July 27, 2019 // Archive

Date based archive
27 Jul

When I got an opportunity to review the NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle, of course, I said yes. I had been shopping recently for an at-home option for cycling during the rainy winter months in Oregon, so trying out this cycle was an exciting prospect. Indoor exercise equipment has come a long way from when I was in my early 20’s and there are many affordable options for those who want to skip the gym occasionally or try a training program on their own.

 

NordicTrack as a brand has been in the business for a very long time. In fact, my 12-year-old treadmill is a NordicTrack (and it still works perfectly). NordicTrack has a history of creating long-lasting and quality products for gyms and for home use. From those I’ve talked to, NordicTrack is a household name and is commonly recognized from the average Joes to fitness enthusiasts. Most agree, there is a place for stationary equipment in the home.

 

 

S22i in home side view.S22i in home side view.

 

About the NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle

The S22i is a fully adjustable stationary bicycle. It has a 22” adjustable touchscreen that includes two digitally amplified speakers and an auxiliary port. There is also an HDMI option to use with a TV, but you may not need to because the monitor can tilt and also rotate 360 degrees. The bike uses wifi to connect to NordicTrack’s iFit programming, where all the workouts are housed. You can track your stats, adjust the volume, and much more via the touchscreen. The monitor also includes an AutoBreeze adjustable fan, so when you are riding the hot mountains of Chile, you can feel the wind on your face.

 

The flywheel is inertia enhanced and offers SMR (Silent Magnetic Resistance) technology, so the spinning is very quiet. There are leveling feet installed on the base, so the bike remains stable during the workout. The frame is commercial-grade steel construction and is rated for riders up to 350lbs.

 

Every part of the bike is adjustable, from the saddle position to the handlebars, and it is easy to customize the ergonomics to fit a range of body types. The bike comes with regular bike pedals and straps, but can be changed to pedals of your choice.

 

The multi-position handlebars of the S22i start near the seat of the bike for closer hand positioning and go up to near the screen where adjustable OneTouch controls sit on the handlebars for manual resistance (24 levels) and incline adjustments from -10% to 20%. The handlebars have a non-slip grip, as well.

 

The saddle is adjustable vertically and horizontally to fit a range of inseams and comfort levels.

 

The studio cycle comes with a 1-year iFit membership, which gives you access to hundreds of rides of all types—studio, beginner, mountain bike, road bike—and includes off-the-bike training options. In addition, the S22i comes with two 3lb dumbbells that are used in some of the workouts that are guaranteed to make you thirsty, so it’s a good thing there are two places for water bottles.

 

The workouts include boot camp style workouts, high-energy studio sessions, trainer-led global workouts, incline cycling, yoga, and full-body options, among many others. There is just about every type of ride and difficulty level available along with varying options for length of rides, some as short as 20 minutes, others longer.

 

The frame of the S22i is 56.9” high, 55” long, and 21.9” wide, so it is small enough for apartment living or storage when necessary. The bike only requires a regular wall plug-in for power and can be easily moved when needed via small wheels attached to the frame. There is a 3-year parts warranty and a 1-year labor warranty included should anything come up.

 

 

S22i in home screen view.S22i in home screen view.

 

NordicTrack iFit Programming

Once connected with wifi, and you are logged into your account, the user has a vast amount of programs to choose from. New workouts are uploaded daily and there are a wide variety of trainers to choose from depending on your mood, or your goals.

 

The programs all offer interactive training, so as the program moves along, the trainer adjusts the incline and resistance for the workouts. You can override this feature at any time during the workout, but you will most likely hit the calorie and watt goals if you are able to keep up with the cadence and allow the bike to adjust for you.

 

iFit programming uses Google Maps, so you are able to see parts of the world you might not normally during your training rides otherwise. With your login, your stats are tracked and will show weekly totals along with ride totals. The program is multi-user friendly, so four profiles per membership can be created so the whole family can track their statistics.

 

NordicTrack S22i ScreenNordicTrack S22i Screen

 

Pricing and Delivery

The S22i is $2999 (currently there a discount of $1000 applied to the cart) and includes a 1-year membership to iFit. There are financing options available, as well. There is an option for White Glove Delivery and Installation for $249—this includes delivery, assembly, and installation. If you opt not to go with the delivery service, shipping is free and there is a 30-day return policy across the board.

