Crossword Puzzle | immersionFX Games
Jan28

Crossword Puzzle | immersionFX Games

Crossword Fun may belong to an emerging gaming category dubbed ‘ wellness gaming ‘. Wellness gaming is a very specific genre that is aimed at sharpening the mind and body. It is well-known, for example, that a crossword puzzle can help an elderly mind stay sharp.

What is also interesting is that the ‘wellness gaming’ industry is on the verge of a serious boom. Projected revenue by 2015 is $2 billion.

Here are some excerpts from an article written by Larry Kemp, at The Real Story:

More and more people are having senior moments. As the population slowly ages, there becomes room for these games that focus on brain stimulation. A lotof women don’t play games because they don’t want to waste their time. However, 85% of wellness gamers are women. These gamesresolvetheir guilt towards gaming. It becomes more than just a game, it becomes a lifestyle brand.

So what’s the future like? You can bet on more money being poured into wellness and fitness gaming. Keep your eyes peeled for these games to become a lot more mainstream, and appealing to big audiences.

The new version of Crossword Fun is here, fresh and hot, and promises a lot of fun, especially to movie buffs!

Following the popularity of the application, both on the hosted website and on Facebook, we have added an interesting new feature to its functionality: the inclusion of photos. What this practically means is that word definitions are now paired with a relative headshot picture that helps the crossword participant to recognize the person that the definition refers to.

To put this to work, a new category came to play: Movie Actors. Using the popular imdb.com as a source, the application selects trivia information and a photograph of an actor from a selection of over 1,500 actors and actresses and constructs the crossword definition, expecting from the player to identify the person and fill the puzzle with his/her surname. The outcome is very exciting as you can see from the screenshot below:

As always, crossword sources are automatically selected from online crawlers and the puzzler that is generated in every visit is never the same with the one before. Every refresh to the page will take you to a new puzzle to solve, so don’t hesitate, go and test your Movie Trivia knowledge and put your name up there in the Hall of Fame.

As for ourselves, we’re really excited with this new feature and are already planning some new categories to put into use. The possibilities are endless, so stay tuned!

See below the most important key-points to help you play the game:

A new crossword puzzle is automatically generated every time you refresh the page.

When the introduction is over, you are requested to enter a name.

  • If you have played the game at least once, the name you have used is already in there for you, so it is recommended that you keep your used name so that the Hall of Fame statistics will remain consistent.
  • If you are a first-time player, you should enter a name before proceeding. Make it big and as unique as possible so that it will be distinct on the Hall of Fame. If you have cookies disabled, the system will not remember the name for you, so try to remember the name you used when prompted again in a future attempt.

Click on ‘ OK, Move on ‘.

In the Options page, you should select the puzzle Category that you wish to auto-generate a crossword for (default is: Word Definitions) and then you may (or may not) toggle some options on/off. These are:

  • Skill level: Novice (upon finishing typing a word entirely, the word is highlited in red – false input – or black – correct input).
  • Skill level: Expert (No highliting of words or letters while typing.User has no indication whatsoever of the corectness of the word typed).
  • Complexity: Lite (Lite complexity means that at most 20 words are included in the generated crossword).
  • Complexity: Complex (a complex crossword contains at most 30 words to be discovered).

After making the desired choices, click on ‘ To the Game! ‘.

Have been tinkering with the Facebook Developer API for over two days to manage to include the Crossword Fun game to their Application Directory. Then, it was necessary to wait for another two days for their system to be updated. I mean, that a simple cron job that should run once a day, needs a whole lot more. Four days in total… Now, that is a lot of wasted time for such a simple task!

I must say that Facebook developers’ experience with the API is as frustrating as Facebook end-users’ experience is (I never liked Facebook as a user, I find it unfriendly to say the least). But even as a developer who wishes to roll out an application to Facebook, you get more of the same sh*t; there is a complete lack of any formal documentation and hardly any testing to the new features that come out. Developers are easily lost and, what should be an easy task, becomes a daunting task! Many things seem to be broken since deployment.

Anyway, after a lot of effort I managed to port the Flash application to Facebook (just a Facebook iframe which hosts the Crossword SWF file) but it still requires some more visitors before being accepted. So, I’d appreciate your click on my link (requires login in to your Facebook account) over here:

http://apps.facebook.com/crossword-fun /

All participations are highly appreciated. Cheers.

