Gold Nanoparticles in Contacts Help Correct Color Blindness

Colorblind people see the world in muted shades, sometimes completely grey. Most colorblind people cannot see specific colors such as orange, red, purple, blue, green, brown, or a combination of those. Tinted glasses sometimes help but are not solutions for complete color correction or to eliminate blurry vision. Dyed contact lenses are currently in development to treat color blindness but are (so far) harmful and unstable.

Research published in the American Chemical Society (ACS) Publication Nano shows promising results from infusing contact lenses with gold nanoparticles to correct color blindness.

Daily activities such as choosing a ripe banana, selecting matching clothes, stopping at a red light, or plugging in color-coordinated cords can be difficult for color blind people. With tinted glasses precisely the same color as the person’s deficiency, colors can show up more vividly. However, these lenses are bulky and cannot correct vision in terms of sight or depth.

Specially-tinted contact lenses have been recently invented to improve red-green color perception. They are effective in clinical trials; however, they leaked dye, which has led to safety concerns. Gold nanocomposites are non-toxic and have been used for centuries to produce “cranberry glass” due to the way they scatter light.

Ahmed Salih, Haider Butt, and colleagues incorporated gold nanoparticles into contact lenses to improve the red-green contrast safely and effectively. To make them, they mixed gold nanoparticles into a hydrogel polymer, resulting in rose-tinted gels that filtered light within 520 to 580 nm, the wavelengths where red and green overlap.

The most cost-effective contact lenses were those with 40 nm-wide gold nanoparticles. In tests, these did not clump or filter more color than necessary. Additionally, they had water-retention properties that mimicked commercial lenses and were also non-toxic to cells growing in Petri dishes.

Researchers directly compared the new material with two commercially available pairs of tinted glasses and their dyed contact lenses. The gold nanocomposite lenses were more selective in blocking wavelengths than the glasses. Also, they matched the wavelength range of the dyed contact lenses, which suggests the gold nanocomposites would be suitable for people who suffer from red-green color issues without safety concerns.

Clinical trials with human patients are the next steps to assess comfort.

To learn more, read the full journal article by the American Chemical Society.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Toxic Hexavalent Chromium Released into Tap Water Through Pipes

The 2000 film “Erin Brockovich,” based on a true story, launched the carcinogen hexavalent chromium into the spotlight. Water supplies in California were tainted with the chemical, which caused a plethora of residents in Hinkley to succumb to cancer and all sorts of other deadly diseases.

A new study is bringing this chemical back to light by analyzing the process in which it infiltrates the drinking water supply, specifically when commonly used chlorine disinfectants corrode cast iron water distribution pipes.

Chromium occurs naturally and is often added to countless products. Its toxicity varies depending on its state. More than 200 million people in the United States drink tap water with chromium concentrations above .02 ppb, according to the Environmental Working Group. The state of California has set this part-per-billion level to ensure that fewer than one out of a million exposed people will get cancer in their lifetimes. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not regulate chromium levels in drinking water.

In the past, scientists hypothesized that chromium found in drinking water came from outside the distribution system, emerging from natural sources such as groundwater, surface water, or industrial pollution. However, environmental engineer Haizhou Liu and his team at the University of California, Riverside, noticed that reactions within water pipes might raise chromium levels at the tap.

Sections of cast iron pipes from two drinking water systems were obtained for the study. Cast iron is the most common type of pipe, and it contains significant amounts of added chromium, which acts as an anti-corrosive.

The scientists discovered that scales of flakes from within the pipes produced chromium. “The oxidation of chromium in the scales by chlorine disinfectant accounts for most of the formation of hexavalent chromium released into the solution,” Liu said.

“Now that we know that cast iron pipes are a potential source of hexavalent chromium, utilities need to think proactively to use less reactive disinfectants and limit the amount of chromium allowed in new drinking water pipes,” said Lynn Katz, an environmental engineer at the University of Texas.

To learn more about hexavalent chromium, visit Erin Brockovich’s website. To install a water filter in your home, contact the experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning today.

Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at www.reynoldswater.com or call 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Disney and Philips Partner to Improve MRI Exams for Children

For the first time in its history, Disney will collaborate as part of a clinical research project. Children who undergo MRI might soon experience custom-made animation, including specially made Disney stories within Philips Ambient Experience. This solution integrates architecture and design to enable technologies such as dynamic lighting, video projections, and sound to create a relaxing atmosphere.

