Stay Positive

"In the midst of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer." - Alert Camus

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Delightful Gardens

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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Norah Jones - Tennessee Waltz


The Wheels of Life


Friday, March 18, 2016

Lumosity didn’t have the research to back up its claims

Buyer beware.  Hoping for a miracle cure for a chronic medical condition like m.s. makes a person vulnerable to hucksters making unfounded claims. Be cautious about the sources of medical advice you follow.

The Switch

FTC: ‘Brain training’ brand Lumosity didn’t have the research to back up its claims

Worried about staying sharp as you get older? Chances are you’ve been bombarded with ads claiming you can stay mentally focused by playing simple brain games.

But at least one of the products in this marketing wave, Lumosity, has been making bogus claims, according to the Federal Trade Commission. And now the company behind it has agreed to pay $2 million to settle charges that its “brain training” advertising misled consumers.

Lumosity’s marketing is seemingly inescapable. It claims to have 70 million users across more than 180 countries. Its ads have aired on CNN, NPR, Spotify and Fox News — a lineup that lends it an air of credibility. And to hear the company hawk its wares, you’d think Lumosity offered a cure-all for virtually every mental malady.

“Lumosity preyed on consumers’ fears about age-related cognitive decline, suggesting their games could stave off memory loss, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s disease,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a news release Tuesday. “But Lumosity simply did not have the science to back up its ads.”

Lumos Labs, the company that developed Lumosity, charged consumers subscriptions ranging from $14.95 a month to $299.95 for lifetime access to its program, according to the FTC. Beyond citing a lack of research to back up the company's claims, the FTC also alleged the firm failed to disclose that testimonials promoting its product were solicited through contests where consumers received prizes such as iPads or trips to San Francisco.

“Neither the action nor the settlement pertains to the rigor of our research or the quality of the products — it is a reflection of marketing language that has been discontinued,“ a spokesperson for Lumos Lab said in an e-mailed statement. “Our focus as a company has not and will not change: We remain committed to moving the science of cognitive training forward and contributing meaningfully to the field’s community and body of research.”

The spokesperson pointed to a study from Lumos Labs published in the peer-reviewed academic journal PLOSone last year that found participants who used its product for 15 minutes at least five days a week over 10 weeks saw “neuropsychological performance” improvements compared to a control group who did crossword puzzles.

As part of the proposed settlement with the FTC, Lumos will need to have “competent and reliable scientific evidence” before making future claims about the effectiveness of its product
. The order also imposes a $50 million judgment against the company that will be suspended after the company pays $2 million to the commission.

An FTC spokesperson said the agency plans to spend the vast majority of that money on consumer refunds. And Lumos will have tell subscribers who signed up for auto-renewal plans between between Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2014 about the FTC action and give them a way to cancel their subscriptions, according to the FTC.

The consumer protection agency has increasingly cracked down on apps making vague, health-related claims without having the science to back them up.
Last February, the FTC went after the makers of two apps that claimed they could help detect cancerous moles. And in September, a company that claimed its app could improve customers’ vision agreed to settle deceptive advertising charges brought by the agency.

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government.
Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on telecommunications and the Internet. Before joining the Post, he was the technology correspondent


Friday, March 4, 2016

Jane Goodall


Species Barrier Crossed

Koi Art

Bounce Back: Reclaim Your Health

    I like WRAP or Wellness Recovery Action Plan.....

    Bounce Back is a free, skill-building program for adults experiencing low mood or stress, with or without anxiety. 

    Bounce Back: Reclaim Your Health

    Creating community based self-help strategies to improve the mental health of British Columbians

    Call 1-866-639-0522

    Bounce Back is an evidence-based program designed to help adults experiencing symptoms of mild to moderate depression, low mood, or stress, with or without anxiety.

    The short video below provides a description of the program and some tips on coping with depression and low mood.

    Services Offered

    Bounce Back offers two forms of help:
    • Living Life to the Full DVD
      Bounce Back offers a free DVD providing practical tips on how to recognize and deal with depressive symptoms. Watch a clip of it here. The DVD is available in English, Mandarin and Cantonese.
    • Telephone coaching and workbooks
      Trained Bounce Back community coaches assist in the teaching of problem-solving and other skills to overcome difficulties such as inactivity, unhelpful thinking, worry, and avoidance. As the participants progress through workbooks, telephone coaching provides additional support and help keep participants on track. Coaching is available in English, French, Cantonese, and Punjabi. Access to the coaching component requires a doctor's referral.

    What To Do Next

    • If you’re interested in accessing these services
      Visit the Participant Info page. Learn more about how to receive the DVD or get a referral for telephone coaching.
    • If you’re a physician, nurse practitioner, or other licenced health care professional
      Visit the Practitioner Info page. Find out how to refer your patients and download referral forms.

    Funding Support

    Bounce Back is led by the BC Division of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and funded by the BC Ministry of Health. A commitment to principles of empowerment, peer and family support, and participation in decision-making, make CMHA a logical lead organization for the coordination of community-based mental health programs that serve primary health care patients. CMHA BC involves a network of 14 local branches throughout the province.

    Additional Resources