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  • May/2012

Discover Your Ideal Workspace

by South University
May 31, 2012

As an online learner, you’ll need to carefully consider how you’ll set yourself up to be productive, and the workspace you utilize as you complete your studies is an essential component of this. Examining how other people operate can be a big help, but don’t feel like you need to emulate them exactly. What works for one person may be a complete disaster for someone else.

To break it down further, let’s look at some different components of the workspace:

  • Noise – Some people can only be productive if the area in which they study is completely silent. Others need the sounds of the street outside, their kids playing in the background, or some music on the radio to propel them forward.
  • Organization – It’s likely that you’ll find your own unique way to stay on track. Do you keep a record of due dates on a calendar that fits in your pocket or on your phone? Is making lists your forte, or do you prefer more of an “organized chaos” approach?
  • Study Time – The great thing about the asynchronous format of online learning is that you can study and attend class when it’s convenient for you. It could be 2 o’clock in the afternoon or 2 o’clock in the morning. It doesn’t really matter, as long as you’re able to satisfactorily complete your work and attend class.
  • The Buddy System – Do you find it beneficial to have a partner in crime to help you study, or do you prefer to work alone? You could always marry the two as well – work on your own, but have a friend or relative quiz you to ensure that you’re on the right track.

As we mentioned at the top of this blog post, there’s no right way to study online, only your way. If it works for you and you’re excelling academically, by all means, stick to it!

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Bizarre Fad Diets and Exercises For Quick Weight Loss

by Jared Newnam
May 25, 2012

Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight knows that eating healthy and exercising is hard work. That’s why many people turn to fad diets promising quick weight loss and often requiring minimal interruption to their daily lives.

There are too many fad diets out there to count, but here’s a list of some of the most outrageous ones:

  • Weight Loss Sunglasses: According to, blue is the least appetizing color for food, which serves as the motivation behind these blue-lensed sunglasses. If a person wants to lose weight, all they have to do is slip these sunglasses on to make the food in front of them appear much less enticing, consequently causing them to eat less. On a more scientific note, the site does mention that evidence suggests blue is the most relaxing color, and people are more likely to eat well if they’re relaxed.
  • Slim Rings: Toe rings are now more than a summer fashion accessory, according to A line of toe rings, called Slim Rings, claims to shed pounds by shifting the distribution of the body weight. Slim Rings have a small, downward sloping bump, which causes people to change the way they put pressure on their feet. It’s supposed to put stress on muscles that aren’t used as much, particularly helping people to lose weight in their stomach and inner thigh areas.
  • Hollywood 48-Hour Miracle Diet: Those looking for quick weight loss results — and really who isn’t — can try the Hollywood 48-Hour Miracle Diet. Weight loss hopefuls swear off alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco for two days, and instead drink a specially formulized juice designed to detoxify the body. The Hollywood 48-Hour Miracle Diet claims to help participants lose up to 4.5% body weight in just two days. It’s recommended that dieters repeat this process at least once per month, though the site notes that many people use it once per week.
  • Cabbage Soup Diet: This is a seven-day diet plan designed to encourage quick weight loss. For the most part, dieters are only allowed to eat cabbage soup, fruits, and vegetables for one week. Weight loss hopefuls follow a seven-day plan, containing detailed instructions on what they’re allowed to eat each day. Warnings on the Cabbage Soup Diet website caution people to wait at least two weeks before repeating the diet, as its reduced calories and nutrition make it unhealthy to do two rounds consecutively.
  • The Grapefruit Diet: This diet is obviously centered on eating a lot of grapefruit and quick weight loss. Dieters eat half a grapefruit before each healthy, pre-planned meal, three times per day. To complete the diet, one must participate in this dining plan for 12 days, consuming no more than 800 calories per day, with the hope of losing up to 10 pounds. 

