Alcohol dulls brain ‘alarm’ that monitors mistakes, MU study finds

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Most people have witnessed otherwise intelligent people doing embarrassing or stupid things when they are intoxicated, but what specifically happens in the brain to cause such drunken actions? A new study testing alcohol’s effects on brain activity from the University of Missouri says that alcohol dulls the brain “signal” that warns people when they are making a mistake, ultimately reducing self control.

Now, have you gone to alcohol rehab in Denver? You may have, or maybe it was someone you know, but have they ever explained to you the brain chemistry associated with addiction? Reading below will explain to you how alcohol dulls the alarm in our brains that monitors the mistakes we make.

“When people make mistakes, activity in a part of the brain responsible for monitoring behavior increases, essentially sending an alarm signal to other parts of the brain indicating that something went wrong,” said Bruce Bartholow, associate professor of psychology in the MU College of Arts and Science. “Our study isn’t the first to show that alcohol reduces this alarm signal, but contrary to previous studies, our study shows that alcohol doesn’t reduce your awareness of mistakes – it reduces how much you care about making those mistakes.”

During the study, Bartholow’s team measured the brain activity of 67 participants, ages 21-35, as they completed a challenging computer task designed to elicit some errors. About one third of the participants were given alcoholic drinks, while the rest were given no alcohol or a placebo beverage. In addition to monitoring their brain activity, the researchers also measured changes in participants’ mood, their accuracy in the computer task, as well as their perceived accuracy.

The findings showed that the brain’s “alarm signal” in response to errors was much less pronounced in those who had consumed alcohol, and the response was largest for those in the placebo group. However, those in the alcohol group were no less likely to realize when they had made a mistake than participants in the other groups, indicating that alcohol’s reduction of the brain’s “alarm signal” did not occur simply because those in the alcohol group were unaware of their errors. The findings also showed that those who had consumed alcohol were less likely to slow down and be more careful in the task following errors.

Alcohol dulls brain ‘alarm’ that monitors mistakes, MU study finds | EurekAlert! Science News


Lighting Ideas for Your Kids’ Room

The right light fixture can help visually divide a large, shared space like this one. The designer used inexpensive paper lanterns in a range of colors and sizes, suspended at different heights to create a focal point well suited to the space’s sloped ceiling. Design by B. Pila Design Studio

Need help figuring out how to design the perfect bedroom for your kids? Call up your Littleton electrician, we can help! Below are some good tips and tricks to create the perfect lighting for your children’s room.

A nightlight can comfort small children when they’re tucked in for bed. This friendly woodland creature adds a soft glow from a compact fluorescent bulb. Photo courtesy of The Land of Nod

Desk lighting should be utilitarian but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. Your best bet is an adjustable lamp with a wide, stable base — perhaps in a bright, fun hue like brilliant blue or citrus green. Design by HGTV hosts Cortney and Robert Novogratz

Accent lighting should make a bold impact. The exaggerated curves and glossy black finish of this table lamp stand out against the ornate butterfly-papered wall in this girl’s room. JAC Interiors

Encourage your child’s love of reading by creating a designated book nook. A comfy chair, a pouf to put the feet up on, and a good reading light are all you need. In an older child’s room, a floor lamp is fine; one that’s adjustable is ideal. JAC Interiors

Lighting Ideas for Your Kids’ Room | HGTV


10 Home Maintenance Tips for Spring

After a long, dark winter, spring’s bright sun and warm winds are, well, a breath of fresh air. The only downside? All that sunshine spotlights your leaf-filled gutters, cracked sidewalks and the dead plants in last year’s flower beds. Dwight Barnett, a certified master inspector with the American Society of Home Inspectors, shared this checklist to help you target the areas that need maintenance so you can get your chores done quickly, leaving you time to go outside and play in the sunshine.

Even though it is almost summer, make sure you have taken care of your home for the spring with this checklist. Of course, if you need roof repair in El Paso Texas, give us a call! We would love to help! 

Examine roof shingles to see if any were lost or damaged during winter. If your home has an older roof covering, you may want to start a budget for replacement. The summer sun can really damage roof shingles. Shingles that are cracked, buckled or loose or are missing granules need to be replaced. Flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys need to be checked and repaired by a qualified roofer.

Check for loose or leaky gutters. Improper drainage can lead to water in the basement or crawl space. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear and free of debris.

Low areas in the yard or next to the foundation should be filled with compacted soil. Spring rains can cause yard flooding, which can lead to foundation flooding and damage. Also, when water pools in these low areas in summer, it creates a breeding ground for insects.

10 Home Maintenance Tips for Spring | HGTV



Innovative Product Helps Seniors Stay Fit

“We don’t stop exercising because we grow old, we grow old because we stop exercising.”