Crossword Fun status update:

  • we’ve given a new look & feel to the puzzle game’s website,
  • a major bug that messed up the correspondence between words and their definitions is now fixed,
  • the website now has a Hall of Fame.

More specifically, you can now visit the Hall of Fame page, select the Crossword Category that interests you and see the best all-time scores, the users that achieved them and the time taken.

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Health and Nutrition Awareness for Kids
Jan20

Health and Nutrition Awareness for Kids

Healthy Kids Resource Guide

Being healthy is extremely important to maintain a well balanced self. But sometimes we forget to make those healthy choices when we are traveling or busy! Sometimes it is just easier to grab fast food because it’s quick and you don’t need to leave your car. But there are plenty of other healthy choices that you can be making. So here is a little bit of advice…

First off, educating kids about good nutrition from an early age helps them create and maintain a well balanced, healthy life. You too, can be reminded of the healthy choices that you should be making as well as you teach. Teaching kids about nutrition at an early age also helps minimize the health concerns that are associated with a poor diet. Making these smart healthy choices everyday is very important to stay well, healthy, and happy!

Games & Activities

  • Breakfast Detective – A fun, beginner’s game to food matching. Read the clues and then drag and drop the right foods into the respective circles.
  • Quintricious! – A fun game where you must help Little D match foods into the same food group.
  • Memory Food Detective – A fun matching memory game where you must match the food with the right food group.
  • Food Group Frenzy – Sort the falling foods into the correct food groups before they hit the ground.
  • Nutrition Cafe – Pacific Science Center’s page full nutrition oriented games.
  • Food Champs – A fun children’s game website that provides information on fruits and vegetables.
  • Dining Decisions – A fun game where you need to make healthy food choices.
  • MyPlate Match Game – A great matching game that tests your knowledge of the 5 food groups.
  • Nutrition For Kids – Fun learning activities and puzzles for kids.
  • DLTK Kids Nutrition Activities – A page full of nutrition activities and crafts for kids.
  • Jump Bunch – This page provides many different fun fitness games for kids to play.

Webquests

  • Nutrition Webquest – This webquest will teach you about nutrients, the food pyramid, and dietary guidelines.
  • Healthy Eating Webquest – This fun webquest you’ll be researching junk food and preparing a brochure to educate on what junk food contains. You will also create a prevention campaign that’ll influence kids to make healthier choices in the food they eat.
  • Fabulous Five Nutrition Webquest – In this webquest, you’ll be researching the food groups.
  • Nutrition Exploration – This webquest is designed for 4th graders. In this webquest you are to gather information about the food and place them in the appropriate food group.
  • Sean’s Nutrition Webquest – Help Jethro figure out why he has a stomache ache and is constantly feeling tired.
  • Help Uncle Rupert Get Healthy – In this webquest you will be helping your Uncle Rubert, who is severely overweight, change his lifestyle.
  • Fast Food Webquest – In this webquest you are to find information about the nutritional content of typical fast food products.
  • Healthy Kids – This webquest provides tests on nutrition and fitness.
  • Kids and Fitness Webquest – In this webquest, the task is to find your ideal weight, how to eat properly, and fit in exercise into your daily life.

Printables

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All-Inclusive Program

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Rooms and Suites

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Wellness Coaching for Brain Health and Fitness

We just received this quote of how a major health system is using our Brain Fitness Market Report:

‘At Sutter Health Partners we recognize the importance of brain health and how much the health of the brain and the body are interdependent. The market report helped us further target our coaching efforts to integrate brain fitness and upgrade our entire coaching platform. It is easy to read and gives you the industry perspective in a thorough yet concise manner. I highly recommend it!’

– Margaret Sabin, CEO of Sutter Health Partners and VP, New Product Development, at Sutter Health.

You may wonder, ‘what is the link between wellness coaching and brain fitness’?

In practice, good health and wellness coaches provide excellent brain health advice, given that the areas they focus on (nutrition, physical exercise, stress management) do play an important role in maintaining our brains in top shape.

Additionally, pioneers such as Sutter Health Partners are adding a Brain ‘lens’ to their work. How?

