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Archive for July 2, 2013

NoteSuite could be the all-in-one iOS productivity app that Kills Evernote


If there’s one category in the App Store that could benefit from some consolidation, it would have to be productivity. I mean, isn’t it pretty counter productive to have a folder full of apps that all must work together anytime you want to get something done? The App Store carries some good options for taking notes, marking up PDFs, setting reminders, drawing, etc., but precious few that make a serious attempt at being an all-in-one solution. That’s why today we’re taking a look at NoteSuite NoteSuite -, which just might be an Evernote-killer and then some.


We’ll reserve any outright praise for NoteSuite until we can spend some time inside the iPad/Mac app (no iPhone version yet), but its feature set impresses at first glance. NoteSuite features a variety of typed and handwritten notes, to do lists, PDF viewer and annotations, Office and iWork files conversion to PDFs, web clippings, document search, and more! By combining everything from audio notes to outlining in a package that costs just a few bucks, NoteSuite is an app that could do away with that bloated productivity folder—just as long as it works as promised.

To that end, I like its chances, and that’s mainly because of its emphasis on the data. Sure, you can make whatever notes you want in whatever format, but the devs behind NoteSuite also want to make sure you can find those notes later. They promise that the search tools inside NoteSuite are as robust as possible, allowing for linking between folders and files, as well as making sure that searching fits right into the workflow.

As with any app that wants to become a part of your everyday processes, NoteSuite will have to prove itself over time, but we think there are plenty of reasons to give it some serious consideration. Need to see a little more?

Check out the video below.

via NoteSuite could be the all-in-one iOS productivity app that Kills Evernote | App Chronicles.

Grilled Spareribs with Cherry Cola Glaze


  • 4 12-ounce cans cherry cola (flat)
  • 2 cups cherry jam or preserves
  • 2/3 cup Dijon mustard with horseradish
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons malt vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
  • 7 1/4 to 7 1/2 pounds well-trimmed pork spareribs


  • Boil cherry cola in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 45 minutes. Stir in next 5 ingredients. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until mixture is reduced to 2 1/2 cups, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Transfer glaze to large bowl. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature before using.
  • Position racks in top and bottom thirds of oven and preheat to 325°F. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Wrap each rib rack tightly in foil, enclosing completely. Divide foil packets between 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake until ribs are very tender, switching positions of baking sheets halfway through baking, about 2 hours total. Cool ribs slightly in foil. Pour off any fat from foil packets. DO AHEAD Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep covered in foil packets and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before continuing.
  • Prepare barbecue (medium-low heat). Cut each rib rack between bones into individual ribs. Set aside 1 cup glaze. Add ribs to bowl with remaining glaze and toss to coat. Grill ribs until brown and glazed, turning to prevent burning, about 5 minutes total. Serve, passing reserved glaze separately.

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BBC News – How the NHS could learn from coffee shops

Coffee shops may not be a conventional model for NHS care.

But in this week’s Scrubbing Up, Dr Johnny Marshall – a GP and director of policy at the NHS Confederation, says their customer care could be an example worth following.

Alongside the menu of lattes, frappes and plain old filtered brew, a sign in my local coffee shop informs customers that if the drink you receive isn’t perfect, the barista will make it again for you free of charge.

The one time I did politely complain, my lukewarm coffee was replaced with a piping hot one in a flash. I didn’t have to make a fuss and left as a very satisfied customer.

My experience clearly demonstrated to me two things: the shop values customer satisfaction above all else, and that it is so sure it delivers a high quality customer experience, it is happy to put its money where its mouth is.

Complain more

So could GP surgeries do the same?

Now I’m not suggesting that your GP amends his or her clinical opinion until it fits with what you would prefer to hear – that wouldn’t serve anybody well.

But publicly and permanently showing that feedback is welcomed on any and every aspect of the patient’s experience is something I think the NHS should do much more of.

In fact, I think we should be encouraging patients to complain much more.

In my opinion, GPs offer patients the chance to make far more important decisions about their lives than whether to buy a biscuit to accompany their coffee.”

Patients who raise concerns are a very good thing – they empower themselves, they improve the care they receive, and they drive up standards of clinical care and patient experience across the service.

But how do patients know what to complain about?

Everyone knows if they’ve spent too long trying to get through by phone to their local surgery, or if they are spoken to by a member of practice staff in an impolite or patronising way.

Obviously neither is acceptable, and patients should feel able to say so and to have the problem looked into.

Customer experience

But when it comes to clinical advice and treatment, how do patients know what the optimal standard of care looks, sounds and feels like?

The NHS Constitution sets out what patients can expect from their NHS as a minimum, including maximum waiting times and basic rights. But if we only focus on the standards below which care or services must not fall, we are not aiming high enough.

We should start describing to patients what high quality care looks like, and encouraging them to question us if they get less than this.

It demands the best of us – which is what our patients deserve.

Involving patients in choices about their care is key

We can start by ensuring our patients better understand the full range of clinical options available to them.

When you enter a branch of Starbucks or other high-street chain, you can order a coffee in about two dozen different formats, choosing everything from the type of coffee bean to the amount of foam you want to sip it through.

