 You're Not Getting Enough Sleep "If we aren't getting enough sleep at night, it can accelerate the aging process," says Kouri. "This can lead to bloodshot eyes, dark circles, eye twitching (known as myokymia) and blurry vision. Over long periods of time with inadequate rest, we can experience popped blood vessels due to eye strain. Additionally, we may experience dry eyes which can cause pain, itchiness, and sensitivity to light."The Rx: Experts including the National Sleep Foundation say that adults of all ages should get seven to nine hours of sleep a night. That won't just help preserve your vision—it's been shown to lower the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and depression. 10 You're Not Getting An Annual Eye Exam It's a common misconception that you should only see an eye doctor when you notice there's a problem with your vision. "Even though you may think you see fine, it's important to book an appointment with your eye doctor annually," says Lee. "When you go in, they'll make sure to check all aspects of your eye health, including how healthy the front and back of your eyes are. This can help identify potential issues such as Meibomian gland dysfunction—otherwise known as dry eye—early signs of glaucoma, or even things as serious as a melanoma."RELATED: The #1 Reason You Could Get Cancer, According to Science 11 You Have Untreated Myopia (Nearsightedness) Nearsightedness may seem like a harmless consequence of aging, but "if it goes untreated, it can cause irreversible vision impairment and blindness," says Lee. Genetics can raise your risk, along with lifestyle factors like doing too much near work (reading, writing or screen time) and spending a limited time outdoors.The Rx: "The Environmental Protection Agency reports Americans, on average, spend 90% of their time indoors, so make a conscious effort to spend more time outdoors, especially while the weather is nice," says Lee. 12 You Have Poor Hygiene Keeping your hands and eyes clean is the easiest thing you can do to maintain eye health. "Poor hygiene can increase your risk of eye health issues like infection," says Lee.The Rx: "To lessen this risk you should wash your hands often to lessen the risk of bacteria being transferred to your eyes if you tend to rub them," says Lee. "If you're a contact lens wearer, make sure you're swapping out your case every two to three months, and use solutions made for your contact lenses specifically. Also, do not wear contact lenses in the shower or while swimming."RELATED: This Supplement Can Raise Your Heart Attack Risk, Experts Say 13 You're Not Wearing Goggles When Swimming You don't want to open your eyes too much in the pool. Really. "Human eyes are not intended to function properly under water, hence the blurriness when trying to see there," says Richard Foulkes, MD, an ophthalmologist and founder of Foulkes Vision in Chicago. "Think about everything that goes into a pool: Chemicals like chlorine, sunblock, sweat, dust, urine can all come into contact with your eyes. Believe it or not, saltwater is actually safer on your eyes than chlorine. If you wear contacts, contamination can be absorbed onto a contact lens, and keeping the lens on the cornea can lead to infections. Any debris can also get caught under the contact lens, causing corneal ulcers or corneal lacerations."The Rx: "Always wear good-fitting goggles when you swim," says Foulkes. And make sure they're snug. "If they don't fit properly, water can leak into the goggles, causing irritation and even leading to infection." 14 You're Using Contact Lenses Wrong "Not disposing of contacts within the recommended time frame and sleeping in contact lenses increases the risk of bacterial infection and inflammation in the eyes," says Joy. "Wearing contacts too long during the day can decrease the amount of oxygen to the eye and cause dry eyes or irritation. Swimming or showering in contact lenses is also a big no-no. You can put yourself at risk for a dangerous, sight threatening infection called Acanthamoeba, a type of amoeba that lives in the water, which can get trapped under contact lenses."The Rx: "It is highly recommended to remove contact lenses while swimming, showering or taking a nap," advises Joy. "Make sure to dispose your contacts regularly and give your eyes a break with glasses when you're able to." 15 You're Not Exercising "Your eyes benefit from exercise just as much as the rest of your body. High blood pressure and diabetes can be caused by a sedentary lifestyle," says Joy. Both can contribute to vision problems. "Regular exercise not only helps to prevent these diseases, but also reduces your chances of developing glaucoma. Much like our brain, our eyes need oxygen to maintain an optimal level of performance."The Rx: "Exercising regularly, even a light walk, is a great way to keep your eyes sharp."RELATED: I'm A Doctor And Warn You Never Take This Supplement 16 You're Not Wearing Safety Goggles Forty-five percent of eye injuries occur at home, "often due to inadequate eye protection," says Kouri. "Household hazards include chemicals from cleaning or pool supplies, home improvement projects or hot grease from cooking."The Rx: Better to be safe than (really, really) sorry. "If you're doing a home improvement project or cleaning around the house, it's best to wear protective eye gear," says Kouri. 17 You're Drinking Too Much Turns out the expression "blind drunk" isn't just a turn of phrase. "Heavy drinking can have adverse effects on your eyesight by aggravating and intensifying symptoms of dry eye," says Joy. "These symptoms may include stinging or burning sensations in your eyes, sensitivity to light, redness, discomfort when wearing contact lenses and eye fatigue."The Rx: Experts say men should limit themselves to two drinks a day, and women should stop at one. Not just for your vision, but to cut your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stroke.RELATED: Signs You're Getting One of the "Most Deadly" Cancers. 18 You're Addicted to Screens "Use of digital devices and cell phones can contribute to significant eye strain," says Ming Wang, MD, PhD, an eye surgeon and founder of the Wang Vision Institute in Nashville, Tennessee. "The strain of focusing for close activities can cause the eyes in some people to lock into near focus, which can cause distance vision to be blurry temporarily. Over time, it may lead to the development of more nearsightedness as the eyes adjust to close focus. This is believed to be part of what is causing rise to the development of more high amounts of near-sightedness among young children in technology-heavy countries like China, Japan, Korea and the United States."The Rx: Follow that 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes take a 20 second break and look 20 feet away. 19 You're Not Drinking Enough Water "It's important to keep the eyes hydrated," says Wang. "The surface of the eye is the first surface that light hits before it makes it to the back of the eye, providing vision. When the surface isn't hydrated, it can cause someone's vision to be very blurry temporarily. Over time, a poorly hydrated surface can form cracks and actually lead to minor scar tissue development, which can cause more permanent blurred vision."The Rx: "A healthy diet, drinking lots of water, and taking breaks when doing reading work are ways to keep the eyes hydrated naturally," says Wang. "If those are not enough, then the use of over-the-counter artificial tears daily two to six times daily can be helpful. If this does not provide adequate relief, seeing an eye doctor is recommended."RELATED: Sure Signs You Had COVID and Didn't Know It 20 You're Not Taking Off Your Makeup At Night "For those who wear it, not removing makeup opens the eyes to risk," says Wang. "Bacteria and parasites can grow in the areas along the eyelids and eyelashes. These organisms then secrete toxins which can fall into the eye and contribute to irritation, redness, and itching. Over time, they can cause permanent damage to the structures that secrete tear components (the meibomian glands) leading to chronic dry eye."The Rx: Be sure to remove your makeup each night. And to get through life at your healthiest, Don't Take This Supplement, Which Can Raise Your Cancer Risk.

