Helping You Define Your Lifestyle

Underground Shoring – How Smugglers Are Setting the Standard

A lot of construction companies have a need for underground shoring rental. When they look for it, they usually want the most technologically advanced tools, searching for state of the art. State of the art, however, is only available through companies with a lot of resources, and they want to see a significant return for that as well. Furthermore, these tools have to meet various governmental regulations as well. None of those issues are of concern to smugglers, however, who seem to be able to get things done without any fancy equipment.

A Smugglers’ Paradise

The border between the US and Mexico is heavily guarded. Yet, for all these efforts and even the current president’s promise to build a wall, a wealth of illegal traffic still makes its way through. Clearly, no wall would be able to stop people anyway, since most simply tunnel underneath the border.

The U.S. Customs and Border agents have noted that there has been a rise in the number of tunnels. In fact, in 2009 alone, they found 26, a rise of 60% since 2008. Then, between 2006 and 2010, there were some 51 individual tunnels uncovered between Sonora, Mexico, and the town of Nogales, AZ, a rate of around one tunnel for each month. Some of those were primitive and dug by hand, but others were technological marvels, with ventilation hoses and electric cables! Any tunnels found have been sealed, of course, but cartels seem to simply open them back up.

What Can We Learn from Smugglers?

Construction and shoring companies have seen that there are just two things needed in any tunnel, regardless of who creates it:

  1. A way to transport materials and people in an efficient way. This means it should be about 7 feet tall, so people don’t have to stoop. It should also have a smooth and frim floor to make moving materials easier.
  2. A way to prevent cave-ins through shoring. This is for the safety of those going through the tunnels and to make sure no expenses are wasted on having to re-dig an area that has collapsed. And this is what underground shoring materials are needed for.

In a legitimate tunnel project, temporary access is often required. In this case, shoring equipment can be rented, because it ensures that tunneling operations can run efficiently and smoothly. By renting, they ensure that they only use equipment as and when it is needed, rather than having to invest in anything that they only use occasionally.

Even if tunneling is a regular requirement, renting shoring equipment is usually preferred. This is because it has a number of financial advantages, including the fact that the company who rents it does not have to pay for things such as service, maintenance, repairs, and replacements. All those things are included in the price. What we can learn from smugglers, however, is that having the latest technological tools available is not so important. What matters more is that it is fit for purpose.

How to Use Poker as a Mindfulness Practice

Most common mindfulness practices are fundamentally simple. Things like deep breathing, counted breaths, and short breaks and walks can help to calm us, clear our minds, and generate simultaneous states of relaxation and awareness. As much purpose as these small, simple practices have though, there are also some more involved activities that can assist with the development of greater mindfulness. And it may surprise some to learn that the game of poker is among them.

Gaming and Meditation

It is first important to understand that a link has been established between gaming and meditation in general. For a long time there were a lot of misconceptions about gaming as an active, almost violent practice meant solely for young people. But perceptions have changed over time. We now understand that people in all age groups play games of all kinds, and we further accept that a lot of these games have meditative qualities. Gamer testaments and a few scientific studies alike have indicated that the right game can have a soothing effect on one’s mental state.

This is the case with poker as well. A passion for many around the world, it’s a unique game that doesn’t necessarily fall under the umbrella of traditional “gaming” as we tend to think of the term. It is nonetheless similar with regard to mindfulness, however. Approached with intention, it can be a calming, almost meditative hobby for players.

Mental and Emotional Calm

When considering the game of poker specifically, one tends to think first of strategy, luck, and mathematics. In some sense, these are the building blocks of any given game of poker, and it will of course be important for any aspiring player to learn how they all factor in. However, what really helps successful players to win at poker is a sound mindset. The manifestation of a sound overall poker game requires that players learn to accept defeat and to avoid getting too high from a win. It demands reasonable approaches to betting and competition, clear-eyed social interaction, and the ability to operate without ego.

Add those factors up, and what success in poker really demands is mental and emotional calm. Players need skill and strategy to be sure, but above all else they need to be able to clear their minds of various pressures and shut out hasty impulses. This in and of itself is nearly a form of meditation, and certainly serves as a sort of training for mindfulness practice.

Focused Meditation

Beyond helping players to establish a general sense of mental and emotional calm, poker also leads to an ability to focus that, in its own way, is meditative. Generally, a focused meditation is described as the practice of focusing on something intently as a way of staying in the present moment and slowing down inner dialogue. It more or less means zeroing in on one subject to the exclusion of all else for the purpose of clearing one’s head — which is pretty much exactly what one has to do in poker! Even the slightest distraction can be a problem, and while the game demands a lot of attention it still makes for such narrow focus that one can clear one’s mind in a useful and soothing way.

Even given all of these benefits, poker does not comprise an entire mindfulness or meditation routine. For those interested in working on these aspects of personal wellness though, it’s always good to have one more option! Some will find this simple, popular card game to be legitimately beneficial.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like our piece on how to boost your energy, especially useful as we enter a new year and search for fresh motivations!

Earfree Nitebuds: For Better Sleep

Earfree Nitebuds, the two-in-one speaker and pillow that plays calming music, improving the quality of your sleep, is launching on Indiegogo.

The idea for the Nitebuds sleep pillow came from people who used to sleep with earphones in. Many of us who have trouble sleeping at night use earphones to listen to calming sleep music, but sleeping with earphones in is just too uncomfortable. Using earphones while you sleep can cause pain and inflammation in the ear; plus, earphones tend to fall out in the middle of the night. But the adverse effects of earphones on ear health is undoubtedly the most critical of these issues.

Nitebuds puts music IN the pillow to solve the problems caused by conventional earbuds. All you have to do is lay your head down on the pillow to be serenated with lovely music. There’s no earbuds involved – so you can roll around in bed all you like without having to worry about damage to your ears or earbuds falling out.

Nitebuds are simple to use. Just place the speakers in the special sleep-aid pillow, then use Bluetooth to pair your smartphone and begin your music therapy. Once your music is playing, Nitebuds’ crater-shaped design enhances the acoustics, making you feel like you’re listening in on a concert hall performance. This design also prevents the sound from leaking out, giving you the same quality of sound at a 30% lower volume, so as not to bother whoever’s sleeping next to you.

The Nitebuds app also provides free ASMR music and ambience, soothing the brain and easing any anxiety. This white noise works has great benefits on mental health and attentiveness, making the sleep music from the Nitebuds app particularly effective at inducing a natural sleep.

Nitebuds uses 3D mesh material for full, fluffy comfort. The mesh also helps the music play through the pillow without getting muffled, plus high-quality microfiber cotton is also used to give the perfect amount of depth and coziness. The microfiber cotton is also a renewable, biodegradable material, which means Nitebuds is eco-friendly, too.

Even though Nitebuds is electronic, the speaker and pillow are fully separable, meaning the pillow can be washed without issue. If you want, you can even use the pillow by itself without the speakers, or even place other items inside the pillow to help you sleep.

For instance, if you find yourself sweating a lot in those hot summer nights, you can place ice-packs in the pillow to help cool off. Or, when you’re stressed out and in the mood for aromatherapy, the CYPRESS insert can be used for some phytoncide healing.

Also, if you have a preference for a specific pillow height, just use the COTTON insert to adjust the pillow’s height to your preference.

You can back Earfree Nitebuds – the high-tech pillow that serenades you to sleep – by finding their campaign on Indiegogo.