Six hospitals across Europe have been selected to begin trials this summer; the results will be compiled and released in the fall or winter. Philips will test its Ambient Experience program using animated stories showcasing some of Disney’s most beloved characters. Disney animators will create six pieces of original, stylized Disney animation for use in hospitals. The idea is aimed at reducing fear and anxiety often felt by children who undergo MRI.

Well-known characters such as Mickey Mouse, Ariel, and those from Marvel’s Avengers, Star Wars, and others will appear in a diagnostic setting for the first time. The results from the six leading hospitals in Europe will be analyzed to alleviate children’s anxiety, create bonds, and improve staff’s ability to carry out their MRI-related tasks.

MRI scans and other medical exams can be challenging for some adults, and especially for children who are anxious, claustrophobic, or naturally wiggly. The Philips Ambient Experience currently has 2,000 installations worldwide. Its goal is to mitigate those difficulties by creating an engaging, multi-sensory imaging environment that is welcoming and relaxing for children and adults alike.

Patients can select a theme of their choice, personalizing the room’s lighting, video, and sound. Ambient Experience Patient In-bore Connect supports feelings of empowerment and control, as it lets patients relax, follow directions, and minimize motion once they are within the MRI. For younger pediatric patients, this is important to explain scan duration, helping them remain still, and reduces the need for repeat scans.

This new collaboration unifies Philips’ vast clinical knowledge and expertise with Disney’s masterful, engaging storytelling. A sense of familiarity, control, and comfort will surely result from the joint effort.

Jan Koeppen, President, The Walt Disney Company, EMEA, said, “At Disney, we look forward to complementing Philips’ MRI experience with our stories and characters. We are excited to see the results of the clinical research and to quantify the impact our characters can have in this environment.”

Through Aladdin and Jasmine on a magical carpet ride or Spiderman carefully swinging through skyscrapers, each story is customized and designed to support children in their MRI experience.

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Four Natural Landscaping Stones

When planning your dream pool, it’s imperative to take size, aesthetics, and practicalities into account. What is your primary purpose of the pool? How much space will you need surrounding the water? How will you access it? These are just a few common questions one should ask and consider when preparing to build a pool.

Regardless of your overall pool design, pavers are a powerful aspect of your aesthetics, as they showcase a certain beauty, finish, and durability to stand up to weather conditions. Paver colors should not clash; instead, they should complement the pool’s interior. Consider all other features of your pool and ensure the colors pair well with each other. Your pool should seamlessly blend in with the pavers, landscaping, house exterior materials, and surrounding pool extras such as chairs.

Undoubtedly, pavers surrounding a pool will be heavily trekked on; therefore, it’s a no-brainer that they should be durable. Keep in mind they will have chlorine or saltwater splashed on them regularly, so remember to choose stones that won’t erode easily. Leaves and other elements (such as fruit from trees or fecal matter from animals) will also find their way on the pavers. Pool chemicals, sunscreen, juice, wine, etc., will probably also be accidentally spilled. Ensure you choose pavers that can withstand those circumstances and stand the test of time through weather patterns such as extreme sun, rain, snow, and wind.

Having slippery pavers is dangerous and can be hazardous to your family and guests. While choosing pavers for your pool, make sure the non-slip rating is high: aim for P4 or P5.

Marble: This beautiful, light-colored stone has many advantages and is relatively popular. Marble is hard and will last for years. Heat is no match for marble; it is ideal for smoldering summers.

Limestone: Regardless of the conditions, limestone is a fairly solid bet. Its earthy color makes it suitable for an outdoor environment. Heavy foot traffic is no match for this tough stone; it’s also available in various colors and textures, making it a popular choice.

Bluestone: Hard and dense; this is also known as basalt. Naturally salt-resistant, bluestone is a practical option for pool paving. It’s durable and versatile – and available in a variety of shapes, styles, and colors.

Granite: Naturally non-slip, this stone is ideal for pools. It’s elegant, contemporary, and extremely dense. Granite is a popular choice as it has a speckled finish, so it can easily disguise stains. It’s also low-porous, which means you can hose it down easily.

Need help deciding which natural stone best suits your needs? Contact the experts at Pound Pool Plastering today.

