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Today is April 17

Mummies on parade

A uniquely Egyptian parade took place recently in Cairo featuring 18 kings and four queens — mummified pharaohs dating back more than 3,500 years, reports the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC]. Ramses II, said to be the evil protagonist in the Bible’s Book of Exodus, was among the headliners in the Golden Parade from the Egyptian Museum to the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. King Tut was unable to participate; he’s slated to be the main attraction of yet another new museum opening next year, the Grand Egyptian Museum. “A team of 48 people was tapped to prepare the mummies for their trip, including placing each mummy in a nitrogen capsule, free from oxygen and protected from the damaging effects of humidity, bacteria, fungi and insects,” according to UPI.

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Gottcha!

April 1 was a big day for the introduction of “new” consumer brands including Candle No. 2, a stool scented candle, and Bud Light’s pizza flavored seltzer. Not really, says the Association of Mature American Citizens. AMAC explains that in recent years it’s become a kind of tradition for brand name companies to introduce fake April Fool’s Day products, just for the fun of it. Kraft Foods actually produced a “slick” TV commercial promoting a line of “cheesy” skin care products called “V for Velveeta.”

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The right thing

A Goodwill employee in Norman, OK was surprised when she sorted through recently donated clothing and found a stash of $42,000 in cash, according to the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC]. Meanwhile, the unidentified donor must have had the shock of her life when she discovered that she had lost a good deal of money. But it was all settled when Andrea Lessing, the Goodwill staffer, reported the find and helped locate and return the money to the hapless donor. She got a $1,000 reward for her good deed but, as she put it: “I didn’t return the money expecting a reward or expecting to be on the news, I just believe if you do something good, it will come back to you eventually. And it did.”

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Deaf History Month

American Sign Language, or ASL, has helped millions of North Americans who are deaf or have family members who are deaf communicate with their loved ones and colleagues. Though ASL may be most widely embraced in families that include someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, anyone can benefit from learning this unique and valuable means of communicating.

What is ASL?

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, ASL is its own unique language that employs movements of both the hands and face. Though ASL has the same linguistic properties as spoken languages, its grammar differs from English.

Is sign language the same everywhere?

While it’s known as “American Sign Language,” ASL is the primary language of many North Americans who are deaf and hard of hearing and is one of two official sign languages in Canada. In Mexico, where the primary spoken language is Spanish and not English, the deaf and hard of hearing primarily communicate using Lenguaje de Signos Mexicano, or LSM.

Though people in the United States and Canada communicate using ASL, the NIDCD notes that there is no universal sign language. In fact, British Sign Language, or BSL, is used across the pond in England, and people who know ASL may not be able to understand BSL, or vice versa.

The origins of ASL

The NIDCD notes that the exact origins of ASL are not clear, though some suggest it may trace its roots back hundreds of years. Those theories trace ASL to Langue des Signes Francaise (French Sign Language), or LSF. Modern ASL indeed includes some elements of LSF, which was used in France more than 200 years ago.

ASL and spoken languages

ASL is its own language that is distinct from English. The NIDCD notes that ASL features all the fundamental components of spoken languages, including rules governing pronunciation, word formation and word order. Some may even be surprised to learn that, like spoken languages such as English, ASL even has regional accents and dialects. The rhythm of signing, pronunciation, slang, and signs in ASL may differ depending on where the person signing is from.

ASL is vital to helping people who are deaf or hard of hearing communicate with their families. This unique language boasts a rich and interesting history

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Defeat Diabetes Month

Add more exercise to the workday

Many people can benefit from more exercise. But after a long day at work and tending to obligations at home, making time for exercise can be an uphill battle. Come nighttime, there may be little energy or time left to be active. However, failure to engage in regular physical activity can be detrimental to one’s health.

The World Health Organization lists inactivity as the fourth biggest risk factor for global adult mortality. Plus, long periods of sitting inactively may lead to increased risk for diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and obesity. Psychology Today also says studies indicate mental ability is directly linked to physical activity. Without regular exercise, one may have decreased concentration, poor memory, reduced mental stamina, and a lack of creativity. Finding time to exercise while at work can help people reap the rewards of a physically active lifestyle.

The American Heart Association says taking advantage of little opportunities to move more throughout the day can add up to a significant amount of exercise. Here are some ways to exercise during the workday.

  • Ride or work a portion of your commute. People who live close enough to the office can ride their bikes or walk there. If the office is too far, think about getting off the bus or train a stop earlier and walk the rest of the way. You even can park further away if you drive to the office.

 

  • Switch out your desk. Desks come in different configurations and you may be able to opt for a tall or adjustable desk to enable you to stand and move around a bit while working. If that’s not possible, stand up and do some balance or strength exercises while on long calls.

 

  • Take the stairs. Skip the elevator and go up and down the stairs each day. Doing so when coming in, going in and out for a lunch break, and when leaving in the evening can add up over the course of a day.

 

  • Start a walking club. Get together with coworkers who also want to exercise and use your lunch hour to walk around. You can always eat at your desk before or afterwards.

 

  • Schedule walking meetings. Whenever possible, host walking brainstorming sessions or meetings. Take the meeting outdoors if the weather cooperates; otherwise, take laps around the building.

 

  • Store some workout gear at work. During breaks, do a few arm curls with dumbbells or use resistance bands to work inner and outer thigh muscles while sitting at your desk.

 

  • Volunteer to run errands. Step out for coffee or snacks during the day, making a concerted effort to walk when going for your daily jolt of caffeine.

 

Exercise can be included in the work day by making some minor changes that really add up.