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The key is at YOUR fingertips

The Key is at YOUR Fingertips

Launched at CES and on Shark Tank, security and convenience come together in this padlock with technology that is perfect for college life.

The beginning

Robbie Cabral was in a tough spot. It was the Holidays, he’d just been laid off, and on that very day, his daughter was born. He was depressed and overweight, so he started going to the gym to improve his self-esteem and his waistline. While he was there, he got an idea that would change his life and improve the lives of many. He noticed people leaving keys in their padlocks, struggling to open them, leaving them unlocked.

Why did locking up your things at the gym have to be difficult? Wouldn’t it be great if you could open a padlock with your fingerprint or a key?

Robbie started working to develop his idea: designing, prototyping, testing and revising. After three years of hard work, he was granted a patent. Now what?

He exhibited at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and won the coveted Innovation Award. He’d proven his concept in a big way and needed to figure out how to raise investment money and get his product into the marketplace.

Shark tank

That’s where Shark Tank came in. Robbie made it onto the show. His story won every Shark’s heart and his idea, patent and CES award made his proposition irresistible to them all. Robbie especially clicked with “Mr. Wonderful”, and that partnership really got things moving. Kevin O’Leary knew what Robbie needed: a company to partner with who had distribution, a customer base, manufacturing capability and R&D. In comes Hampton Products.

Hampton Products

Kim Kelley, President and CEO of Hampton Products, fit every criteria Kevin O’Leary and Robbie were searching for. In no time, the agreement was signed, as was a check for $100K as an advance to Robbie on future sales. Robbie and Hampton Products have since scaled the first Benjilock® By Hampton padlock and introduced it into the marketplace at ACE Hardware and Home Depot. Benjilock® By Hampton is the perfect solution for locking up your valuables, so you can enjoy college life.

Travel

Traveling abroad? The Benjilock® By Hampton TSA luggage padlock opens for you with the touch of your fingerprint, but has a special cylinder that also allows the TSA access, too. Now, you can travel freely and safely without worrying about things getting stolen from your luggage or the TSA cutting open your lock. The TSA Benjilocks can be programmed with up to five fingerprints—and programming is easy with detailed instructions included in the packaging. They even have an optional dial combination on the lock as a backup.

Around campus

Benjilock® By Hampton is great for locking up electronics, backpacks, protecting your things at the gym and—coming soon—even locking up your bike! Just think of the convenience! Program your fingerprint and then all you have to do is touch your lock to open it. No one else will have access unless you program their fingerprint into the lock. The 43mm Benjilocks can be programmed with up to 10 fingerprints.

Benjilock® By Hampton has a padlock that fits your lifestyle.

benjilock.com

Top 5 TED Talks For College Graduates

Top 5 TED Talks For College Graduates

If you’re a recent college graduate, you’ve probably realized that the real world is hard, and you’re likely wishing that you’d paid more attention to the professional and practical advice that was offered to you during college.

If you’re in dire need of some guidance that extends deeper than how to deliver a firm handshake, let us introduce you to the inspirational world of TED Talks. These College News favorites will help you stay positive, motivated and true to yourself.

Why some of us don’t have one true calling, Emilie Wapnick

Has the classic question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” ever repulsed or confused you?

In this illuminating talk, writer and artist Emilie Wapnick describes the kind of people she calls “multipotentialites”—those who have numerous interests and the desire to move on to something new after developing a specific skill.

“But then I would become interested in something else, something totally unrelated, and I would dive into that, and become all-consumed, and I’d be like, ‘Yes! I found my thing’, and then I would hit this point again where I’d start to get bored.”

If this sounds like you, Wapnick relates to the anxiety of pursuing a career and feeling abnormal. She emphasizes that this is an illogical, culturally engrained fear, and explains why multipotentialites are needed in the workforce just as much as those who are “specialists”. If you’re feeling stressed about choosing a major or finding the perfect job, find comfort in this talk.

Why you will fail to have a great career, Larry Smith 

Economist Larry Smith advocates that there is no such thing as a good career. Instead, there are great careers, passion, purpose and power in the word: “unless”.

