2 Mar

Live Music Is Scientifically Proven To Help Universally Lower Stress Levels

first_imgA scientific study published in Public Health in 2016 shows clear-cut evidence for the benefit of attending live music events. The groundbreaking test comes in at the biological level, as scientists measured levels of cortisol and cortisone both before and after a concert.Cortisol is a hormone factor, produced under conditions of psychological stress. By measuring saliva samples before and after a specific concert, the entirety of the 117 participants showed major reductions in cortisol levels after the fact.While previous studies had shown similar results, this was the first conducted in a natural concert setting, as opposed to a laboratory. The results showed that cortisol levels were reduced in participants of all ages.“These results are in line with 22 previous studies showing that listening to music in the controlled setting of either a laboratory or a hospital can reduce cortisol levels,” said one researcher in an interview with The Telegraph. “It is of note that none of these biological changes were associated with age, musical experience or familiarity with the music being performed. This suggests there is a universal response to concert attendance among audience members.”The one drawback, however, is that the music selection was limited to classical. Further research would be needed to see if other genres show similar conclusions. Still, as lead researcher Daisy Fancourt said, “This is the first preliminary evidence that attending a cultural event can have an impact on endocrine activity.”So, keep on living for live music!last_img read more

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14 Jan

Rubber Expert Leaves Liberia with more Value for Farmers

first_imgWith the global price of natural rubber having declined more than half its normal rate over the past year, literally crippling the value of one of Liberia’s chief economic staples, the intervention of Dr. LMK Tillekeratne, a well-known international rubber expert hired by GROW-Liberia, may not have been more timely. Dr. Tillekeratne was contracted by GROW-Liberia in April to provide technical assistance to introduce Ribbed Smoked Sheets (RSS), a value-added processed form of rubber. He spent the last two months preparing training manuals, and training rubber farmers in the production of quality RSS as well as improved exploitation of latex, and farm management. RSS are coagulated (gooey, viscous) rubber sheets processed from fresh latex. Different grades of RSS can be used for manufacture of products for automobile tyres or general products on the low end, and medical, pharmaceutical and engineering on the high end. While in the country, he trained and provided knowledge and information, alternative sources of revenue or sales channels for rubber as well as other channels that connect smaller farmers to firestone or to other rubber-related companies.During a farewell ceremony held in his honor yesterday, Dr. Tillekeratne provided an exit debriefing for all interested stakeholders about his findings, observations and activities on rubber farming in Liberia.While here, Dr. Tillekeratne met with a broad representation of rubber sector stakeholders, including the government, banks, the Rubber Planters Association of Liberia (RPAL), Business Cluster Developers (anchor businesses) and smallholder rubber farmers.On June 22-26, he conducted a major RSS production training event at the Learning Center at Bright Farm in Kakata. Approximately 75 rubber farmers and stakeholders attended the five days event. The training highlighted the collection of latex and the production of RSS, mixing, bulking, drying, smoking and packaging. The training will be replicated in the future at two other Learning Centers in Bomi and Bong counties.For his part, Stanford Peabody, Portfolio Manager of Grow Liberia thanked Dr. Tillekeratne for the opportunity and said that the debriefing was another form of awareness on RSS for farmers.GROW is a private sector development initiative operating in Liberia to promote pro-poor economic growth and stability through partnerships with Government and private companies. The programme is a 5-year Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)-funded market development initiative that employs the ‘Making Markets Work for the Poor’ (M4P) approaches. In addition to promoting the increased profitability of smallholder farm operations, the programme seeks to contribute to sustainable growth and stability, with a particular emphasis on women and youth and the environment.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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