Posts tagged with "Forbes"

Headspace is partnering with Oura

Octrober 11, 2023

Over the years, Headspace has transformed from purely a meditation app to a platform that has become synonymous with empowering the value of mental health well-being. Now, the company wants to get even more up-close and personal, reports Forbes.

On Tuesday, October 10, at HLTH 2023—a meeting focused on health information and transformation, held in Las Vegas, October 8-11—the company announced that it will be partnering with Oura, the developer of the “smart ring” health and activity tracker, to further Headspace’s mission to revolutionize mental health wellness.

Oura’s smart ring provides a robust user experience—helping track sleep metrics, oxygen saturation, heart rate, and numerous other advanced functional metrics.

Concurrent with the Headspace announcement, Oura stated that it would be launching its “Daytime Stress” feature, which will help users identify specific stress triggers via constant monitoring of changes in heart rate and temperature by the ring. With more frequent capturing of this information, users can more closely find out what triggers their anxiety to help better manage and mitigate sources of stress.

This is where Headspace steps in. After being alerted to a high stress situation, Oura users will now be able to access stress-focused Headspace content such as guided meditations, breathing exercises, and muscle relaxation techniques. This will provide users with tactical measures to counteract stress and enable actual, tangible ways to overcome the specific trigger.

Russell Glass, CEO of Headspace, explains that Headspace’s mission is to provide every single person with access to comprehensive mental health wellness services. He also explains that the company is incredibly mindful about how it creates content for users: “Headspace’s approach to creating great content is to think really deeply about the user experience. We realize that great content leads to great engagement, and great engagement leads to great outcomes.” This vision to ultimately drive better mental health outcomes is the company’s primary goal, Glass says.

Through the partnership with Oura, Headspace is trying to empower users with real-time, actionable insights and methods by which they can better manage their mental health.

What’s more, the company announced last month that it would soon be partnering with Meta to launch its content on the Quest 3 virtual reality headset as yet another means by which patients can access the platform.

Research contact: @Forbes

Animals going crackers: Finalists in the Comedy Pet Photo Awards

July 17, 2023

A cat performing its best victory pose, a smiling ferret, and a flower-eating turtle are among the 25 comical images that made it to the shortlist for the 2023 Comedy Pet Photo Awards, reports Forbes.

Created by professional photographers Paul Joynson-Hicks and Tom Sull

Above, an entry named ‘Football Free Kick’ from Fukuoka, Japan. (Photo source: Kenichi Morinaga)

am, the contest also seeks to encourage public engagement around animal welfare—and, “through the wonders of photography and film, we want to share the hilarious expressions, antics, and naughty capers that your joyous pets get up to and share the love and laughter with the world.”

“Pets keep us fit, sane and grounded. They listen to us when no one else does; they know how to cheer us up and will do anything for us (unless we’re talking about cats, but they have special superpowers of their own that we dare not talk about).”

On the Gallery page, you can see all 25 finalists and if you fancy voting for your favorite click to the Comedy Pet Photo Awards. The last date to vote is August 6.

Research contact: @Forbes

Container Store goes after $10 billion dorm market with Dormify shops

June 23, 2023

The demise of Bed Bath & Beyond left a big chunk of the $10 billion dorm room furnishings market up for grabs. The Container Store wants to capture some of that spending through an innovative partnership with social-media savvy online retailer Dormify, reports Forbes.

This week, The Container Store unveiled Dormify shops in five of its stores, and Dormify displays in an additional 35 stores. It also is selling more than 90 Dormify products on its e-commerce site.

Dormify—which started as a dorm-decorating blog and began selling dorm bedding and decor merchandise online in 2011—has a strong social media presence, with #dormify videos drawing 44 million views on TikTok.

Dorm and college apartment furnishings accounted for $10 billion of the $74 billion American parents spent on back-to-college expenses in 2022, according to the National Retail Federation—making it a prime sales opportunity for retailers.

Bed Bath & Beyond, which is in the process of liquidating and closing its stores after declaring bankruptcy, considered the back-to-college season as its biggest sales driver of the year, and worked hard to court new college students, and their parents. With its large number of stores ,it could enable parents and students to pick out everything they needed for their dorm at their local store—and then pick up the items at the store closest to their college.