“Passion is your greatest love. Passion is the thing that will help you create the highest expression of your talent. Passion, interest—it’s not the same thing. Are you really going to go to your sweetie and say, ‘Marry me! You’re interesting.’ Won’t happen, and you will die alone.”

If you’re about to settle into a job that your parents, your fear or your practicality have chosen for you, this extremely motivating talk could set you on a path to become extraordinary instead.

The skill of self-confidence, Dr. Ivan Joseph

Athletic Director and former varsity soccer coach, Dr. Ivan Joseph is often asked for the most important skill he looks for when recruiting. His answer: self-confidence.

For Joseph, confidence is the ability to believe in yourself, regardless of odds, difficulty or adversity. If you’re thinking that this is harder than it sounds, then you’re both right and wrong—Joseph insists that confidence can be trained with hard work. Through repetition, self-affirmation and by persevering through failure, you could develop this desirable skill.

“There’s enough people that are telling us that we can’t do it; that we’re not good enough. Why do we want to tell ourselves that?”

Graduating college and stepping into the real world requires confidence, but Joseph explains that we cannot expect ourselves to feel confident until we are familiar with a situation and know how to tackle it. The only way to achieve this is to begin. 

Why 30 is not the new 20, Meg Jay

If you learnt this lesson re-watching the iconic movie 13 Going On 30, you’ll know that assuming that life automatically sorts itself out when you hit 30 is naïve. Psychologist Meg Jay will encourage you to throw out your collection of pizza boxes and stop considering your 20s as a throwaway decade.

“Claiming your 20s is one of the simplest, yet most transformative, things you can do. Do something that adds value to who you are. Do something that’s an investment in who you might want to be next. Don’t be defined by what you didn’t know or didn’t do. You’re deciding your life right now.”

If you’re feeling lost as a twentysomething, Jay believes that one good TED Talk could help you to take control of your defining decade, use your weak ties, pick your family and get some identity capital.

Overcoming hopelessness, Nick Vujicic

This powerful talk by motivational speaker Nick Vujicic is packed full of valuable first-hand advice on overcoming hopelessness and learning to be kind to yourself and those around you.

“Think of the three biggest discourages in your life. They’re not your biggest discourages. You are. You are. It only takes seconds for me to tell you something discouraging but then, you may never forget my words.”

Transitioning into the job market can feel like a hopeless, unfair task, but being reminded that we are not born with hope but born to live through pain, could inspire you to have faith in your future. 

Further reading: 10 Things I Wish I’d Known In College

How to Practice Gratitude This Thanksgiving

How to Practice Gratitude This Thanksgiving

It’s time to dig out that gratitude journal from under the bed—you know, the one with the shiny gold foiling that you swore was an investment?

We’ve all been enamored with the idea of being mindful, changing our lives for the better and becoming optimistic members of society. The truth is, this concept is considerably overwhelming—jotting down things you’re grateful for can feel insincere, awkward and like the last thing you’d want to do after a hard day.

If you stick with it though, practicing gratitude can help you to experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, be more compassionate and can strengthen the immune system.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, here’s how to be truly thankful for delicious turkey and much more.

Get real

 It takes 30 days to build a habit—so don’t worry if journaling feels alien at first. Set an initial goal to list five things that you’re grateful for every night, for one week. By acknowledging this target, you’re telling yourself that this is something you’re going to commit to.

At the same time, realizing that building a habit requires dedication will allow you to recognize that sometimes life gets in the way. For example, if you know you’ll be too exhausted to open your journal at night, allocate a few minutes during the day to practice being grateful. If you accidentally skip a day, be grateful that you’ll have even more to be thankful for the day after. 

Practice mindfulness

The physical act of journaling can be powerful, but it is the practice of reflecting on your day and sitting with a feeling of gratitude that will train your brain to feel happier. Being mindful simply means being conscious and aware of yourself and your environment, not that you have to sit in a lotus position with your eyes closed.

Notice when you feel joy during the day, or take a few breaths at your desk to reflect on your emotions. Tracking moments that make you feel grateful as they happen, so that you can write them down later, is a fun way to stay aware and feel better throughout the day. Make it a game to find new things to be thankful for each day, so that your brain is always occupied with finding the positives around you.