 

So, What Did I Think?

This is one great looking bike. The quality of the frame and components are all very good. The engineering behind the design is well-researched and planned. Everything you need is within easy reach when you are spinning, so if you need to grab your weights, get a drink of water or adjust the resistance, it’s all quickly available.

 

I think the workouts available on iFit are truly fabulous—there really is something for everyone at every level. There is a wide variety of coaches, and some are former Olympic athletes. When you are riding, the experience is that you feel like you are there with them. All of the coaches are encouraging for the duration of each workout and all are excellent at communicating cadence and positioning during the ride so that you can get the most out of the workout.

 

The seat took a few sessions to get used to, as I expected. It can be easily switched with another seat type if it is not to your preference. By the third ride, I didn’t even notice the seat. My first few rides were with the pedals and straps included with the bike. They are quality components, but for my preference, I switched those out for clip-in pedals and even though I got a lot out of the workouts, to begin with, the clip-ins made a big difference in my ability to keep up with the cadence needed on some of the workouts. If you decide to purchase an S22i, I highly recommend installing clip-in pedals—the swap was fast, just a few minutes.

 

The bike is stable while you are riding and does not feel flimsy or light if you stand up and sit down quickly. The handlebars provide a comfortable hold and grip whether you are standing or sitting. At first, I couldn’t get the handlebars to move up and down but realized that because the monitor is part of the handlebar assembly, it took more force to adjust. It is easy, but some pressure does have to be applied. The seat adjustment is much easier because there is no weight on the piece that slides into the frame.

 

The fan works well and the screen is very responsive to touch during the rides. The background music can be adjusted separately from the voice of the trainer, so you can get as little or as much of each of those as you would like during your workout.

 

The top of the screen tracks your stats during your ride, so you know where are you are at during the ride, and at the end of the ride your totals are calculated and displayed. There is a separate warm-up and cool-down before and after each workout at a few minutes each. Some of the workouts provide warm-up and cool-down instruction within them as well.

 

One thing that I did notice is that the first time the incline adjusted, the sound of it surprised me. It isn’t silent like the spinning is. It works very well and is part of the workout so after the first couple of times hearing it, I got used to the sound. Besides, I should be pedaling hard enough I can only hear the trainer’s instruction, right?

 

The bike can also be used manually, so if you opt not to do a workout, you can still use it as a regular stationary bike. One cool thing is that with the HDMI cable, you can play the ride on your TV. I have a separate good ol’ spin bike and my daughter sometimes hops on that and rides along beside me, and that makes it even more fun.

 

S22i in home base view.S22i in home base view.

 

The Bottom Line

My opinion is that this bike is well worth the money. Along with the 30-day return policy, if you don’t like it, you really can’t go wrong. It is great fun and something that I look forward to using each time. This is an excellent purchase and I don’t see a downside to this bike. Everything works as it should and as advertised.

 

Two very enthusiastic thumbs-up from me.

 

We do not get paid to provide reviews. We may receive affiliate payments for links to Amazon for purchases. They’re not worth the price of selling your soul so, our integrity remains unsullied.


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27 Jul

“I’ve been reorganizing my cellar, figuring out what I should add to it,” Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum reported in his Pull Up podcast on April 3, on the subject of keeping busy while rehabbing from a knee injury. “I recently made a trip to Adelsheim and Beaux Frères, to learn more about their wines and their history … Adelsheim has some really good Pinot Noir and blanc de blancs … I recommend the Chehalem Mountain Breaking Ground Pinot Noir, for about $45—you can’t go wrong: It’s high acidity, with cherry, raspberry and strawberry flavors.” McCollum talks regularly about his favorite wines and his 600-bottle cellar, and it seems like his employers have been listening: In honor of the NBA team’s 50th anniversary, the Blazers are partnering with Adelsheim to create two limited-edition Rip City wines, a Pinot Noir and a Chardonnay, which will go on presale to Club Adelsheim members and Trail Blazers season ticket holders next month, and be officially released Sept. 24.

