What Does It Mean To Be Healthy?

Celebrating World Health Day during a pandemic seems a little bit odd, if not inappropriate to some, to us it is a perfect moment to ask ourselves and our audience vital questions:
Is being healthy just the absence of disease? Or does it mean a little bit more? Or a lot more?
What does it mean to be truly healthy?

I’ve always had an inclination towards the word healthy. My father has been a constant preacher of the word throughout my life. Last year, at the age of 60 he ran his first ever complete marathon at a pace that for his age group was above average. He also did it with an injury in his calf. He used to be very pushy while I was growing up about being athletic, eating right, using home remedies to better oneself and one’s productivity. Whenever I think about early mornings and getting ready to go to school, I always see my dad coming down to the kitchen and drinking two freshly pressed grapefruit juices with a Ginseng pill or oil. And, whenever I think about weekends, my Sundays hardly ever include him because he goes mountain biking, a hobby he took around the time I was born, one he tried to pass down to me (and failed), and religiously does to this day.
I’d always been more inclined towards a yoga and meditation sort of healthy but about two years ago I managed to find myself inside a crossfit box and developed my very own religious habit.

But is intense exercise the only path towards a healthy lifestyle? Most doctors will often recommend 2 things: eating healthy and exercising. But what does it mean to eat healthy?
Some people will think that exercising 5 days a week is as healthy as one can get. But then completely change their minds when I add to the mix that I am a proud vegan. Then they start talking about nutritional deficiencies and pushing my body’s limit too much. But then, eating animal products has been proven to create more damage than good in the human body and recommendations for a healthy diet will always include fruit and veggies more than animal products. To me, not eating animals has always been more about aligning my thoughts and beliefs to my actions. This congruence makes me genuinely happy and gives me a lot of inner peace. So...

Do emotions play into the healthy scheme? Is being happy about what you do and how you do it an important factor into your overall health? More and more professionals are agreeing that health is not just the absence of disease, nor is it just intense exercise or a balanced diet. It is a mixture of all these elements and a few more. Human beings are incredibly complex creatures with equally complex needs that need fulfilment in order to be healthy. Mental health and physical health professionals will agree that you need a healthy body but also a healthy mind and a healthy environment to thrive.

As a species we’ve faced global pandemics before, and although COVID19 does not have an incredibly high mortality rate, we’ve never faced a disease in the way we are doing today. And when we put together these three factors; Mental, physical, and environmental health as a trifecta to accomplish overall health, one does have to wonder… how did our environmental health or lack thereof come into play to create the crisis we face now? It’s hard to think that we as a species could be healthy when our home is clearly not. She is running an all time high fever with no signs of lowering it and her lungs are being burnt out and only when this happened did we give her a moment to stop, to rest, to recover even if it’s just a little bit. More than ever before we are realizing how bonds matter and how community matters. How it is so important to think about the whole before thinking about the self.
Being healthy is more than just the way our body reacts to pathogens, how many weights it can carry, how many miles it can run, or how high can it jump; it is more than eating right, eating balanced, eating plant-based; it is more than taking care of your mind, resting, and being at peace with who you are; being healthy is about all of these things, but it is also about how we treat others and how we relate to them, to our community, our environment, our home.

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What To Do During Earth Hour

Now more than even it seems important to raise awareness about Earth Hour. With most of us staying in doors due to COVID19 and following the social isolation recommendations we are using electricity a little more than what we usually do. Which is why giving the Earth break for just one hour is more important than it has ever been.

So, what can you do during Earth Hour you ask? Earth Hour is not just about sitting in the dark for an hour of your time. It’s about unplugging any unnecessary lights and using that time to connect with your family or friends and raise awareness about our planet’s health. We’ve put together a small list of fun and easy things you could try doing during this 2020.

Number one is to unplug. Switch off everything that isn’t essential. This is the core of the movement.

Tune in to the live streams that are going to be happening on the official Earth Hour page. You can also tune in to the one specific in your region or country. This will allow you to learn more about the movement and connect with like-minded people.

Camp in your living room. When I was a kid, I used to be a master creator of camps. And I don’t see why you shouldn’t try doing one yourself.
The fun is in creating a tent out of pillows and blankets and not to use an actual tent. This can become your setting for watching nature documentaries during the hour or the official live streams. As you would do in any other type of camp, remember to bring your snacks, your furry companions and now that you are an adult: your vino.

If you have roommates or kids: Organize an indoor scavenger hunt! You can even make them solve riddles whose answers are related to simple ways they can help the earth beyond doing earth hour. It’s a fun way to create awareness about a subject you care about while also having a bunch of fun.

Be brave and be artistic! Challenge yourself to paint under candlelight! We would just like to note that Magic Mirror cannot be held responsible for any mess created during this activity.

