5 Super-Necessary Hacks For Anyone With A Car

1. A shower caddy can keep all of your engine fluids in place.

A shower caddy can keep all of your engine fluids in place.

2. Create this bag dispenser so you can be ready for just about anything.

Create this bag dispenser so you can be ready for just about anything.

3. Suction cup shower organizers can keep little items in place.Suction cup shower organizers can keep little items in place.

 4. Put silicone cupcake wrappers in your cup holders for easy clean-up. 5. You can also use a couch remote holder to keep everything in order.You can also use a couch remote holder to keep everything in order.

Link Between Zika And Birth Defects Bolstered By New Research

There is no hard proof that Zika has caused a wave of severe birth defects in Brazil. But a new study reports the fifth case of a fetus with a shrunken head carrying the virus in its brain.
The alarming uptick in babies born with shrunken heads is indeed linked to the Zika virus, according to a growing consensus of health experts. But many questions remain about how big the increase really is, how exactly the virus is transmitted from mother to child, and whether other viruses are also involved.
New England Journal of Medicine report released on Wednesday describes a woman who was infected with Zika in 2015, during the first trimester of her pregnancy, in Brazil. Her fetus had severe microcephaly (an abnormally small head) and brain damage, leading her to request an abortion. The fetus was then examined with genetic and medical tests by researchers in Slovenia.
“The virus was present only in the brain tissue,” study senior author Tatjana Avsic-Zupanc of the University of Ljubljana told BuzzFeed News by email.
The findings, which echo preliminary results in several other microcephalic fetuses and babies reported from Brazil ast mouth, suggest that the Zika virus has a special affinity for attacking brain and nervous tissue, Avsic-Zupanc said. On Tuesday, another reportconcluded that babies born to mothers who had been infected with Zika are not only at risk of microcephaly, but optic nerve and eye damage.
Last week, the U.S. CDC warned pregnant women to use condoms or abstain from sex with men who had travelled to Zika-infected regions. The warning followed a report earlier in the week of a Dallas woman who caught the virus after having sex with a man who had been traveling in Venezuela.
The virus is expected to spread to the U.S. On Monday, President Obama said he will request from Congress more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to fight Zika. Most of the funding — $1.48 billion — would go to CDC to explore the still mysterious biology of the virus, its links to birth defects, and two potential vaccines.
It’s hard to say with certainty if there has been a real spike in microcephaly cases in recent months. In Brazil, where the biggest cluster of microcephaly cases have emerged, it was not mandatory for doctors to report potential cases to health authorities until October, when local medics first drew a link between microcephaly and Zika.
In November, the number of cases there shot up. According to a report from the Health Ministry in Pernambuco, the Brazilian state where the largest number of microcephaly cases are concentrated, the increase in reports is “possibly due to establishment and strengthening of monitoring.” In other words, there weren’t looking hard for microcephaly cases until now.
Almost 550 cases of microcephaly have been reported in Pernambuco. Of these, more than one-fourth have been reported from just three hospitals in the city of Recife.
“Often it is that phenomenon: Seek and you shall find,” Gregory Hartl, spokesperson for avian influenza and other epidemic diseases at the WHO, told BuzzFeed News. “The more you look the more cases you will find.”
There are two big questions for scientists, according to Avsic-Zupanc. First, how does the virus breach the barrier of tightly packed blood vessels in the brain that most other viruses can’t get through? And second, how long do women have to worry about potential exposure? “Especially for young women, who are now advised to postpone their pregnancy, the biggest question probably is if there is a lifelong protective immunity after [an] infection with Zika virus,” she said.
The chief evidence for the virus causing brain birth defects comes from a sudden, sharp increase in reports of microcephaly last year in northeastern Brazil. The current outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease began there in May, and the country reported more than 3,500 cases of microcephaly in the latter half of the year. That’s far more than the 147 cases reported in all of 2014.
What’s more, in French Polynesia, 17 cases of central nervous system malformations in fetuses emerged between 2014 and 2015 following a Zika epidemic in the country, according to a December report from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
Recent CDC test of microcephalic fetuses and infants who died after birth in Brazil, less extensive than the new study but also compelling, were positive for Zika virus in their brains. Their mothers reported fever and a rash, symptoms of Zika infections, during their pregnancies. Taken together, the evidence triggered warnings from the World Health Organization, which last week declared the threat of Zika-linked birth defects a global public health emergency.
“We wish we knew more,” said Frieden, in reply to questions about whether the link between Zika and microcephaly is real. The only confirmed case reported outside of Brazil is a baby born in Hawaii to a woman who had been infected with Zika while in Brazil.
“It has been more than 50 years since a viral cause of significant birth abnormality has been discovered,” Frieden said. That was rubella, now routinely vaccinated against in childhood. There is no treatment or vaccine for Zika, though several efforts are in the works.
The viral traces seen in the brains of the microcephalic babies served to confirm that the virus crosses the placental barrier from an infected mother to a child during pregnancy. But exactly how it might target developing brain cells remains a mystery.