Pick up a pen

Did you know that writing things down has psychological benefits such as enabling you to think on a larger scale, learn more, and drastically improve your memory? Luckily, this doesn’t mean that you have to write an essay every night.

The physical act of journaling forces you to consciously think about the words that you’re writing, which helps your brain to recreate feelings of gratitude and happiness. It’s also rewarding to look back and see all the things you’ve had to be grateful for over a period of time.

Don’t try so hard 

Journaling is an indulgent hobby—it’s about communicating with yourself, and this is a good thing. Self-compassion often translates into treating others with kindness.

The actual things you write about aren’t actually too important. You’re the only person experiencing this gratitude (and likely the only person reading your journal, too). Of course, you’re probably extremely grateful for your family and for having a roof over your head, but you don’t have to write those words down every night. Instead, focus on specific incidents that may have provoked small feelings.

If you were grateful for a home-cooked meal, make a note of it. If you were thrilled that it didn’t rain all day, write it down. If your roommate made you a cup of tea because they could tell you were feeling low, try and scribble more than: “I’m grateful for my friends”. When you start searching for small things to be appreciative for in a particularly hard day, it enables you to see each day as a unique, positive experience.

Find gratitude in your mistakes

Difficult situations are often when we need gratitude the most. For example, being grateful that you learned from a situation can help you to forgive yourself. On the other hand, being aware of the power of gratitude can help you to make a conscious effort to resolve a conflict with a friend or to seek out more happiness in your life.

Further reading: Six of the Best Books to Read This Fall

Chocolate Tart

Recipe: Sumptuous Chocolate Tart

This chocolate tart recipe is perfect for presenting a posh dessert at a dinner party but with minimal fuss. While our quick and easy chocolate tart makes an indulgent, sumptuous pudding on its own, you can add citrus elements like lemon or lime juice for more adventurous flair. Give it a go.

Ingredients

  • Dark chocolate (70%)
  • 200ml milk
  • 350ml double cream
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 ready baked tart case

Preparation

  1. Melt the chocolate and reserve. Mix the milk and cream together.
  2. Bring to the boil, pour on to the eggs, whisk together.
  3. Pass this mix straight on to the melted chocolate.
  4. Pour into ready baked tart case, place into the preheated oven at 350F/gas mark 4 and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
  5. Leave to cool before serving slices of chocolate tart to guests.

Like this chocolate tart recipe? Try our Tasty Chocolate Truffles 

5 Reasons to Have Houseplants in Your Dorm Room

5 Reasons to Have Houseplants in Your Dorm Room

These low-maintenance houseplants have numerous benefits that every college student should get behind.

Whether you’re green-thumbed or not, gardening is probably the last priority on any college student’s agenda. Actually, it’s probably not on the agenda at all. With such a huge increase in responsibility, starting college can cause our actual priorities to become overtaken by stress, anxiety and loneliness.

Surprisingly, having a houseplant in your living space is scientifically proven to boost productivity, whilst also improving your mood. Plants can even help you to sleep, making them perfect companions for the stretched student. College News tracked down some of the easiest plants to care for, so there’s no excuse for killing your new roomie. Here are five reasons that your new best friends are plants.

  1. They clean the air

Indoor air pollutants are ranked one of the top five environmental risks to public health. Luckily, the evidence that plants clean the air actually comes from NASA. According to NASA, plants are “nature’s life support system” because they absorb some of the particulates from the air and also take in carbon dioxide, which is then processed into oxygen. Beyond this, microorganisms present in the plant’s soil also have a cleaning effect, which boosts your mood.

Our favourite plant to clean the air: Peace Lily

Care level: Easy

  1. They boost productivity

According to a study from Michigan University, being around plants can increase memory retention by up to 20 percent. Studies also showed improvements in both concentration and productivity. Large plants can also apparently absorb, diffract and reflect background noise. By also boosting alertness and reducing mental fatigue, having houseplants can literally make you smarter.