Dine under the stars. Provided you have a backyard or a balcony consider cooking your dinner before the hour starts and enjoy a quiet dinner under the starry night sky. If you don’t have a backyard or a balcony consider having a candlelit dinner. If you live with your SO, it could give you an opportunity to have a romantic date night without having to break quarantine.

Learn about the issues our planet is facing. So, you might think that humanity has its hands full with the COVID19 pandemic, but really, the Coronavirus is just a symptom of a much greater disease we are all facing. I know learning about all these problems can sometimes feel overwhelming, even just talking about this new virus can bring on anxiety to some people. However, not being aware of the problems our planet is facing has brought forward the current crisis we are currently experiencing. And if we don’t act now, if we don’t inform ourselves and consequently modify our behavior and the way we connect and relate to others and nature, this pandemic will be the mildest symptom of a terminal illness.

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or you want to learn how Magic Mirror Developers or our partners can help you achieve your business goals, don't hesitate to reach out to us! We're Here To Help

Happiness In Times of Quarantine

Being confined to a set of walls with the same people for an extended period of time can be challenging, to say the least. Which is why I come bearing a gift, a list of things you can do to make quarantine better. Hell! Maybe even a happy experience but I will settle with not a crappy one. So, here goes:

In the world we live in today, so fast, so full of everything, it's easy to lose connection with oneself. We are always doing something or going somewhere and the idea to suddenly stop it all can be scary. We are used to living in a go mode that hardly ever truly stops. So take these next days to take a breather and just stop. Take a step further and actually listen to yourself, meditate a little, do a little bit of yoga. Connect with the most important person that you have: you. Be brave enough to have the thoughts and conversations with yourself you are usually too busy to engage in.

Take a moment to enjoy the fact that your commute can be a small walk to your favorite chair! And while you're at it, all those meetings CAN be emails now! Home office is a blessing but you also need to do it right. Being productive at home can be challenging to some people, so make sure you create a designated space for work hours and respect those hours. The fact that you get to work in your pajamas does not mean you have to do it around the clock without the breaks you would usually take in your office. When you work from home either one of two things happen: one, you can’t do it because everything becomes a distraction or you don’t stop because since you are home; you don’t feel the need to stop.
For those who find everything to be a distraction, it is vital that you find a space that functions as an office. And for those who can easily work hours on end on their coach, set an alarm and respect it.

Most of us share our home with furry companions and to them the fact that you are staying all this time is probably the weirdest surprise in a long time. Do make the best of it, you probably don’t get to spend as much time with them on a day to day basis. So take time everyday for the next few days to make them feel all the love you aren’t able to give them when you are at the office or running errands. It is very likely that while you are getting anxious about not getting out they are probably thankful for it. Plus, they will be the ones giving you a reason to smile when you run out of series to watch on Netflix. Take pictures and videos of their reaction to you working from a designated office space in your home or on your favorite couch, you will break the internet when you share them, for sure.

Some of us share our home with other humans, so, you already know what I am about to say. Take the time to connect with them. Whether it is family, a pair of unbearable teens or intense kids, a friend or a roommate you don’t actually know that well, or even a SO you decided to share your space with a few years ago. Take these few days to communicate with them, you’ll be surprised with what they have to say and what you have to say to them.
During these uncertain times it is not unusual for people to start feeling weird or anxious and scared. You might be feeling like this yourself. But you have to remember that even if you don’t know what is going to happen, the best and only thing you can actually do is to support and be there for those closest to you. So step up, be there, listen, talk, and be kind. Except if you are sharing your space with those panicky shopping people. Let them find comfort in all that toilet paper they bought.

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or you want to learn how Magic Mirror Developers or our partners can help you achieve your business goals, don't hesitate to reach out to us! We're Here To Help

Women In Code

Today we want to take a moment to honor the women who have paved the way for us in M|M to be able to do the things we love to do. And who have made it possible for women everywhere to immerse themselves in this amazing world that is code. It is also our way to thank each and every woman who is continuously working in creating and innovating in technology. This one's for you.

It is hard to think of programming as something that began making its way into our world in the 17th century. Or due to the stereotype of the nerd, as an all female job. But it did! And it was!

Programming has one of the most interesting stories I’ve researched in a while and it all starts with a woman that was able to predict the return date for Halley comet. She was part of one of the first teams known as human computers, that woman was Nicole-Reine Etable Lepaute. Not satisfied with her contribution to that specific project, she carried on predicting solar eclipses and worked for the Connaissance de Temps. This happened in the 1700s.