17 Small Things To Do Every Day To Be Much Smarter

Intelligence is flexible and there are a lot of things to give it a daily boost. For smart thinking your mind needs 3 things:
  1. To be trained in thinking processes
  2. To have plenty of information
  3. To focus on a problem or idea
For example, Thomas Edison was able to think of his light bulb because:
  1. He was a trained logical thinker
  2. He knew a lot about electrical engineering
  3. He focused on solving a problem
Here are a bunch of things to do every day to help your mind to think smart.

1. Drink 2 glasses of water within 30 minutes of waking up

Since you’ve been asleep for hours, your body has not gotten water for 6-9 hours. Water is needed for the filtration of waste products and fluid balance. Two big glasses of water offset the fluid deficit you had from sleeping. Studies on kids show that drinking more water increases their ability to complete mental tasks. Make sure your brain is not dehydrated at the beginning of the day already.

2. Read a book summary during breakfast

Reading books is great, but breakfast is far more suitable for something shorter. Instead of reading news articles that have little impact on your life/intelligence, read best selling book summaries. You can find summaries by:
  • Googling your book title + summary, for example “7 Habits of Highly Effective People summary”
  • Use a summary subscription like Blinkist or getAbstract

3. Listen to stimulating podcasts/audiobooks during your commute

Even if you spend only 10 minutes on your bike like I do, load your phone up with intellectually stimulating audio. Good sources could be:
  • TED talks (their app lets you pre-download audio so you don’t eat your mobile data)
  • Blinkist has some of their summaries in audio form
  • Audiobooks you purchased
  • Podcast of your favorite authors

4. Drink green tea while working

Where caffeine makes many people anxious, green tea (especially Matcha tea) contains l-theanine. This aminoacid causes an increase in alpha brain waves in the brain. In practice this means that where coffee can induce anxiety, high quality green teas cause a relaxed focus without inducing sleepiness. This is also why l-theanine is available as a supplement to aid in relaxation and increasing cardiovascular health.

5. Take naps during the day

Napping helps your mind refresh. It’s been shown that napping during learning increases learning speed. Your mind has a rhythm that determines when it gets sleepy and when it needs sleep:Daily-Rhythm-Sleep-Wake-CycleAs you can see on average people feel more sleepy than usual between noon and 4 PM. This is a perfect time to have a nap, and will increase your alertness and productivity for the rest of the day. Personally I’ve has good results with post-workday naps too (around 6 PM).

6. Don’t take sugar during the day

In fact, if you can cut it altogether. But if you can’t for whatever reason, just make sure not to have it during times where you need to focus. Sugar highs and the following lows are not good to keep your brain functioning smartly. What does work very well are fatty acids. Try to switch any sweet stuff during lunch for something more substantial like fish or eggs.

7. Do social media / meme websites only a couple of times a day

The brain adapts to the information you throw at it. If you bombard it work non-stimulating and fast switching information your focus will get destroyed. Keep your brain functioning on a higher level by throwing stimulating things at it. If you feel the need to procrastinate, set a timer  and don’t get lost in mindlessly scrolling.