Our favourite plant for productivity: Spider Plant

Care level: Effortless

  1. They make you healthy 

At the Agricultural University of Norway, a study proved that the humidity generated by houseplants decreases dry skin, colds, sore throats, coughs, and the spread of flu viruses. Another study showed that being around plants post-surgery, led to significant improvement in physiologic recovery and lower systolic blood pressure. These benefits also extended to cognitive healing—patients with plants in their rooms experienced lower levels of pain, anxiety and fatigue.

Plants such as Aloe Vera are also medicinal by nature. Aloe can cure burns, ease constipation, aid cavities and ulcers, and has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Keeping one in your kitchen is probably a good idea if your unique gourmet cooking is considered a hazard.

Our favourite medicinal plant: Aloe Vera

Care level: Very easy

  1. They help you sleep

Most plants stop taking in carbon dioxide at night and instead respire like humans. However, some loveable specimens actually do the opposite. These plants are able to improve the air that you breathe during the night, increasing your sleep quality. Fragranced plants such as Lavender are also widely recognised as sleep aids. Lavender has been proven to lower heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels—making it the perfect relaxant for your dorm room.

Our favourite plant for sleep: Snake Plant

Care level: Indestructible

  1. They reduce stress, loneliness and depression

Whilst it has been proven that houseplants reduce stress and anxiety levels, the act of caring for a plant can also better your mental health. Cultivating something has been shown to be calming and can boost self-esteem and feelings of control. It might sound cliché, but having something to water can get you out of bed in the mornings, boost your optimism, and improve your overall wellbeing.

Our favourite plant for mental health: Anthurium

Care level: Pretty easy

Further Reading: You’re Not Alone: Facing Loneliness In College

Starbucks Coffee

Does Starbucks Coffee Give You Cancer?

A California judge has ruled companies selling coffee need to warn consumers that the drink—including Starbucks coffee—is carcinogenic, since it contains the chemical acrylamide.

In a new filing, coffee companies, including Starbucks, are fighting back against the ruling.

Elihu Berle, a Los Angeles superior court judge, accused coffee companies of failing to demonstrate the carcinogen posed no significant health risk.

“Defendants failed to satisfy their burden of proving by a preponderance of evidence that consumption of coffee confers a benefit to human health,” Berle wrote.

The Council for Education and Research on Toxics—the group behind the lawsuit—wanted to penalize businesses for not warning their customers that coffee contains a carcinogenic substance.

Companies may even have to pay fines if they don’t warn customers about the cancer risk posed by acrylamide.

But the coffee industry has claimed the chemical, which is produced in the roasting process, is present at harmless levels and should be exempt from the law because it occurs naturally in the process required to make the beans flavorful.

In a new filing, the coffee companies wrote: “Coffee consumption does not increase the risk of any chronic disease and is independently associated with a decreased risk of several major chronic diseases,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

In a statement, the National Coffee Association said: “Coffee has been shown, over and over again, to be a healthy beverage. This lawsuit has confused customers, and does nothing to improve public health.”

What is Acrylamide?

Acrylamide in large quantities could be dangerous, but it’s in many foods we consume and cannot be removed from coffee.

It naturally forms when plants and grains are cooked at high temperatures.

It’s created in the process where heat transforms sugars and amino acids in ways that change flavor and tend to brown food.

Officials at the European Food Safety Authority told Business Insider: “It is likely [acrylamide] has been present in food since cooking began.”

All baking, frying and roasting produces the chemical, but only in foods derived from plants, including grains, not necessarily in meat or fish.

There is evidence to suggest it poses a risk to humans, as industrial accidents when people have inhaled large quantities of it have shown.

But the quantity found in a cup of coffee is almost negligible in comparison.

Health Benefits of Coffee

Existing research shows regular coffee drinkers have a lower risk of cancer.

A least one major review of studies found the more coffee people drink, the lower their risk for liver cirrhosis or liver cancer.

Another review of more than 200 studies found people who drank three or four cups of coffee a day were 19 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease.

Other research shows those who drink more coffee are less likely to suffer from dementia.

However, most of these studies have been observational, meaning it is difficult to establish cause and effect. Therefore, coffee may not be responsible for the reductions in disease risk.

Further reading: “Avocado Hand” Injuries Are on the Rise