Customers are likely – subconsciously, maybe – to make a choice based on a host of factors, perhaps taking account of the time of day they are making a purchase, and whether they’ve got time to savour it or are “on the hoof”, as well as personal taste.

For a patient with a condition like stable angina, there are a wide range of possible treatments, from relaxation techniques, through tablets and sprays to stents or a bypass.

During the initial assessment it is possible to determine those people for whom treatment is life prolonging (the minority) and those people for whom it is symptom relieving (the majority).

‘Empower patients’

To make his or her “customer experience” exceptional, each patient needs to understand the full range of possibilities, including their advantages and their risks, and then to receive support to help them decide the best option for their circumstances.

GPs offer patients the chance to make far more important decisions about their lives than whether to buy a biscuit to accompany their coffee”

This requires GPs and other healthcare professionals to better understand what the patient wants, in the same way that salespeople seek to understand what you are looking for from a new outfit, an electronic device or a present for a loved one.

Then they can best assist you in making an informed decision about the options available to you to achieve what you really want.

Sales-people and retail designers know the importance of creating an environment in which customers feel able to make decisions regarding their purchases.

In my opinion, GPs offer patients the chance to make far more important decisions about their lives than whether to buy a biscuit to accompany their coffee.

It is time for us to empower patients like the retail industry does, put them in control and encourage them to complain if we don’t get it right, so we’ve got a chance to put things straight immediately.

Patients will benefit, the health service will benefit and so will the reputation of GPs.

via BBC News – How the NHS could learn from coffee shops.

BBC News – Salvation Army plan to help addicts

Experienced drug and alcohol workers will be based in three towns in central Scotland

A five-year plan to help tackle drug and alcohol misuse has been unveiled by the Salvation Army.

The charity is to expand its social work to help people achieve long-term recovery from addiction.

It will use a system known as the Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA), which has already proved successful in New Zealand.

Drug and alcohol workers will be placed in three “key” towns – Greenock, Stirling and Falkirk.

CRA is a holistic method which uses the community to encourage a change in a person’s drinking habits or drug use.

Continue reading the main story

We are concerned about the social and health effects alcohol is having on families and on the fabric of society in Scotland”

Lt Col Ian Barr

Salvation Army

A personal treatment plan to help improve behavioural skills and employment skills, as well as counselling, will be given to participants in the programme.

Lt Col Ian Barr, from The Salvation Army said: “We are concerned about the social and health effects alcohol is having on families and on the fabric of society in Scotland.

“Today’s announcement confirms our commitment to social services in Scotland and to the people we serve”.

Research opportunites

He added: “We have drawn together a team with a proven track record in recovery, which will make an impact on the lives of many”.

At least one more hub is to be opened across Scotland, as well as a centre of excellence, to provide further training and research opportunities.

Stirling University is also match-funding a researcher with the charity, to assess the needs of people who require support from the programme.

The Salvation Army has committed £250,000 towards the early stages of the programme and made the announcement in Stirling on its anniversary, also known as Founders Day.

via BBC News – Salvation Army plan to help addicts.

BBC News – Lung cancer warning: ‘Don’t ignore persistent cough’

The campaign is aimed at the over-50s

Anyone with a cough that has lasted for three weeks or more should see a doctor, according to a campaign to reduce deaths from lung cancer.

England’s biggest cancer killer, it claims 28,000 lives a year, partly because it is often diagnosed too late.

The main symptom is a chronic cough – although most instances of this will not be due to cancer.

The Be Clear on Cancer lung cancer campaign is aimed at people over the age of 50, as they are most at risk.

Other symptoms of lung cancer include:

  • a cough that has got worse or changes
  • repeated chest infections
  • coughing up blood
  • breathlessness
  • feeling more tired than usual for some time
  • losing weight for no obvious reason
  • an ache or pain in your chest or shoulder that has lasted some time

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “More people die from lung cancer than any other cancer in England, but many people don’t know the signs and symptoms that could save their lives.

“The message from this campaign is clear – if you have a persistent cough, go and see your doctor. The earlier lung cancer is diagnosed, the more likely that treatment will be successful.”

via BBC News – Lung cancer warning: ‘Don’t ignore persistent cough’.

Long-term night work linked to higher breast cancer risk

_breast cancer

Working night shifts for more than 30 years could double women’s risk of developing breast cancer, a new study from Canadian researchers suggests.

Researchers with Queen’s Cancer Research Institute, the British Columbia Cancer Agency and elsewhere, looked at 1,134 Canadian women who had developed breast cancer and compared them to 1,179 similar women without the disease.

They asked all the women about their work and shift patterns, and found that about a third in both group had a history of night shift work. The final numbers of women who developed breast cancer were thus relatively small.

But the researchers found that those women who had worked nights for 30 or more years were twice as likely to have developed breast cancer. There was no evidence that those who had worked nights for up to 14 years or between 15 and 29 years had any increased risk of developing breast cancer.

Previous research has linked breast cancer with shift work done by nurses. This latest study also found an increased risk in women in other professions, such as cleaners, retail workers, and call centre handlers.