First, by better understanding and explaining the brain benefits of what they already do, in order to provide additional motivation to stick with healthy behaviors. For example, most people will be able to recite multiple benefits of moderate cardiovascular exercise. But how many know that it can also contribute to neurogenesis -the creation of new neurons – in adult brains?

Second, by starting to offer brain fitness guidelines to clients who want too go beyond crossword puzzles and sudoku.

I had a great training session with a number of Sutter Health coaches last week – let me summarize some of the main points we covered.

What is Brain Fitness?

The general state of feeling alert, in control, productive, especially as the result of mental and physical exercise and proper nutrition. Having the mental abilities required to function in society, in our occupations, in our communities. It is not about ‘IQ’. It is about skills such as attention, memory, emotional self-regulation, planning, managing distractions…

Can Brain Fitness be measured today?

Yes, but, today, only by neuropsychologists and medical professionals. We expect to see cheaper and widely available assessments (perhaps via a 30-40 minute set of online assessments) over the next few years, thanks to the work underway to make quality computer-based assessments available to a growing number of clinicians, insurance companies, sports teams and the military.

What is the research background that explains the emergence of the brain fitness field?

1- New paradigm in brain research: today it is clear that the brain retains a lifelong capacity to change responding to experience (neuroplasticity), paving the way for lifestyle-based interventions.
2- Neuroimaging tools such as fMRI enable, for the first time i history, the scientific exploration of the live brain.
3- The brain has a core set of brain functions-or ‘mental muscles’. Our vocabulary must expand beyond ‘memory’ and ‘intelligence’ if we are to help move ‘Use It or Lose It’ from theory to practice.
4. Some brain functions improve as we age – others typically decline. And there is major variability among groups of individuals.
5- The four ‘pillars’ of brain health: balanced nutrition, physical exercise, stress management and brain exercise.
6- Cross-training the brain builds up the Brain Reserve.
7. Well-directed mental exercise (meditation, cognitive therapy, software-based programs) can be effective to train specific skills and provide needed mental stimulation.
8. Cognitive assessments will become critical to identify bottlenecks and measure progress.
9. The earlier we start, the better. But it is never too late to start.
10. This is still an emerging field: much more research needs to be done.

One of the top 10 predictions on the brain fitness/ brain training market we included in our our Brain Fitness Market Report said that:

’10. Brain training will be added to corporate wellness and leadership initiatives. Large employers with existing corporate wellness and leadership programs will introduce brain fitness specific programs aimed not only at improved health outcomes but also at increased productivity and cognitive performance in the workplace.’

Coaches will play a major role in helping clients navigate this field, as initiatives such as Sutter Health’s indicate. Stay tuned!

Categories: Health & Wellness, Technology

Tags: adult-brains, attention, brain, brain-assessments, brain-benefits, brain-fitness-market, brain-health-advice, brain-reserve, brain-training-market, brains, cardiovascular, coaches, cognitive-assessments, cognitive-performance, cognitive-therapy, corporate-wellness, crossword-puzzles, emotional-self-regulation, health-system, improve-memory, insurance, intelligence, Leadership, lifetsyle, managing-distractions, meditation, mental-abilities, mental-stimulation, military, Neurogenesis, neuroplasticity, neuropsychologists, Neurosoftware, new-neurons, Nutrition, Physical-Exercise, planning, sports-teams, stress-management, Sudoku, Sutter-Health, Sutter-Health-Partners, wellness-coaches, wellness-coaching, workplace

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Which Brain Exercises Improve Memory Best? | Reader’s Digest

Can a crossword puzzle a day keep dementia away?

Should I take supplements touted to ‘support brain health’?

If I skip the booze, do I save brain cells?

Should I play video games that claim to be ‘brain-boosting’?

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Crossword Puzzles May Be Good for the Brain, but Scientists Aren’t Sure Why
Jun04

Crossword Puzzles May Be Good for the Brain, but Scientists Aren’t Sure Why

Doing crossword puzzles, reading, writing and engaging in other mentally challenging activities appears to be good for the brain and may help to ward off Alzheimer’s, a new study shows. But any benefits from such activities do not appear to be due to limiting the brain changes typically associated with the disease.

Physical activities like bike riding, dancing and gardening may likewise have benefits for the brain and may also help to ward off Alzheimer’s, though they do not appear to stem the brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s, this study found.