The Container Store always had a niche in the back-to-college space, as the place to stock up on storage bins and other storage solutions, organization tools, and closet accessories. The Dormify partnership allows it to expand its offerings to include bedding and dorm room decor items.

In addition to the Dormify products, The Container Store this year has added small appliances, such as fans and personal blenders, to its back-to-college mix in an effort to become more of a one-stop college shopping destination.

“For us, the collaboration with Dormify really helps us complete that full basket, in the sense of adding on-trend bedding, and some of the really fun decor they have that is not in our wheelhouse per se,” said Stacey Shively Chief Merchandising Officer of The Container Store said in an interview.

The Container Store began collaborating with Dormify last year with displays that referred shoppers to Dormify’s online offer. Now, shoppers can buy items directly from five The Container Stores with the full Dormify in-store shops, with the items in-stock in those stores.

Part of the goal for The Container Store is to draw more Gen Z shoppers into its stores, as they are setting up what, in effect, is their first apartment—their dorm rooms – and win them over as long-time customers for all of their future homes.

“We view it as a really nice entry point for all of our product categories,” Shively said.

For Dormify, The Container Store collaboration also is a way to reach new customers—the parents of the Gen Z students who are watching Dormify’s Tik Tok videos and Pinterest posts.

“The dorm room shopping experience is very much a collaborative experience between the parent and the student, so that makes for a great marriage between our brands,” said Dormify Co-founder and President Amanda Zuckerman said in an interview.

“The parent is already shopping at The Container Store, so it’s a way to get in front of the parent,” Zuckerman said.

The five Container Stores where the Dormify in-store shops are located—in New York City, Austin, Houston, Nashville, and Costa Mesa—were chosen for their proximity to college campuses where students might opt to buy online and pick up in those stores when they arrive on campuses, or where they might shop for last minute dorm items.

Dormify will be deploying brand ambassadors in those markets to share tips on dorm essentials, and move-in and shopping advice. Dormify and The Container Store are hosting a giveaway on Instagram and The Container Store is offering college students and their parents a 25% off discount that they can access through September 4.

Research contact: @Forbes

Stressed out? Drive a tank and crush a car for the ultimate venting experience

June 6, 2023

Although the COVID-19 pandemic is officially behind us, its battle scars remain in terms of lives lost, long-haul COVID suffering, and lingering stress levels—especially among employees returning to the office after an extended period working at home. According to the World Health Organization, there was a 25% increase in anxiety and depression worldwide as we entered the post-pandemic era, reports Forbes.

Everyone has their own set of coping mechanisms. Some turn to drinking and/or drugs, while others have sought refuge from the contents of their refrigerators. But what has to be one of the most innovative remedies to salve a still-COVID-clouded mind can be found up in Kasota, Minnesota (about 72 miles southwest of Minneapolis), where the solution is to drive a bona fide military tank and crush a car.

Now that’s stress reduction on steroids.

The appropriately named Drive A Tank offers a camp-like setting that affords the unique experience of engaging in heart-pounding quasi-military adventures, with a choice of eight size-XXXL mobile machines that can flatten virtually anything in their paths.

Then it’s a move up to a FV432 APC—only this time using just the tank’s vision periscope to navigate its way through a challenging course, combat-style.

After a trip back to the motor pool in a military transport vehicle, Drive A Tank attendees finally get the chance to mash a once-roadworthy car into smithereens, also with an instructor at hand for the annihilation. There’s even an opportunity to take photos with the tanks driven and cars crushed afterwards.

In addition, attendees get schooled about and get their hands on various historic military firearms; and test-fire them in an enclosed range under closely controlled conditions for an added dose of mental release.

Drive a Tank’s packages start at $374 for the Three-Star General experience, although it’s an extra $649 for a single car crush, and $849 for a double dose of destruction. Other, costlier packages include the ability to bring one or two passengers along for the ride, shoot military machine guns; and pilot multiple tanks, including a Sherman E8, with the top Ultimate Package packing the most activities and going for a whopping $5,499.

Not destructive enough? Those having especially deep pockets can drain their coffers to get behind the tillers of a four-ton weapon of war and completely obliterate a mobile home. Those choosing this package get ample opportunity to take out one’s frustration with the universe by first taking a bat to the structure to smash windows, doors and just about anything in sight before using the PV432 APC to demolish whatever remains standing.