Vanessa Hudgens Met Ashley Tisdale's Baby for the First Time

These McDonald's Super-Fans Turned Their Home Into a Shrine

One Virginia couple has a distinct love for preservation, as their nostalgic fast food– and pop culture-themed home has gone viral in international media. And you thought the Golden Arches got you excited—these two have a vintage McDonald's sign hanging on a wall that's painted "McDonald's red"!Taylor and Adam Gecking have a super-sized scale of flare. The Richmond, Virginia couple are collectors of fast-food memorabilia, but we're not talking a small box of old Happy Meal toys. In fact, their entire home is a museum of items from the old days of McDonald's and other memorable snacks.RELATED: 7 New Fast-Food Chicken Sandwiches Everyone's Talking AboutAs Metro UK reported on Friday, Taylor Gecking's massive McDonald's home renovation started with a treasure she found while antiquing. "My husband and I stopped at a flea market during a road trip and saw the Ronald McDonald stained-glass piece," Gecking said. "I was inexplicably drawn to it … I walked away from it that day, but a whole year later, as we were driving through the same area, I asked him to stop at the flea market so I could see if [the piece] was still there." The price hadn't budged, but, seeing how much she loved the window, her husband "surprised her with the kitschy artwork the next day—having driven eight hours round-trip back to West Virginia to buy it for her," Metro UK reports.That triggered a quest for more universally appetizing gems, and the Geckings completed their home reno during the pandemic. That made the Geckings' home a veritable shrine to the 1970s and ➀s, with a statue of the Kool-Aid Man, an original 1970s McDonald's sign bearing the Golden Arches, an old department store carousel, and McDonald's curtains.Taylor Gecking, whose Facebook page reveals that she's a professional embalmer and funeral director, revealed that her husband doesn't share quite the same love of classic fast food. "Adam has no McDonald's nostalgia whatsoever, in fact he's vegan, but he still gets just as excited as I do when we find a McDonald's item because he knows how happy it makes me." She added that he "didn't flinch when I told him I was painting our whole stairwell McDonald's red with McDonald's yellow trim. We love that our home reflects us."As for what Gecking's got her sights on next, she says she hopes for a bench with a Ronald McDonald statue perched on it.Metro's got the pics of the McDonald's house, but then come back and see us here to catch up on the 9 Nostalgic Snack Brands Launching New Treats for Summer. Also read:This One McDonald's Menu Hack Will Get You the Freshest Fries, Customers Say15 Popular McDonald's Menu Items That Are Gone for GoodWill Smith Just Shared His Weight-Loss Progress In New Video Post

Skincare for kids? Here's what to know, and 6 brands to shop

Formulated just for your little ones.

Working around the legacy of lead: how safe is your veggie patch?

Working around the legacy of lead: how safe is your veggie patch?A third of Australian inner-city vegetable patches have unsafe lead levels. Here’s a guide to carry on gardening The benefits of gardening and getting outside far outweigh the risks, says project leader Prof Mark Taylor. Photograph: cjp/Getty Images


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Review: Tigran Mansurian’s ‘Quasi Parlando’ is spellbinding

You can tell a lot about a composer from the performers who champion him or her. Tigran Mansurian, the 75-year-old Armenian composer of music in which deep cultural pain is quieted through an eerily calm, heart-wrenching beauty, has been superbly served by such string players of concentrated virtuosity as violinist Movses Pogossian and violist Kim Kashkashian. Now it is the turn of the young Moldavian violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, featured in three of the four works for violin and/or cello for string orchestra on this spellbinding new disc.

The Mansurian program is a woman’s affair with the young Moldavian violinist joined by cellist Anja Lechner and Amsterdam Sinfonietta conducted by its leader, Candida Thompson. Kopatchinskaja brings resilient radiance to Mansurian’s 2006 hauntingly plaintive Second Violin Concerto (“Four Serious Songs”), which takes its cue from late Brahms.

In two recent short works for soloist and strings — “Romance” (written in 2011 for Kopatchinskaja) and a “Quasi Parlando” (written in 2012 for Lechner), both soloists luxuriously capture the composer’s fluctuating twilight luminosity. The much earlier Double Concerto (1976) is more brittle, a quiet surface which is broken by an anger that has now become profoundly philosophical, and it is played with impeccable intensity.


Watch the video: The Best Of Classical Music - Mozart, Beethoven,Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi..Classical Music Mix (December 2021).