In the 18th century the world was witness to the first person to ever imagine that we could have a machine that would help us do our day to day, that person was a woman and her name was Countess Ada Lovelace. Ada Lovelace, was the first person to ever create a computer algorithm. This happened while she was translating the transcripts for the Analytical Engine. A machine made for calculations. However, as she did the translation, she began writing notes that were instructions intended to be followed and executed by the world's first computer. These notes would become regarded as the first computer program ever.
As we said before, she was the very first person to ever dare imagine that a machine could eventually collaborate with humans and society; like we do today with our smartphones. She called this way of thinking “poetical science”. Which is simply genius.

After the civil war a lot of women were hired as human computers, most of them were widows trying to support their families. However, there was also a shortage of men which helped a lot of women to make their way in the field.

Anna Winlock was one of the first women hired to work for 25 cents an hour as a human computer in Harvard under the direction of Edward Charles Pickering, a man that acknowledged that women could work as well as men but took advantage of the fact that he could paid them less or even ask them to volunteer (asshat). The group of women became known as The Harvard Computers. They helped catalogue ten thousands of stars and discovered the Horsehead Nebula. And even though their contribution was enormous to science, they were paid less than factory workers (which were all men).

Then came the 1900s, where women were hired as human computers to help calculate ballistics in the US. Elizabeth Webb Wilson worked as chief computer, but once the war was over she ended up teaching high school math, as the war effort no longer required her services.
During the 1940’s, tedious calculating and computing became regarded as a woman’s job. They even came up with a term “kilogirl” that meant that a kilogirl of energy was “equivalent to roughly a thousand hours of computing labor”. By 1943 most human computers were female. During WWII women began making their way to cryptography and eventually many operated and worked on bombe machines. Joan Clarke was one of the women who worked on the Enigma machine at Bletchley Park (for those of you who missed The Imitation Game, this is the machine used to crack the Nazi code during WWII). She developed a method of increasing the speed of double-encrypted messages that sadly was not named after her.

Can you imagine our life without Wi-Fi or Bluetooth? This little piece of technology we use everyday was invented by Joan ClarkeHedy Lamarr and George Antheil as a way to detect torpedoes remotely. Even though the Navy passed on their idea they patented their work and made it happen so that we get to use it on a daily basis.
During 1944 the electronic numerical integrator and computer or ENIAC for short, was created. This was the first electronic general-purpose digital computer. And the programmers for this were six mathematicians; Marlyn Meltzer, Betty Hoberton, Kathleen Antonello, Ruth Teitelbaum, Jean Bartik, and Frances Spence. They became known as the ENIAC girls and even though hardware was thought to be a men’s job they learned how the ENIAC worked by repairing it and fixing “bugs” in the machinery. In 1964, when the ENIAC was revealed to the public they prepared the machine to be ready and after the demonstration, the University hosted an expensive dinner to celebrate. They were not invited, nor were they mentioned in the official accounts of public events.
In 1943, Grace Hopper began working on computers at the Bureau of Ordinance’s Computation Project at Harvard where she programmed Harvard Mark. An electro-mechanical computer based on the Analytical Engine. She was the first person to create a compiler for a programming language and one of the first programmers for the computer.

NASA, recruited women computers after WWII and by the 1950s, a team was performing mathematical calculations at the Lewis Research Center in Ohio, the team included Annie Easley, Katherine Johnson and Kathryn Peddrew. More known today thanks to the movie Hidden Figures - which, if you haven’t seen, you need to do so now. NASA would not be what it is today if it hadn’t been for them and other women who continuously contributed to innovations in space technology, like Margaret Hamilton in the 1960s. She was responsible for programming the software of the onboard flight software on the Apollo missions computers. And by the end of the decade, women accounted for 30 to 50 percent of computer programmers. However, few were promoted to leadership roles and they were paid significantly less. Which sounds oddly and awfully familiar. But still, a lot of women saw a bright future for their gender in computers and programming.

During the 1970s Adele Goldberg was one of the seven programmers that developed Smalltalk. The first object-oriented programming language and the base of the current graphic user interface. Smalltalk was actually used by Apple to launch Apple Lisa in 1983 and later Windows 1.0 was based on the same principles. Can you imagine that? We often attribute the success of Apple or Windows of a single man, but would their success have been the same if it hadn’t been for the women who innovated before them?

Later in that decade, Joan Margaret Winters began working at IBM as part of the “human factors project” called SHARE. She went on to lead the project between 1983 and 1987. SHARE was researching how software should be designed to consider human factors. Once again taking what Ada Lovelace had once called “poetic science” and pursuing it as an entire research field a few centuries later.
Erna Schneider Hoover developed a computerized switching system for telephone calls that would replace switchboards. Which revolutionized modern communication, it prevented overloads by monitoring call center traffic and it prioritized tasks to enable better service during peak calling times. Her system was the first software patent ever issued.