Did we mention that this makes for a great Father’s Day gift for the dad who has everything, including destructive tendencies? Though we seriously can’t imagine why, children may attend as drivers or passengers, but only if they’re at least 11 years old, meet height requirements, and are accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Click onto the Drive A Tank website to obtain more information and to book an experience. Corporate packages also are available.

Research contact: @Forbes

Going down? Elon Musk’s drop in fortunes breaks world record

January 12, 2023

Elon Musk has broken the world record for the largest loss of personal fortune in history. From November 2021 through December 2022 he lost around US$165bn (£137bn), Guinness World Records has announced in a blog on its website.

The figures are based on data from publisher Forbes, but Guinness said other sources suggested Musk’s losses could have been higher. The drop in valuation follows a plunge in value of shares in Musk’s electric car firm Tesla after he bought Twitter last year.

His US$44bn (£36bn) takeover of the social media company has sparked concerns among investors that Musk is no longer giving Tesla enough attention, reports the BBC.

Musk’s losses since November 2021 surpass the previous record of US$58.6bn (£47bn), suffered by Japanese tech investor Masayoshi Son in 2000.

The estimated loss is based on the value of his shares, which could regain their value—meaning that Musk’s wealth would increase again.

In December, the Tesla boss lost his position as richest person in the world to Bernard Arnault, the chief executive of French luxury goods company LVMH, which owns fashion label Louis Vuitton.

The value of Tesla shares dropped around 65% in 2022, in part because of Tesla’s performance. The firm delivered just 1.3 million vehicles during the year—falling short of Wall Street expectations.

However, Musk’s takeover of Twitter—where he has sparked controversy by firing large numbers of staff and changing content moderation policies—is behind most of the share slump.

Many Tesla investors believe he should be focusing on the electric vehicle company as it faces falling demand amid recession fears, rising competition, and COVID-linked production challenges.

“Long-term fundamentals [at Tesla] are extremely strong. Short-term market madness is unpredictable,” Musk tweeted after the stock markets closed for the year in December 2022.

Musk is now worth about US$178bn (£152bn), according to Forbes, while Bernard Arnault has an estimated value of US$188bn (£155bn).

Research contact: @BBCNews

Naked in freezing water: Why ‘Viking swimming’ is trending in Europe

November 10, 2022

Although swimming naked in cold water during the hardest days of winter could seem like an activity only for the brave at heart, it’s a trend gaining momentum among Europeans over the age of 16, reports Forbes.

The main reasons for the popularity of what’s known as ‘Viking style swimming’—in addition to its daring nature and the simple thrill—are the mental and physical health benefits attached to immersing oneself into freezing water for one or two minutes at a time.

The benefits of polar plunges

An icy dip reportedly induces the release of adrenaline, serotonin, cortisol and dopamine which translates, among other benefits, into boosts of the immune system, improvement of blood circulation, increase of libido, burning of calories, and reduction of stress.

Add to that list an increase in the capacity to cope with stressful situations and the reduction both of inflammation and risk of depression.

A recent study in Scandinavia of young men who participate regularly in these polar plunges shows that winter swimming may allow the body to adapt better to extreme temperatures.

“Your body temperature drops fast and the body’s defenses go on high alert,” explains Visit North Jutland. “The blood vessels contracts and a cocktail of endorphins and adrenalin rushes through the body. This is the experience most winter swimmers have when they jump in the ocean on a cold winter morning.”

The site continues, “Winter swimming is not often associated with pleasure, it is very cold! In spite of this, more and more people are jumping into ice-cold sea, and there is a rise in memberships in the local winter swimmers clubs.”

A new old tradition

The hobby is not new. In Nordic countries, particularly Scandinavian, Eastern European and in Russia, it’s been practiced for centuries—partly as a cultural tradition (for example, at New Year’s, as well as in religious celebrations including the Epiphany and Christmas).

The number of winter and ice swimming competitions around the world sponsored by international organizations such as the International Ice Swimming Association and the International Winter Swimming Association have been growing—and more and more locations, particularly in Europe and North America, organize “bear plunges,” most commonly to celebrate New Year’s Day.