Pound Pool Plastering offers free estimates and complete pool renovations. Dale Pound, owner, personally oversees each pool project to ensure the highest quality is delivered. We offer Diamond Brite, Sunstone, Hydrazzo, Marcite, Pebble finishes, Bead Crete, tile choices, coping stones, etc. We are pool renovation experts – contact us today at 248-476-4544 or poundpool@sbcglobal.net.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Ends March 31

If you’re unhappy with your current Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C), you have options! Every year, there’s a Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period between January 1 through March 31. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan and would like to change it, you can either:

If you choose either of the above options, your new coverage will begin the first day of the month after your new plan gets your request for coverage. Keep in mind, if you revert to Original Medicare, you might not be able to purchase a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy.

Those who already have Original Medicare do not qualify for the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period.

To understand and be confident in your Medicare coverage choices, contact the experts at Senior Health Medicare today. We can help you select the right Medicare Advantage Plan and explore options.

Senior Health Medicare is a superior resource for Medicare guidance, information, and ongoing client support. Selecting a Medicare plan is not a flippant decision. It requires annual revisiting and re-evaluating in order for the member to retain the most cost-effective plan. Senior Health Medicare is here to serve as your resource through all the years to come. Contact us today at 888-404-5049 or visit us on the web at www.seniorhealthmedicare.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Why an Insurance FMO Can Help Your Business

A Field Marketing Organization (FMO) can help market, sell, and distribute various insurance products; at Omega, we focus on Medicare Advantage and Supplement plans. To provide our clients with the best possible service, we focus solely on the Medicare realm.

Carriers have added efficiencies and are often offered contracts by agents that they might not otherwise be able to access. When you choose to work with an FMO, you are essentially selecting a business partner to help grow your company. There are countless aspects of managing your company; from training and certification to carrier contracting and enrollment processing, you will surely have plenty to learn and do as an insurance agent. To help ease some of your stress and mitigate the learning curve, read on to discover how partnering with an FMO can help your business:

Enrollment Processing: A significant benefit of using an insurance agent’s services, this process can be more complex than initially thought. It’s essential to have the most recent carrier enrollment forms, complete client information, and supplemental information for specific plan changes. You should be able to update carrier forms, checklists, and guides effortlessly. Most FMOs provide back-end support to process and submit enrollment applications.

Training and Certification: Annual AHIP certification and staying current with yearly changes and new products is vital for success as an insurance broker. These tasks require a lot of training. A solid FMO should provide you with all the resources necessary to get – and stay – certified, take on new products, educate your clients, and remain successful in your arena.

Carrier Contracting: Most FMOs have existing contracts with multiple carriers and products to make the process more streamlined for you to provide a greater number of plans and benefit options to your clients. It is possible to work directly with carriers and obtain individual contracts for each one.

Compliance: To help your clients understand all the available options, you must be knowledgeable about each product and abide by the guidelines. To get clients their best coverage at the best rate, it’s paramount to work with a well-established FMO.

Office Support: Insurance agencies have almost never-ending case management, enrollment tracking, payment processing, etc. A strong FMO will provide the back-office support you require. You’ll quickly learn how to manage your book of business, claims, track paperwork, and handle overall office duties.

Marketing Services: Multi-level marketing can be a complex creature, but a good FMO will have that under control. To approach new targets, stay connected with your existing customer base, and become more of an authority, an experienced FMO will provide marketing support across all channels.

Get started with a trusted FMO like Omega Benefit Strategies today. We can help take your company to the next level.

Omega Benefit Strategies provides seniors who are affiliated with credit unions, labor unions, and associations an educational resource for Medicare. Our turnkey marketing package seamlessly integrates with existing market strategies. We can help businesses increase new member acquisitions, bolster retention, cross-sell opportunities via our “scorecard” system, and even earn an ancillary revenue stream. Accommodating any size membership, we maintain exemplary member service and offer top-notch products. Contact us today by going to www.omegabenefit.org or call 888-404-5049.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Artificial Intelligence Could Be Answer for Mass Power Outages

While some hospitals were forced to use snow water to flush toilets, some homeowners used fence wood as firewood to heat their homes. The power outages in Texas and the southeast wreaked havoc on the area, creating a tragic situation that consequently pushed the nation’s fragile energy grids into the spotlight.