8. Play games instead of watching series or movies

Watching tv is a passive activity. Your brain is consuming information, but not processing or interacting with it. Substitute or supplement this entertainment with gaming. A 2014 study showed that even a simple game like Super Mario has visible impact on brain plasticity (flexibility). Another piece of research covered by Forbes shows the same. Actively engage your brain where you can, instead of letting it slumber passively.

9. Read a book instead of watching tv

Similar to playing games instead of watching tv, reading a book is an active exercise for the brain. Where watching video entertainment is a passive consumption of information, reading a book requires your brain to actively construct mental images of what you are reading.

10. Do some programming

Programming is a great way to learn to think logically and in patterns. Coding used to be hard to learn but with free websites like Codeacademy and free/paid platforms like Udemy it is easy and fun to learn. Consider it the next level of puzzles. As an added advantage learning to code in your free time increases your employability in the job market.

11. Watch TED talks while cooking

Preparing dinner is a great time to catch up on some cutting edge developments in Technology, Education and Design . It turns what would otherwise be downtime into a fascinating and stimulating block of time. It’s like watching the news, only you are watching the world’s most inspiring individuals talk about their work.

12. Do some simple exercises during the day

The body and the mind are strongly connected. Physical fitness helps the brain function well. You don’t however have to go to the gym every day to benefit from this (though you can of course). Doing some push-ups throughout the day and walking or skipping up some stairs has a great impact already. Try to do something physical every hour or so, even if it’s just getting up, stretching a little and tensing all your muscles as hard as you can for 5-10 seconds.

13. Spend time with someone smarter than you

Habits are socially contagious. It is a well known fact in science that obesity for example spreads through social networks . The habits and thinking patterns of those you spend time with rub off on you. Expose yourself to people who are smarter than you in order to benefit from them.

14. Talk to people who disagree with you

Get into (friendly) discussions with people who disagree with you on any topic. Arguing with them allows you to either:
  • Sharpen your arguments
  • Be convinced that you are wrong
In both cases you win. In the first you convince the other person by out reasoning them, and I the second false logic you previously had is not eliminated.

15. Go for a walk in nature

Walking through nature has a number of benefits:
  • There is more oxygen since plants produce it
  • The human mind calms down when surrounded by plants
  • Walking helps your blood circulation
Having a walk in a park at lunch time can greatly help you work smartly for the rest of the day.

16. Carry a notepad

Great minds like Leonardo Da Vinci always carries a notepad. They used it to jot down ideas, sketches and questions they had for later review. Having a little book on you and writing down interesting things can greatly help you train your curiosity and logical thinking.

17. Take 10 minutes at the end of the day to plan tomorrow

By planning tomorrow the day before you begin the day with a plan. This allows you to work much more productively. Many people are busy all day, but not actually productive. A great part of being smart is knowing that hard work is inferior to smart work. Pick your battles in advance.

10 Things That Only People In Their Mid-Twenties Will Understand

1. When you realise you no longer classify as being in your early twenties:

When you realise you no longer classify as being in your early twenties:

2. And you’re ready for the aging process to just stop:

And you're ready for the aging process to just stop:

3. When you try to come to terms with being a fully grown adult:

When you try to come to terms with being a fully grown adult:

4. And there’s just no way on earth you ever feel old enough:

And there's just no way on earth you ever feel old enough:

5. When you still feel young at heart, but then teens confuse the fuck outta you:

6. When you start referring to anyone under the age of 20 like this:

When you start referring to anyone under the age of 20 like this:

7. When you feel like you need a little guidance

When you feel like you need a little guidance:

8. When everyone around you is getting engaged:

9. When you start to realise what true accomplishments are:

I thought your twenties were supposed to be cool and full of adventure but the greatest accomplishment i’ve had this week is making bomb ass breakfast burritos at four in the morning.

10. When your responsibilities grow:

Being in your 20s
A haiku
What am I doing?
No, responsibility 
Stop looking at me!