We all know how important it is to stay active as we grow older, and we encourage our assisted living residents in Amarillo to be as active as they can be for as long as they can. Below talks about products that were created to help these individuals stay active more easily.

It’s no secret that exercise is often called the fountain of youth. In fact, few factors contribute as much to successful aging as having a physically active lifestyle. Learn more from the health experts at ChairMaster about an exercise solution that helps seniors stay fit as they age.

While 30 minutes may seem like a lot to seniors, studies show you don’t have to do 30 minutes of exercise at once. Recently, a study of over 6,000 participants showed that those who did short bursts of exercise measured as well on health indicators like that of blood pressure, cholesterol and waist circumference as those who worked out in full 30 minute segments.

Besides the time exercise takes, a lot of seniors also struggle with the fact that most exercise products – and even fitness classes – are designed for younger individuals. Elliptical machines and motorized treadmills are especially intimidating with the risk of falls and injury. However, a new fitness product, the ChairMaster®, is a great exercise solution for seniors.

Innovative Product Helps Seniors Stay Fit




Things to Do 8 Weeks Before You Move Your Home

To keep your move on schedule, you’ll need to keep a task list of things to do eight weeks before you move. Remember, it’s just two months before you say goodbye to your house, your neighborhood, family and friends, and by now you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. You have no need to worry. With this task list, you’ll find yourself looking forward to moving day!

Before you move be sure to prepare accordingly, being stressed out during this process can make the already busy transition, even harder. Be sure to order your portable storage unit, if you are in Denver, and be sure to complete this list of things to do during the 8 weeks leading up to your move.

Using a floor plan can help you sort through your things, helping you decide what household goods you want to keep and which ones you need to give away, in particular, if you’re downsizing your space or are moving a long distance and want to save costs on hiring movers. In other words, more stuff = more weight = more money.

Taking a household inventory will help you keep track of what you’re moving and what’s staying behind, plus gives you a list of stuff that a moving company will need.

Things to Do 8 Weeks Before You Move Your Home



Spring Maintenance for Senior Safety

Tending to gardens, clearing eaves and gutters, and cleaning windows are but a few of the strenuous tasks that are required for home maintenance. These chores are especially worrisome for adults with senior parents living on their own. But, if your parent(s) can take these tasks on, they should—performing them has a positive effect on the body and mind.

We want to promote physical activity to our Denver retirement community residents but must always warn against pushing that activity too far. This time of the year is a great time to complete maintenance and to tidy up a bit before the summer begins. This is also a great way to become active and to stay motivated through the season. Read below about some maintenance ideas.

Gardening, for example is an excellent form of physical activity and, according to a study of almost 4,000 60-year-olds in Stockholm, can drastically improve cardiovascular health. The study, which was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, determined that regular gardening can cut the risk of a heart attack or stroke, and prolong life by as much as 30% among the 60+ age group. The study also determined that gardening and other activities, such as DIY projects, are as beneficial as exercise because they increase overall energy expenditure.

Digging in the dirt also has a positive impact on one’s mental health. According to an article published in the Journal of Health Psychology, gardening leads to decreased cortisol levels and positive moods which can promote relief from acute stress. Although not all spring maintenance duties are as enjoyable and therapeutic as gardening, performing regular activities can contribute to the overall health and well-being of your parent.

For many seniors, tending to spring maintenance tasks is not feasible. Neighbors and family members are often incredibly helpful in assisting these seniors with the more difficult chores that require strenuous physical activity or ones that can be dangerous, such as climbing a ladder to clean out gutters.

Spring Maintenance for Senior Safety


Build a Garden Fence or Wall

Discover the materials and design that will work best for your garden boundary, whether it is a fence, wall or hedge.

Have you ever thought about creating a boundary in your yard that was covered with or made up of plants? We have done many fence installations in Denver where homes have grown big beautiful gardens. Learn about how gardens can be incorporated with fencing below:

The role of a boundary in a garden is to define a space, whether that’s the whole plot or an area within it. They have many functions, from providing privacy and intimacy to forming the backbone of the entire garden design. A brick wall, garden fence, gate, hedges and trellis are all options for creating the boundary you desire.

Dividing spaces often makes them seem larger, especially when the different areas are then given a specific use, such as for formal dining or as a play area for children. You don’t need tall barriers to create the divisions – you can achieve the same effect with low walls, woven screens, and see-through planting. The idea is merely to suggest a space and purpose. Using screens also means that the divisions are temporary and can change as your need for different spaces evolves.

Garden boundaries have the fundamental task of containing the site and providing a physical barrier to intruders, prying eyes, and the weather. In most gardens they are highly visible and form the backdrop to everything else. When designing with boundaries, there are two approaches: either try to blend them in, or make a feature of them. Once in place, the materials and style you choose are hard to change, so design your boundaries carefully.