The oldest of such winter contests in the United States is the Coney Island Polar Bear Club founded in 1903, with swim events every Sunday from November until April.

In Swedish Lapland, there’s the annual Scandinavian Winter Swimming Championship, a gathering of brave souls who swim in 1°C cold water.

Lovers of extreme competition enjoy the Ice Zero Mile, abiding by International Ice Swimming Association rules, considered the toughest swimming test on the planet, a solo, mile-long competition performed in water temperature below 1ºC.

The naked winter swim

Among the best known and more “fun” competitions, organized every year in January, is the Skagen Winter Swimming Festival in Norway.

Skagen is the country’s northernmost city. Every year it attracts thousands of tourists to participate and to observe the swimming competition that takes place during a four-day festival.

Every morning at the Sønderstrand beach, participants shed their clothes and get into the freezing sea water. Activities start early in the morning for a proper warm-up and last until late in the afternoon.

According to Culture Trip, “Denmark’s Winter Swimming Festival is a haven for nudists,” although a swimsuit is optional.

“The Skagen Winter Swimming Festival is for those who aren’t afraid to push past their limits,” the organizers warn.

“Brrr. Why in the world would anyone want to go swimming in the sea in wintry Denmark?” VisitDenmark asks. “Up here in the north, winter swimming is seen as healthy for the body, good for the mind—and more than a little refreshing. It’s one of our top things to do in the winter. We have been throwing ourselves into cold water on dark days since the end of the 19th century, when the first winter bathing establishment was established in Copenhagen.”

Almost all Danish towns and small villages have their own winter swimming clubs.

Some advice

If you are among those tempted to submerge more than your toe in cold water this winter, consider this expert advice: Although winter swimming is a popular and healthy trend, there’s no reason to throw common sense overboard. The sea is not to be joked with—especially not in winter.

Never swim alone, familiarize yourself with current and wind conditions, and follow the general advice for winter swimming.

If you have heart problems or high blood pressure, avoid winter bathing. And always ask your doctor, if in doubt. And remember—there’s no shame in changing your mind at any point in the process.

If you’re serious about swimming Viking style, registrations are open for the Scandinavian Winter Swimming Championship. (Not naked but still extremely cold and including an ice-hole poetry competition.)

Research contact: @Forbes

Something you shouldn’t miss in the New York lawsuit against Donald Trump

September 26, 2022

Amid the 200-plus page lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James against Donald Trump on Wednesday, September 21, one allegation comes bursting through: The former president is simply not as rich as he has long said he is, reports Chris Cillizza for CNN.

Consider the following

  • Trump estimated that his triplex unit in Trump Tower was more than 30,000 square feet and was worth $327 million at one point. The apartment, according to James’ suit, was 11,000 square feet. And she noted that no apartment in the history of New York real estate has ever sold for that sort of sum.
  • Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home was valued as high as $739 million, but should have been, according to James, assessed more in the $75 million range.
  • Trump’s property on Park Avenue was assessed in 2010 as worth $72.5 million, but Trump’s company claimed in financial statements that it was worth $292 million, the lawsuit stated.

It goes on like that, says Cillizza, but you get the idea: Time and again, according to James’ lawsuit, Trump vastly exaggerated the value of his properties in order to gain favorable loan terms on other properties – many of which he then made a profit on.

This would fit into a pattern in Trump’s life. “I mean, part of the beauty of me is that I’m very rich,” Trump told ABC way back in 2012. “So, if I need $600 million, I can put $600 million myself. That’s a huge advantage. I must tell you, that’s a huge advantage over the other candidates.”

Just before he started running for president, Trump released a “Statement of Financial Condition” from 2014 that said he was worth $5.8 billion. But when he announced his candidacy in 2015, he said that same statement put his net worth at $8.7 billion. “I’m really rich,” Trump said in his announcement speech. “I’m not doing that to brag. I’m doing that to show that’s the kind of thinking our country needs.”

A month after he entered the race, his campaign revised that estimate upward again. “Real estate values in New York City, San Francisco, Miami, and many other places where he owns property have gone up considerably during this period of time,” read a statement from his campaign. “His debt is a very small percentage of value, and at very low interest rates. As of this date, Mr. Trump’s net worth is in excess of TEN BILLION DOLLARS.”