Energy planning has become somewhat of a pipe dream thanks to unexpected cold fronts, heat waves, snowstorms, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding. These natural disasters cause power fluctuations and unpredictable availability of green energy sources.

While solutions are varied and complex, Artificial Intelligence (AI) can optimize energy distribution across the grid and is aimed to help the utilities instantly know how much of what type of energy to deliver where.

In Texas, grid operators planned a worst-case scenario where 67GW of electricity was used. As the cold front swooped in, the state rapidly used that energy. The unusually freezing weather deactivated green energy sources and fossil fuels alike, such as thermal power plants, windmills, gas-powered generators, and more. While reserves were quickly depleted, temperatures plummeted, forcing energy demand to spike, which caused rolling blackouts across Texas.

AI technology exists and can help utilities manage energy distribution and demand, preventing rolling blackouts. Nationwide, we should be investing in alternative fuels, grid optimization, and resilience to avoid millions of people being affected by fragile systems.

With AI-based grid modeling happening in real-time, alternative power sources could be ready when needed. These sources could stem from other states, autonomous microgrids, or behind-the-meter battery storage. These systems can continuously learn the environment and clean energy sources on the grid, updating when necessary.

Millions of data points can be continuously collected by AI, predicting the weather, supply, demand, energy prices, etc. This data is useful in building optimal energy models for grid devices such as solar inverters, batteries, wind turbines, and more. These models can be used by utility providers to effectively dispatch energy and control clean energy sources.

In areas that need critical services, such as hospitals, schools, police, and fire departments, these microgrids would always have power, even if disconnected from the primary grid.

Beyond emergencies, AI can be used to process massive amounts of real-time data for ongoing energy management for utility services. This will enable them to route energy to residences and businesses efficiently, reliably, and at the most cost-effective price. With AI, real-time weather, load forecasting, economics, rules, and grid learning can be implemented, which would otherwise be too difficult for people to make, let alone execute.

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com

Five Fun Mortgage Facts

The process of obtaining a mortgage can be daunting and time-consuming. However, for the amount of work involved – the reward in getting your mortgage pays off in the end. We’ve compiled a few fun facts about the mortgage process to give yourself a break from the daily grind. Read on!

‘Till Death Do Us Part
The word “mortgage” originates from the old French words “mort,” meaning dead, and “gage,” or pledge. Your “dead-pledge” will cease to exist (read: die) once you pay it off, hence the name.

What’s with Red?
If you’ve ever been to Scotland, you might have noticed an excess of red doors. Traditionally, when a homeowner paid off their mortgage, they paint their front door red. Seen as a sort of announcement, the bright color is noticeable to passersby.

Flying High
In the United States, we have our own version of the quirky home exterior tradition. When a homeowner became debt-free, a winged eagle plaque was placed over the front door. While this tradition has already peaked, some homes still bear the metal remnants.

30-Year Mortgages are New
Before the Great Depression, mortgages had short maturity times and usually required a significant down payment. According to “The American Mortgage Historical and International Context,” pre-Depression mortgages had variable interest rates and were negotiated yearly.

More Value
In some countries, mortgages can be taken out for a higher home valuation. In the United States, the maximum value of a mortgage is 97- to 100 percent of the home’s valuation. In the Netherlands, borrowers can take out loans for as much as 115 percent of the home’s value; in the United Kingdom, they can borrow up to 110 percent.

To learn more information regarding a home or commercial mortgage, contact the experts at EB Mortgage today.

EB Mortgage is a locally-owned mortgage company with experts in new home purchase, refinancing, and commercial loans. Our wholesale rates can’t be beaten. We offer more products, more options, and more solutions. Our “3C” Process is simple: complete our pre-approval request, consider options based on your requirements, and choose the offer that suits your needs best. Call us at 866-246-0516 or e-mail contact@ebwmtg.com today.

How to Use Microsoft Office for Free

Microsoft Office is usually a necessity for most people, yet the suite isn’t exactly considered budget-friendly. Subscriptions are between $7 a month or $70 annually, and stand-alone versions of the set start at $150. Despite the fee, there are (thankfully) ways to use the software for free.

Without using the professional version that has all of the bells and whistles and latest features, there are plenty of ways to save your wallet.