“An association between more than 30 years of night shift work in diverse occupations and breast cancer is supported here, consistent with other studies among nurses,” the authors write in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Because shift work is necessary for many occupations, the researchers say that understanding specific shift patterns increase breast cancer risk, and how night shift work might raise the risk for breast cancer is needed.

Night shift ‘probably carcinogenic’

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) — the cancer arm of the World Health Organization which ranks cancer risks — has declared working the night shift as “probably carcinogenic” to humans. It’s the same designation also given to UV rays and diesel exhaust fumes.

Scientists have long suspected that overnight work is dangerous because it disrupts the circadian rhythm, which is the body’s biological clock. They also note that the sleep hormone melatonin, which can suppress tumor development, is normally produced at night.

The researchers of this study say it’s possible melatonin plays a role in any increased cancer risk, but they also that sleep disturbances could play a role too, as could a lack of vitamin D.

Or it could be that night work is linked to other lifestyle differences, such as less time for exercise or poor diet and obesity.

CTV medical specialist Dr. Marla Shapiro says that previous research has shown that even people who have been on night shifts for long periods of time and who get the recommended amount of sleep during the daytime, still never produce the same amount of melatonin as people who work during the day and sleep at night.

“The question I keep getting asked when people read these studies is: should we be adding melatonin? Should we be taking supplements? But there’s no data that answers that question,” Shapiro told CTV’s Canada AM Tuesday.

Shapiro agreed with the researchers that more work is needed to determine what changes can be made to help people who need to work night shifts keep their cancer risk low. In the meantime, she says, staying healthy is otherwise still important.

“If you’re a night shift worker, your lifestyle – your exercise, what you eat, your alcohol intake, your vitamin D intake – all those things you can control,” she said.

Read more:

via Long-term night work linked to higher breast cancer risk | CTV News.

9 Foods That Will Boost Your Energy And Make You Active

Feeling low on energy? You might be lacking the essential minerals and vitamins. Here is a selection of top 9 foods for boosting your energy and being more active to get through your busy day.


An excellent post workout recovery food item, banana is a simple carbohydrate but an instant energy source. They are also an excellent source of potassium – reduced level of potassium in the body can result in physical weakness. The sugars found in banana can be digested quickly and converted right into energy for your body.


Lentils must be a staple part of your daily diet. They’re rich in amino-acids, protein, minerals and vitamins, and can replace rice or pasta in almost any recipe. Lentils are also rich in fiber that keeps you at the peak of satiety and doesn’t allow glucose levels to rise to higher level. Give your lunch salad an energy boost by adding a cupful of cooked red kidney-beans or garbanzo beans.


Oatmeal is one of the primary energy boosting foods. Without butter and brown sugar, oatmeal is a good complex carbohydrate. It helps control your blood glucose levels and also keep your tummy fuller for a long time. Also, it has B vitamins that are known for improving the levels of body energy. Having said that, oatmeal would certainly add more energy to your day; the optimum time to eat oat meal is before 11-a.m.


One of the food items that a lot of people undervalue as a major source of energy is eggs. Eggs are rich in protein, amino acids and omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are vital for muscle growth, a powerful immune system, brain power and equilibrium of fluids in the body. Eggs are also one of the top high energy foods because they contain more than 10 key nutrients that are essential for your body.


Walnuts are one of the best plant protein sources. They are usually regarded as “brain-food”, not just because of the wrinkled look of the shells, but also because of the higher concentration of omega-3 essential fats. A fistful of walnuts in your daily diet will certainly boost the energy levels. Walnuts are also a good source of fiber, bone-building calcium, and several other essential nutrients that your body requires in order to function effectively and have ample amount of energy.

Dark Chocolate

Sources of energy don’t have to be tasteless and lack luster as many energy sources taste really sweet. One such amazing energy source is dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is filled with heart-healthy anti-oxidants. Additionally, it consists of caffeine, which is a stimulant that helps keep your body alert and improve metabolism. If you go for dark chocolate as an energy source, then be sure to you buy organic dark chocolate, that’s free of dairy. At the same time, eat dark chocolate in moderation for best results.

Coconut Water

Coconut water isn’t a solid food; however, it’s one of the most inexpensive and valuable sources of energy. It is often known as “natural energy drink”. It’s full of vital vitamins and minerals, such as potassium along with lauric acid. The potassium supplies the body with the nutrients and electrolytes that replenish the body. Lauric acid is useful in accelerating a person’s metabolic process and providing an energy boost. Additionally, coconut water is low in sugar, fat as well as sodium content.


Yogurt is a yummy, filling treat that is now available in a range of flavors. For desserts, you should try eating low fat yogurt instead of something that’s high in sugar. Yogurt contains calcium, vitamin B-12 and protein; all of these are quite good for your overall body health. It’s also able to convert nutrients directly into energy.

Green Smoothies/Shakes

Get the energy packing power of leafy greens, yogurt bananas, apples and combine it with some other fruits you like, and now you have got a wake up call just in a glass. Kale and spinach are the most favorite for green smoothies as their mild flavor is either masked or complemented by the flavor of the fruits.

via 9 Foods That Will Boost Your Energy And Make You Active | Fitnea – Stay Fit.

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