A recent post from thewiredshopper.com compiled a list of the hottest and most relevant trends in the Internet of Things by talking to 60 different industry thought leaders. While most of the responses demonstrated an understandable excitement for the future, many also seemed uncomfortable about how easily we allowed outside forces to take over our lives. One response in particular summed up this caution:
“As IoT becomes increasingly commonplace, there will be vast networks of hackers, fraudsters and cyber-shoplifters who will try to profit from it. We must be diligent. Your security network is only as strong as its weakest link, and the IoT adds multitudes of new links to your networks.”
Because, yeah, we really didn’t have ENOUGH to worry about …
The more technology seems to take over our lives, the more we here at Jasmine Tea appreciate the delicious, soothing, and decidedly low-tech power of a regular cup of tea. And we’re not alone: increasing amounts of research are demonstrating how tea can reduce the harmful effects of stress.
One study, published in the journal Psychopharmacology, found that people who drank tea were able to de-stress more quickly than those drinking a placebo. Participants were given a black tea mixture four times daily for roughly 6 weeks, during which time they also gave up regular tea, coffee and decaffeinated drinks. One group had a fruit-flavored, caffeinated, tea-colored beverage containing all the same elements of black tea. The others drank a placebo, identical in taste but with no tea properties.
Compared to the control group who drank the placebo, those drinking tea were found to have lower levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in their blood after a stressful event (one created and controlled by the researchers). In fact, stress hormone levels fell by nearly twice as much in tea drinkers compared with those given a tea-like drink.
After being confronted with the stress-inducing situation, all participants were required to prepare a verbal response and argue their case in front of a camera. While both groups exhibited significant levels of stress (measured by increased levels of cortisol, increased heart rate, and raised blood pressure), within fifty minutes of their presentation, cortisol levels in the tea group had fallen by 47 per cent compared with 27 per cent in the control group.
Researchers also noted that thee tea group showed less platelet activity and reported a “greater degree of relaxation” after their presentation. Platelets are related to blood clotting and can contribute to heart attacks.
None of the researchers or participants knew who was drinking real or fake tea. The variances between participants could only be explained by effects of biological ingredients of tea. In other words, it was the tea itself, not the relaxing situations in which people might drink tea, whether they liked the taste, and so forth.
While it may not be able to reduce the actual levels of stress we experience, one researcher noted, tea does seem to have a greater effect in bringing stress hormone levels back to normal.
We could have told them that.