It’s decidedly difficult to know exactly what Trump is worth because he has never released his tax returns or other detailed financial information that would allow us to make that determination.

Forbes, which closely tracks the wealth of the country’s richest people, said earlier this year that Trump is worth $3 billion—up from $2.4 billion during his final year as president.

As Forbes wrote in April:

“Donald Trump, master of reinvention, has a new title: tech entrepreneur. It’s a stretch for [Trump], who doesn’t even use email, preferring instead to scrawl notes in marker. But he doesn’t mind jumping into ventures in which he has little previous experience – and this gig should prove far more lucrative than the presidency. In fact, it has already boosted his net worth by $430 million.”

The reality is—and has always been—that Trump is very rich. But not nearly as rich as he has claimed to be. It is the prime example of the “truthful hyperbole” that Trump laid out way back in the late 80s in his book “The Art of the Deal.”

“People want to believe that something is the biggest, and the greatest, and the most spectacular,” he wrote. “I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration, and a very effective form of promotion.”

Research contact: @CNN

A ‘whiteout’ wedding: Antarctica nuptials are officially the coolest RSVP this year

August 4, 2022

This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, destination wedding: For couples who are really looking to up the ante, bespoke luxury travel company Red Savannah just announced a new $250,000 wedding package in Antarctica that’s easily the coolest RSVP this year, reports Forbes.

Invitation and event details are as follows:

Wedding parties of up to 12-guests are invited to fly out of Cape Town, South Africa and make five-hour flight over the Southern Ocean landing on Wolf’s Fang runway in Antarctica where they’re cordially invited to celebrate with a “White Wedding in a White Desert” party upon arrival.

The icy fête will begin with a celebratory wedding breakfast on ice and go on to include a cake-cutting ceremony and champagne in the snow lounge.

Guests who opt to spend more than one day on the continent are invited to stay at Echo, a brand-new Polar camp comprising six state-of-the-art pods with a futuristic floor-to-ceiling window design overlooking a vast expanse of snow and ice fields.

Each pod contains a central communal space and dining area where South African cuisine will be paired with award-winning wines. Couples who want to unwind after saying their “I-Dos,” may like the option to extend at Whichaway Camp, which includes a wellness space and sauna pod on the shores of the freshwater lake of the Schirmacher Oasis.

While all of the activities throughout the experience can be customized, optional activities range from a visit to see a colony of 28,000 emperor penguin’s to ice and mountain climbing, Arctic Truck safaris, Skidoo tours and a trip to the South Pole for a special champagne picnic.

Prices start at $250,000 and include return flights and transfers from Cape Town to Antarctica, accommodations, food, beverages, and activities. Guests don’t have to worry about buying the couple a gift, as $1,000 per-person will be pledged for conservation and sustainability initiatives that go to Antarctica.

Research contact: @Forbes

In Switzerland, an hotelier and two artists challenge the definition of luxurious hospitality

June 27, 2022

Dream of a night under the stars—but allergic to sleeping bags? This summer in Switzerland, an artistic/hospitality concept named  Null Stern—The Only Star Is You  may offer exactly what you need, reports Forbes magazine.

Imagine a hotel room without a roof or walls, set directly under the sky within a magnificent Alpine landscape. For some, it may look like an optical illusion, but for the 6,500 travelers on the waiting list, a night at Null Stern (whether near Saillon in the Valais region, or at 6,463 feet above sea level in one of six locations in Eastern Switzerland) is very much a reality.

Surrounded by vineyards, the Saillon suites will be available from July 1 through September 18, 2022.

“The definition of luxury has evolved over the years from tangible to intangible,” said co-founder hotelier Daniel Charpentier. “Marble in the bathroom is now much less important than a guest’s emotional experience.”

Charpentier worked in hotels all over the world before he came back to settle in his native Switzerland. There, he met concept artists (and twin brothers) Frank and Patrik Riklin, known first for an art installation set inside a 1980s nuclear shelter hidden in the basement of an apartment building in St. Gallen.