Build a Garden Fence or Wall | HGTV



Passive Roof Vents for Home Cooling

Passive roof vents encourage natural air flow and work without the aid of motorized fans. Roof vents enhance the overall comfort of the house by providing escape hatches for hot, stale, moist air, which can reach temperatures of 150 degrees in summer.

We want your home to be comfortable, so ask your Dallas roofing contractor about what options you have to protect your home as well cool it. Roof vents could be the key to your perfect temperature while they circulate the air in your home.

In winter, you need to dump that hot air before it condenses, which can lead to rot and mold. Warm air trapped in the attic during winter also may cause rapid melting of snow, which then refreezes as ice dams—mini glaciers that can push up shingles and peel off gutters and soffits.

The rule of thumb for proper attic ventilation calls for a minimum of 1 square foot of vent area (openings) for every 300 square feet of attic floor space. If you have asphalt shingles, you must have some kind of attic ventilation or you’ll risk voiding the warranty.

Getting rid of hot air is just part of the equation. You also need intake vents, which are usually soffit (or under-eave) vents. Made of aluminum or vinyl, they contain tiny perforations or slits for airflow, and are available as either narrow strips that butt together, or as smaller, wider vents that fit between roof joists.

Passive Roof Vents for Home Cooling | Roof Vent Benefits | HouseLogic


What to do this Memorial Day weekend around the San Antonio area

If you are staying with us at Dwelling Suites over this Memorial Day weekend you don’t have to even leave the fully-furnished suite. It has everything you would ever need for your extended stay with us. Of course with all of the fun activities happening in and around San Antonio you just might want to, and we don’t blame you. Here are just a few of the awesome activities going on this weekend! to do this Memorial Day weekend around the San Antonio area SAN ANTONIO – There are several fun events taking place this Memorial Day weekend across the San Antonio area. Here’s a list of some ways to enjoy the holiday.

Friday only:

The Eli Young Band will perform Friday night at 9 p.m. John T. Floore Country Store. Shane Smith & The Saints and John Baumann open. Click here for more information.

Friday and Saturday only:

Fiesta Del Noche Rio is held Friday and Saturday nights at the Arneson River Theatre in La Villita. The summer outdoor performance on the River Walk features songs and dances of Mexico, Spain, Argentina and Texas. Click here for more information.

Through holiday weekend:

The Memorial Day Artisan River Walk Show will take place Friday through Monday along the San Antonio River Walk. Vendors display and sell handmade merchandise. Click here for more information.

Historic Market Square will host a three day party for Memorial Day weekend. The weekend will feature live music, food booths and kids activities. There’s never a cover charge at Market Square.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas is open for Memorial Day weekend. The park features new rides this year that include the Fireball and Hurricane Force 5. Click here for more information.

SeaWorld San Antonio recently debuted its newly renovated Discovery Point attraction. Discovery Point is the only place in Texas where you can swim with dolphins. Guests can also choose to swim alongside sea lions or beluga whales. Click here for more information.

Splashtown is offering Free Admission to all Military & First Responders during Memorial Day weekend (Saturday, May 28 – Monday, May 30). All spouses and dependent children are eligible for 1/2 price general admission before 4 p.m.. Appropriate Military or Government ID’s must be presented. Click here for more information.

Morgan’s Wonderland will be open throughout the weekend, but have special entertainment on Monday in the park including Elisabeth Giminiani singing the Star Spangled Banner, Andrea’s Flying Canines, Hartman’s House puppet show and more. Click here for more information.


How are you going to spend Memorial Day?

In Colorado, it’s anyone’s guess what the weather will be for Memorial Day. It might be sunny, it might be rainy, and it might even be snowy. Colorado weather is just hard to predict. The temperature in your house shouldn’t be though. You can trust Pasterkamp Heating and Air Conditioning to repair or replace your HVAC system and keep your home just the way you want it, no matter what the weather does. weather: Here’s what you can expect for Memorial Day weekend in Colorado – Denver7 DENVER — The time for snowstorms and blizzards may be over in Colorado, which means severe weather in the form of hail, thunder and tornadoes is now upon us.

If you’re making plans for Memorial Day weekend, you may want to take into account that Friday is expected to be our biggest severe weather threat, according to First Alert Weather Chief Meteorologist Mike Nelson.  Those living in the northeast corner of the state will experience the most severe weather Friday afternoon, Nelson said. Expect golf ball size hail and frequent lightning from around 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

For the Denver metro area, we’ll see thunderstorms and the possibility of hail 1-inch in diameter at around 2 o’clock Friday as well.

Saturday brings in a cold and rainy day with highs expected to be in the upper 50s. Sunday, the weather will improve with a high of 70 degrees and mostly sunny skies.

For Memorial Day, you’re in for a treat — you can expect mostly sunny skies with a high of 72.