‘While a lifelong history of physical and mental activity may support better memory and thinking performance, this relationship may possibly be separate from any protection against the markers of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain,’ said study author Dr. Keith A. Johnson of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

For the study, researchers recruited 186 older men and women, average age 74, who were part of the ongoing Harvard Aging Brain Study. All were free of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia or serious memory problems.

The study participants completed a questionnaire that asked about common activities like reading, writing, going to the library, doing crossword puzzles and other mentally challenging activities. Participants were asked to estimate how often they engaged in such activities at various points throughout their lives – at age 6, 12, 18, 40 and as seniors.

Participants were also asked about physical activity over the previous two weeks, including activities such as walking, gardening or yard work, calisthenics or general exercise, bicycle riding, swimming or water exercise, and dancing. They also wore a pedometer to assess their activity during the previous week.

In addition, all were given brain scans to assess levels of beta-amyloid, a protein that in its toxic form builds up in the brain of those with Alzheimer’s disease. Beta-amyloid accumulation can begin decades before the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms, though an estimated 25 to 50 percent of older people have evidence of beta-amyloid build-up without developing serious memory or thinking problems.

Sophisticated brain scans also assessed whether there was shrinkage of the hippocampus, a brain region critical for memory that is among the first regions affected by Alzheimer’s. They were also given tests of memory and thinking skills.

The researchers found that participants who tended to take part in stimulating cognitive activities like reading or doing crossword puzzles throughout their lives had significantly higher IQ’s and more robust memory and thinking skills than those who engaged in such activities infrequently. But there was no relationship between frequent mental or physical activity and any of the markers of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain. The findings appeared in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

‘This suggests that sustaining a lifetime of intellectual engagement may help preserve cognitive function into old age,’ said Dr. Johnson. ‘Our findings should not discourage people from engaging in physically and mentally stimulating activities, as they have been shown in numerous studies to generally offer many brain benefits.’ In other words, one of the conclusions that can be drawn from this study is that mentally and physically challenging activities might prevent or delay dementia in older people who have already developed some of the brain changes seen in Alzheimer’s disease.

By ALZinfo.org, The Alzheimer’s Information Site, reviewed by William J. Netzer, Ph.D., Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation at The Rockefeller University.

Source: Christopher M. Gidicsin, BA, Jacqueline E. Maye, MS Joseph J. Locascio, PhD, et al: ‘Cognitive activity relates to cognitive performance but not to Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers.’ Neurology Volume 85, pages 1-8, June 10, 2015.

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Staying Active in Assisted Living | Brookdale
Apr19

Staying Active in Assisted Living | Brookdale

Staying physically active is important any age, but for seniors the benefits of staying active can far outweigh any of the negatives. It has been proven that by staying physically active, seniors can actually increase their independence and longevity. It is our belief that health and wellness can be achieved at any age.

When living alone, it is common for seniors to spend hours of their day just sitting. Whether they are watching television, talking on the phone, reading a book or doing a crossword puzzle, they are sitting idle most of their day. At Brookdale Assisted Living facilities, residents have a variety of amenities and activities to take advantage of, keeping them active and mobile.

Visiting the café to have coffee with friends, walking through the spacious common areas or taking a stroll through one of our outstanding gift shops will keep seniors moving. Plus, our assisted living facilities feature innovative fitness and wellness centers to encourage seniors to take part in physical activity on a daily basis.

Innovative Senior Care

Brookdale’s Personalized Assisted Living facilities provide standard programs and lifestyle opportunities designed to encourage and enable each resident to optimize and enjoy his/her daily life. Our Care3 Wellness program helps minimize the effects of aging by providing treatments and activities that encourage seniors to retain functional independence while improving their overall health and wellness.

There are three distinct segments that comprise the Care3 Wellness Program are:

By targeting these three areas of health and wellness, seniors in assisted living can have the potential for better health, regardless of their abilities. Through individualized care and attention from nurses and therapists, seniors can develop plans that are designed to target their specific needs.

At Brookdale Senior Living, residents have access to wellness and fitness centers that allow seniors to stay active at their own pace, a swimming pool and a variety of structured activities that can improve flexibility, stamina and most importantly, overall health and wellness.

Find out more about the Care3 Wellness program offered through Brookdale Assisted Living and find a community near you to learn about all our assisted living facilities have to offer.

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