Adelsheim Rip City bottlesAdelsheim Rip City bottles

Gregor Halenda

The Trail Blazers’ newest off-season acquistions

“Making this wine was such an honor for our whole team,” said Adelsheim winemaker Gina Hennen in a statement. “As a Blazers fan, to be able to team up with the Blazers to create this special, limited-edition wine to commemorate the team’s 50th anniversary has been a dream come true. I think fans will love it as much as we do.” The winery is also treating season ticket holders to complimentary wine tastings at the tasting room (no word yet on whether McCollum qualifies as a “season ticket holder”).


Polygamy Porter Banned in North Carolina

Polygamy Porter canPolygamy Porter can

Courtesy of Wasatch Brewery

Rejected by North Carolina’s Taste Police

Just as Gov. Roy Cooper reached a settlement over North Carolina’s controversial “bathroom bill” this week (to the objection of the state’s General Assembly), state authorities have put their Tar Heel down over a new threat to the safety and sensibilities of all pure-of-heart North Carolinians: a cheeky beer can. The North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission (ABC) has rejected an application by Utah’s Wasatch Brewery to sell Polygamy Porter (which Wasatch has been making since 2001 and is sold in 20 states). “It really caught us by surprise,” Wasatch co-chief operating officer and brewmaster Jon Lee told Unfiltered, “because we got such a long track record of success with it.” Lee says the label is a playful wink at an ignominious piece of Utah history, but North Carolina isn’t buying it. The ABC defended its decision in a statement to Salt Lake City’s Fox 13, saying, “Polygamy is illegal. Therefore these products will not be approved,” and citing an ABC statute: “something illegal is undignified and in bad taste.” Wasatch is appealing the decision in Raleigh on Aug. 14. “We’re fairly optimistic that it’ll go in our favor,” Lee said. Asked if he would consider renaming the beer, he replied, “That’s not on the table at all.”


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27 Jul

Melt Cosmetics Blushlight ($22.00 for 0.13 oz.) is supposed to be buildable and can be worn alone or layered with other blushes. I’d consider it a more pigmented blush formula; a few shades are soft and yielding enough to be used with a lighter hand or less-dense brush for sheerer, more buildable application, but most shades were semi-opaque to opaque in one layer. The texture ranged from smooth, lightly creamy to soft and slightly powdery (though finely-milled and silky to the touch!). They blended out fairly well, though a few shades could have been more blendable, and most shades lasted between seven and eight hours on me.

01.

01.
Lynx
Melt Cosmetics

Melt Cosmetics

PPermanent. $22.00/0.13 oz.

B+

Melt Cosmetics Lynx Blushlight ($22.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a light-medium, peachy brown with warm undertones and a golden shimmer throughout that gave it…

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Melt Cosmetics Lynx Blushlight ($22.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a light-medium, peachy brown with warm undertones and a golden shimmer throughout that gave it…

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02.

02.
Nevermore
Melt Cosmetics

Melt Cosmetics

PPermanent. $22.00/0.13 oz.

B+

Melt Cosmetics Nevermore Blushlight ($22.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a muted, medium pink with strong, warm undertones and a luminous sheen. It had opaque…

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Melt Cosmetics Nevermore Blushlight ($22.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a muted, medium pink with strong, warm undertones and a luminous sheen. It had opaque…

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View Dupes
03.

03.
Fire Fury
Melt Cosmetics

Melt Cosmetics

PPermanent. $22.00/0.13 oz.

B+

Melt Cosmetics Fire Fury Blushlight ($22.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a rich, deeper plum with subtle, warm undertones and a luminous sheen. The texture was…

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Melt Cosmetics Fire Fury Blushlight ($22.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a rich, deeper plum with subtle, warm undertones and a luminous sheen. The texture was…

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View Dupes

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04.

04.
Electra
Melt Cosmetics

Melt Cosmetics

PPermanent. $22.00/0.13 oz.

B+

Melt Cosmetics Electra Blushlight ($22.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a light-medium lavender with subtle, cool undertones and a satin finish. It had very fine…

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Melt Cosmetics Electra Blushlight ($22.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a light-medium lavender with subtle, cool undertones and a satin finish. It had very fine…

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View Dupes
05.

05.
Ghostlight
Melt Cosmetics

Melt Cosmetics

PPermanent. $22.00/0.13 oz.

B+

Melt Cosmetics Ghostlight Blushlight ($22.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a pale gold with strong, warm yellow undertones and a luminous sheen. The glow was very…

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Melt Cosmetics Ghostlight Blushlight ($22.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a pale gold with strong, warm yellow undertones and a luminous sheen. The glow was very…

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View Dupes
06.