By this moment in time the internet wasn’t a thing yet. But can you imagine a world without the internet today? It even sounds scary. But being able to access memes from anywhere in the world would not be possible if it hadn’t been for Radia Perlman who was asked to fix the limitations the Ethernet imposed on large network traffic. Stacy Horn is also a huge contributor to the internet as she created the East Coast Hang Out or ECHO an online community where you could post topics and chat with other members of the community it even featured email accounts. I imagine this a really early version of 9gag, 4chann and even Reddit. Could these platforms be what they are today if it hadn’t been for their grandmother ECHO? Where would we get or memes?

As more fields in science and engineering opened up to women, less began seeking computer programming as a career choice. However, they were still making contributions throughout the decade. It was a team of women from Brown University that included Nicole Yankelovich and Karen Catlin who developed Intermedia (a hypertext) and they also developed the anchor link. Apple funded part of the project and incorporated their concepts into Apple operating systems. Jane Walker developed the first system to use bookmarks when she created the Symbolics Document Examiner. Cath Marshall worked on the NoteCards system at Xerox PARC that would later influence Apple’s programs to include web viewers. All of them contributing to creating the world of technology we know today and which we hardly ever take a moment to consider how they came about.

So, how did the idea of a quiet, shy, nerdy guy become linked to computer programming, anyway?

Emily Chang conducted an investigation that realized that the key problem of the gender disparity in IT that came with the 21st century was based on personality tests in job interviews and the belief that good programmers are introverts, which is the basic stereotype of the white male nerd we all know. Which in turn, thanks to the patriarchy, often creates an unpleasant environment for the few women that did make it into computer programing jobs.

Phew! What a history, right? It is crazy to think that in a world that depends on computer programing as much as our world does, these names are hardly known by those who have benefited from their accomplishments and constant innovation.
Honestly, this had to be cut short because otherwise I would have ended up writing a book. But, as a woman who benefits everyday from innovation and technology writing this piece has been one of the most inspiring blog posts I’ve done in a while and I can’t thank my M|M team enough for giving the opportunity to do so.
Today I will be part of the Mexico strike and march through my city holding every single one of these women close to my heart. And maybe, just maybe, talk our CEO into buying me a computer programming course.

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or you want to learn how Magic Mirror Developers or our partners can help you achieve your business goals, don't hesitate to reach out to us! We're Here To Help

Resolutions: How to Be Resolute

Key Lesson: You DO have control and you CAN achieve your resolutions

Key Action Point: Take the first 2 steps: (1) Think about why you want your goal and (2) think about how to get it

The start of the New Year always comes with a lot of ideas for us to better ourselves and our lives. It doesn’t matter if we are focusing on our personal life, our career, or our community. There is a lot of enthusiasm for making things better than the year before. And this is all very nice and all. But what actually happens to most of us as the holiday cheer begins to dry out and we return to our daily routine is that we lose that excitement. Consequently, our resolutions tend to fail before we even get to March.
But fear not, dear reader! For here we have gathered 3 key points of knowledge from really positive and intense people to keep your excitement from running out and help ensure you make those resolutions a year-long reality. 

Get to the core WHY. Most New Year’s resolutions are very vague mainstream ideas of what we believe is going to make our lives, or the lives of the people we care about, better. The reality of it all, is that you need to go further down that rabbit hole and see what you really want to gain from whatever idea pops into your head. For example, “I want to get more followers.” Nice. But why? “Because I want to grow my personal brand.” Cool. But why? “Because I want to get paid for product placement ad’s.” You see where I am going with this. Go deep into the why until you reach a reason that is fundamental, and therefore actionable. Once you have it, you’ll be able to plan it through, which is how you’ll achieve long-term traction with your idea.

Plan it through. Okay, so I know that we can plan all we want and chance can find a way to ruin it, and the only thing predictable about life is its unpredictability. I get that. But when I say plan it though I don’t mean a 3 year plan from which you cannot deviate. I mean make SMART goals.
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time based. Easy to follow through, simple enough to understand, and flexible to change if need be. If you’d like to know our thoughts on how to go about this send us an email or tweet @_techtranslator

Find like minded people. Humans are social creatures with a tendency to believe otherwise. The fact is that no matter how much the ending of GoT sucked, Sansa did speak the truest words known to man,

“When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.”
So think of life as the snow and white windy winter. The lone wolf that dies is your dreams when you try to tackle your resolutions on your own. And the pack thriving and surviving are the dreams of people that were smart enough to find other people to help them see their resolutions through. Find your pack. Your people. Your tribe. It’s a thing.
Go find yours before winter comes.

Further Reading:

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or you want to learn how Magic Mirror Developers or our partners can help you achieve your business goals, don't hesitate to reach out to us! We're Here To Help