Use The App: There’s a free online Microsoft app store where you can sign in (or signup) and use the functionality with other apps as well. Follow the on-screen instructions to use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Calendar, and other Office suite apps. A few less-popular apps are available too, such as Sway, an interactive report/presentation app; People, an advanced contact list; and OneDrive, a cloud storage service allowing you to save and access files effortlessly. These apps are limited to basic functionality but are still useful. To use the apps, you will need to be connected to the Internet.

The School Advantage: If you are a student, faculty, or staff member at an educational organization, you are eligible to use Office for free. As long as your school is signed up for the program, you can reap the benefits of using the Office suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) along with other apps such as Microsoft Teams, Access, and Publisher. If you are a recent graduate, you can obtain the programs at a low cost. The alumni discount program enables post-grads to use Microsoft 365 Personal for only $1 per month for 12 months.

Use that 30-day Trial: For a month, you can use Microsoft Office for free, no strings attached. Up to six users can be added across Windows, Mac, and smartphones. One TB of OneDrive cloud storage is included, which boasts the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and more. When your trial expires, Microsoft will automatically charge you for the full version, as they require your credit card information before you can sign up initially.

Get an Evaluation: For $30, Microsoft’s Evaluation Center program lets you test certain Office apps. This is essentially another free trial, but it provides specific, full-featured software for Office 365 ProPlus. It’s not ideal as a long-term solution, but it is a great temporary option. Since this is a test service used by Microsoft developers, you might encounter a few glitches.

Valid Alternatives: There are plenty of free alternatives that work well and transfer features over to Office seamlessly.

For all your computer needs, contact the experts at Creative Programs and Systems today.

Founded in 1994, Creative Programs and Systems provides professional results for all computer needs. We design, create, and code an array of custom software programs and websites; implement internet marketing strategies for enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) results; repair and provide support for computers of both residential and professional nature; build custom systems and servers, and offer secure data backups. Need assistance or want to learn more? Call us at 810-224-5252 or e-mail info@cpsmi.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Radio Communication Options

In crisis situations, internet and cellphone service might be unreliable. Your best bet is to communicate through radio. That’s right, the old “walkie-talkie” type radios will come in handy during times of duress. There are several different kinds of radio communication options, which we’ve outlined below.

Citizens Band Radio
Also known as CB radios, these were quite popular in the 1970s and ‘80s. Widely used for communication during that time, they are just as easy to use today. They are readily available, but have a limited range, with low attendance in terms of users. Around one to ten miles are covered through CB radio, and if your correspondents aren’t within your range, you won’t be able to communicate. Groups that plan to stick together are perfect candidates for CB radios.

Family Radio Service
FRS might be the most popular type of radio communication option and they are available in most sporting goods stores throughout the United States. Most brands like to boast a long range, but in general, ten miles is their maximum communication range, especially in forests, mountains, or cities with buildings. While hiking, backpacking, or on camping trips, these walkie-talkies are great options.

Multi-Use Radio Service
The range is one to three miles, but the Very High Frequency (VHF) band allows for external antennas to be added for an additional range. Channels are clear, but finding radios in the same band might be challenging. Finding other receivers on different bands is effortless, however. In environments where radio interference is cluttered, this radio is a great option for a clear channel.

General Mobile Radio Service
In the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) band spectrum, the range starts at two miles, with a higher-wattage radio power which also translates to a greater range. Elevated, clear areas can reach up to five miles of coverage. They can also be connected to external antennas along with repeaters to gain more range. With these added, five to eight miles of coverage is easily achieved, with an additional six to ten with a mobile base. Roughly five to 25 miles of coverage can also be achieved with mobile bases added. The “catch” with this radio is that it requires a license to operate legally.

Amateur (ham) Radio
Emergency response services, search-and-rescue organizations, and other emergency groups utilize amateur radios. They are the most versatile, can cover the most distance, and are used to communicate not only voice, but also images, text, and data. A license is required to operate, and there are different levels of licenses available. The Technician Class is an entry-level permit easily obtained. Many preppers are also avid amateur radio users, and a somewhat large network of support is available to newbies.

Radio: check. Food, clothing, and other supplies: … ? Check out Wolf Survival Gear today and fill in the blanks to ensure you’re prepared for the next natural or man-made disaster.

Wolf Survival Gear is a hub for all of your prepping and survival needs. We are a trusted resource for concerned families, avid hunters, or serious preppers. Make us your one-stop-shop and prepare now, before you’ll need it later. Visit our website or e-mail us today for more information.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.