Fad Diets of the Past

Fad diets are nothing new; in fact they’ve been around for decades, just in different forms. Fab Sugar’s “1960s Diet and Exercise Fads — Diet and Fitness During the Mad Men Era,” details some of the crazy methods people once used in an attempt at quick weight loss:

  • Belt Massager: Not only did this device promise quick weight loss, it also made it sound so easy! If someone wanted to lose weight, all they had to do was strap a few belts around their problem areas, stand still, and let this contraption jiggle the fat away.
  • The Drinking Man’s Diet: This diet proposed eating manly low-carb foods, such as steak and lobster, paired with a cocktail, to lose weight. Dieters were instructed to consume no more than 60 carbs per day.
  • Trim Twist: People wanting to shed a few pounds could stand on a rotating board, which moved as they twisted their midsections. The Trim Twist promised to firm sagging muscles, reduce pudgy areas, burn calories, and stimulate circulation. All anyone wanting to lose weight had to do was use this contraption for a few spare minutes per day, and they were promised to see results.
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Seven (Lesser Known) Facts about Salvador Dali

by South University
May 11, 2012

Today marks the 108th birthday of the renowned Spanish Surrealist artist, Salvador Dali. As part of the groundbreaking Surrealist movement of the 1930s, he was known for his paintings that evoked a dream-like world with contorted shapes and brilliant colors, not to mention his bizarre public appearances, and an iconic mustache.

But here are a few facts you might not know about Salvador Dali:

Dali’s work was once displayed in Riker’s Island
"For the dinning room [sic] of the Prisoners Rikers Ysland - SD", was the quote Dali scribbled at the bottom of a painting he created in 1965 as an apology to Anna Moscowitz Kross. The then Corrections Commissioner of Rikers Island Jail in New York City had asked Dali to visit the prison to speak to the inmates about art. He was unable to attend due to illness, so quickly painted a watercolor and charcoal rendering of a Crucifixion. After hanging in the dining room for many years, the piece was moved to a hallway and, in March 2003, was stolen. The painting has yet to be recovered.
Source: A Dali Vanishes From Rikers Island

The film collaboration between Salvador Dali and Walt Disney was left unfinished for 57 years.
In 1946, Disney invited Dali to collaborate with him on a short film called Destino, which was to be a part of one of Disney’s anthology features. His invitation to Dali followed the trend Disney had started of asking big artists to be a part of his films like he had done with Oskar Fischinger on Pinocchio and Fantasia. Production on Destino was halted after it was proven that the package pictures were financially unsuccessful. Fifty seven years later, in 2003, Disney’s nephew, Roy E. Disney put Destino back into production. It premiered at the Telluride Film Festival.
Source: The Destiny of Dali's Destino

Dali was heavily influenced by science.
Dali subscribed to the Renaissance view that encouraged an acquaintance with all subjects, therefore, he felt it right to become knowledgeable about math and science along with art. It is well known that his early work was influenced by the theories of Sigmund Freud. As he grew as an artist, certain works became a reflection of his scientific interest at the time. In the 1930s, he was influenced by optical illusions and dual images. In the 1940s, he found inspiration in quantum theory and nuclear science. By the 1960s, he had begun studying holography and three dimensional art, which spawned his 1972 hologram exhibition. When Dali was asked, “Why such a great interest in science?”, he replied: “Because artists scarcely interest me at all. I believe that artists should have some notions of science in order to tread a different terrain, which is that of unity”.
Source: Salvador Dali and Science

Salvador Dali has been portrayed in films by Robert Pattinson, Adrien Brody, and Alan Cumming.
Robert Pattinson portrayed Dali in Little Ashes in 2008. Adrien Brody portrayed Dali in Midnight in Paris in 2011. Alan Cumming portrayed Dali in The Surrealist in 2012.

A film Dali worked on was pulled from distribution for more than 50 years.
After collaborating to create what is considered the first surrealist film, Un Chien Andalou, Dali and Luis Bunuel joined forces one last time for L’Age D’Or. A Surrealist expose of the social institutions that stifle love, L’Age D’Or,incensed fascist and anti-Semitic groups. One such group staged a stink-bomb and ink-throwing riot in the Paris theater where it was shown in December 1930. The film was then banned and pulled from distribution. L’Age D’Or didn’t have a United States premiere until November 1979.
Source: Harvard Film Archive

The Chupa Chups logo was designed by Dali.
Dali was asked to design a logo by the Spanish confectioner, Chupa Chups. He agreed and designed the logo by incorporating the Chupa Chups name into a brightly colored daisy shape. Dali, also, suggested that the logo be placed on top of the lolly instead of the side so that it could always be seen intact. The logo has remained largely the same since Dali designed it in 1969.