They named it “Null Stern Hotel,” the no-star hotel. Since then, the Riklin brothers continue to imagine artwork and art installations that challenge people’s habits and thought processes. outside of museums and galleries, i

For Null Stern, the three partners search locations that offer both a dramatic backdrop and view. They build platforms on which they place a Queen size bed, two nightstands and light fixtures.

“We call them zero-real estate suites,” said Mr. Charpentier. “But they are within walking distance of bathrooms and also a back-up bedroom that’s reserved for these guests in case the weather turns.”

Each suite costs $295 per night and comes with its own butler, in charge of bringing out dinner and breakfast to guests in bed. But the Null Stern butler is its own invention too. The person who takes care of the guests will wear a white shirt, white gloves and a bowtie but will have complete freedom as to what else to wear. And while he will be responsible for traditional service tasks, he will also be freed to improvise in order to enhance the experience.

Inspired by the simple beauty of the Swiss landscape, the Riklin brothers are known for taking their art outside of museums and galleries, the typical boundaries. In fact, by giving human beings a place to rest within nature, they are showcasing the landscape as art.

Finally, a new suite named the “anti-idyllic” suite and created in partnership with the town of Saillon, challenges even the beauty of the landscape. Set between a gas station and a highway, it aims to provoke a “positive disruption.”

“There are so many problems in the world right now, how can we sleep?” asked Patrik Riklin. “Our new version is an incubator for reflection.”

The brothers’ goal is to make guests stop and think. Perhaps by continuously breaking with conventions, they will succeed in bringing people together to effect change.

“What is luxury? How can we be safe?” they ask.

“We all love nature, but we continue to destroy it,” he said. “The bedrooms of the future may very well not have walls or roofs anymore because we won’t have the resources to build them any other way.”

Whether you choose the “conventional” suites or the anti-idyllic one, Null Stern will challenge your thinking. Will we just go back to the way we used to travel before the pandemic? Art asks questions. The answers are up to us.

Research contact: @Forbes

Dartmouth College to eliminate undergraduate student loans, replace them with scholarships

June 22, 2022

Dartmouth College has announced that it will eliminate all federal and institutional loans from its undergraduate financial aid packages and replace them with scholarship grants. The new policy will first take effect beginning with the 2022 summer term, reports Forbes magazine.

The no-loan financial aid packages—revealed by Dartmouth President Philip J. Hanlon—will benefit both current and future students, but they will not be applied retroactively to loans that Dartmouth students may have received before the start of the summer term.

Just last year, Dartmouth had eliminated loans for incoming students from families earning less than $125,000 per year, says Forbes.

But now, because of the fundraising success of the College’s “The Call to Lead Campaign,” Dartmouth is eliminating that threshold and will be offering no-loan, need-based financial aid to all eligible students.

According to the  news release from Dartmouth, the policy will reduce the college-related debt by an average of $22,000 over four years for about 450 Dartmouth students and their families.

In addition, because Dartmouth has been able to raise $120 million in scholarship gifts and pledges for its endowment in the past year, it has made other significant enhancements to its financial aid. For example, it now offers need-blind admissions to international students, thanks to a record $40 million gift from an anonymous donor; and it also has eliminated the expected parent contribution when calculating financial aid awards for students from families earning less than $65,000 per year.

Two recent gifts helped Dartmouth reach its no-loan financial aid goal. In May, Anne Kubik, a 1987 Dartmouth alum, added $10 million to an earlier commitment of support she had made. And an anonymous donor committed $25 million—endowing one of the largest scholarship funds in Dartmouth history.

But many others contributed as well. According to Dartmouth, more than 65 families gave to the campaign to eliminate the loan component of the college’s financial aid, committing more than $80 million in gifts to the endowment. That included several families who recently donated $5 million to eliminate loans in the financial aid awards for current undergraduate students going forward.

“Thanks to this extraordinary investment by our community, students can prepare for lives of impact with fewer constraints,” said President Hanlon. “Eliminating loans from financial aid packages will allow Dartmouth undergraduates to seek their purpose and passion in the broadest possible range of career possibilities.”

Dartmouth now joins several other leading, private institutions that have adopted a no-loan, need-based, financial aid policy. They include Williams College and Ivy League peers Brown University, Columbia University, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University.

Research contact: @Forbes