Salvador Dali passed away in his own museum.
In 1974, the Dali Theatre and Museum was inaugurated in Figueres, Catalonia. The museum houses the broadest range of Dali’s work throughout his entire career (1904-1989). The museum itself was designed by Dali to give the visitor a rich view into his captivating and unique world. After his retirement, Dali moved into the tower of the Figueres Teatre-Museu Dali -, and on January 23, 1989, he passed away there from heart failure.
Source: The World's Largest Surrealist Object




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The Importance of Bedside Manner in Nurse Practitioners

by South University
May 11, 2012

If you’re a nurse who already has your Bachelor of Science in Nursing, you have a number of opportunities available to you to gain even more clinical skills through South University’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program.

The Family Nurse Practitioner specialization allows you to complete practicums in adults & gerontology, women’s health, pediatrics, and primary care. Another option, the Adult Health Nurse Practitioner specialization, offers practicums in adults & gerontology, women’s health, and primary care.

While developing the skills and knowledge to effectively treat patients in the clinical sense is essential in all of these areas, you should not overlook the importance of more whole holistic healthcare essentials, like bedside manner. Nurse Practitioners have the opportunity to greatly impact a patient’s experience in a variety of medical settings, so it’s important to keep a few key points in mind.

  • Speak the Patient’s Language – More than likely, your patients won’t be familiar with the medical jargon you use on a daily basis, so it’s essential to be able to explain their prescribed treatment in a way that they will understand.
  • Use Compassion - This is particularly important when dealing with patients that have serious illnesses, but should be used regardless of the situation. Having compassion for your patients will help you to put their minds at ease under difficult circumstances.
  • Make the Patient Feel Important – In the fast-paced world in which we live today, it seems like medical professionals are spending increasingly less time with their patients, sometimes resulting in them feeling neglected. They may even be hesitant to ask any questions they have for fear that they’re interrupting your busy schedule. You can help combat this by making each patient feel like they’re the most important patient you have. Even if you’re feeling stressed or rushed, you need to make sure your patients never pick up on this.

The role of the Nurse Practitioner is an important one in both Family and Adult Health situations. Whether a patient is 9 weeks or 90 years old, it’s important to treat them with respect and make them feel at ease.

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A Special Thank You to Nurses

by South University
May 7, 2012

By Guest Blogger

Jen Suehr
Content Manager at South University Online Programs

When I found out that Nurses Appreciation Week was coming up, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to express my appreciation for the nursing community in general, and for the nurses in the PICU at Children’s Hospital of UPMC in Pittsburgh in particular.

Two weeks after my son was born, he was admitted to Children’s Hospital of UPMC with serious viral pneumonia and a staph infection. We spent about 2.5 weeks in the PICU, 2 of which he was on a ventilator. As a new mom, this was a horrific experience for me. Would my son be ok? Why was this happening to us? All I wanted was a healthy baby boy.

In this situation, I probably would’ve completely lost my mind if it weren’t for the hospital’s wonderful nursing staff. We had a new nurse every twelve hours, and all of them helped considerably to put my mind at ease.

One nurse, in particular, stands out in my mind. The morning after my son was put on the ventilator, we had a nurse named Philip. I think he could see how stressed I was after what transpired the night before, and he took care to answer any questions I had and to reassure me that he had seen many patients much worse off than my son who ended up making a full recovery. We had Philip as a nurse three days in a row, and by the time he left, my son was well on his way to recovery.

I’m happy to report that my son is now in perfect health. As I look back on our ordeal and wonder how I survived, I can point to the wonderful nursing care my son received. While they did an excellent job tending to his needs, they also did everything they could to make me feel confident and positive about everything that happened.

Nurses shouldn’t ever underestimate their importance, and I am forever grateful to them.

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