06.
Shadowplay
Melt Cosmetics

Melt Cosmetics

PPermanent. $22.00/0.13 oz.

B+

Melt Cosmetics Shadowplay Blushlight ($22.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a pale, just barely warm-toned white base with a minty green sheen that shifted subtly…

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Melt Cosmetics Shadowplay Blushlight ($22.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a pale, just barely warm-toned white base with a minty green sheen that shifted subtly…

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07.

07.
Sundown
Melt Cosmetics

Melt Cosmetics

PPermanent. $22.00/0.13 oz.

B

Melt Cosmetics Sundown Blushlight ($22.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a medium, coppery bronze with warm undertones and a luminous sheen. The shimmer throughout…

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Melt Cosmetics Sundown Blushlight ($22.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a medium, coppery bronze with warm undertones and a luminous sheen. The shimmer throughout…

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Side-by-Side Swatches

Glossover Breakdown

88%

Average Score

A
0
B
7
C
0
D
0
F
0
Glossover Averages
product
9
pigmentation
7
texture
9.5
longevity
8.5
application
5
Total
87%
product
9
pigmentation
7
texture
9.5
longevity
8.5
application
5
Total
87%

Reader Reviews

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0.0
Blushlight
Melt Cosmetics

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Melt Cosmetics Blushlight  

Melt Cosmetics Blushlight  

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Melt Cosmetics Blushlight  

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27 Jul

An idyllic country lifestyle raising kids on a sheep farm came to an end for Michaela Settle after her former husband’s gambling addiction spiralled out of control.

He eventually sought help to address his addiction to betting on horse racing, “but it was once he’d hit rock bottom and the damage had been done”, she told Guardian Australia.

Settle, now a Victorian state Labor MP, said it took her a long time to understand the link between her husband’s gambling and mental health.

“When it was all exploding and we were discussing it together, I was saying ‘why weren’t you thinking of me and the kids at the ATM?’… He at the time said this is a mental health issue,” Settle said.

“Is it chicken or egg? Are you so depressed that you go to gambling or had he done so much harm with gambling that it made him depressed?”

Settle is now one of many people calling for problem gambling to be treated as a public health issue. In a submission to the royal commission into the state’s mental health system, Settle has called for GPs to play a greater role in early intervention. She wants increased training for doctors and mental health workers on treatment options and ways to identify those at risk.




Michaela Settle, Victorian Labor member for Buninyong.Michaela Settle, Victorian Labor member for Buninyong.

Michaela Settle, Victorian Labor member for Buninyong. Photograph: Eddy Khayat/Parliament of Victoria

Doctors should be asking patients about their gambling habits, just as they would ask about alcohol and drug use.

Research showed health professionals often struggled to broach the subject and often don’t know which services to refer people to, Settle said.

“For our entire relationship, I knew that he bet on horses,” she said. “There would be crunch points all the way through. And those crunch points escalated in severity. I wonder if he had been screened [by a GP] could we have gotten intervention earlier?”

The couple had been managing a family farm at Ararat, in western Victoria, at the time of the crisis. Settle is also calling for a boost in counselling and support services to help families grappling with a loved one’s addiction, particularly in rural areas.

Victoria’s Responsible Gambling Foundation says 39% of Victorians with a gambling problem have a diagnosed mental illness.

“A mental health condition can impair a person’s impulse control and decision making abilities,” the foundation said in its submission to the royal commission.

“This lack of recognition of problem gambling as a public health and mental health issue contributes to the stigma felt by those struggling with gambling and undermines efforts to prevent gambling harm and treat problem gambling.”

Problem gambling also has a hidden death toll. Analysis of Victorian coroners court data identified 128 suicides linked to problem gambling between 2000 and 2012.

Business analyst Ian, from Melbourne’s western suburbs, said he had suicidal thoughts for a decade and had made three attempts on his life before he was able to finally turn a corner in 2014.

His mental health began to suffer once his gambling caused relationship problems and major financial strain. He had been betting on horses since the early 1980s but most of his losses were to the pokies once they were introduced to Victoria in the early 1990s.

The father of three had to leave his family’s home in 2007 and had raked up $100,000 in credit card debt.

“I ended up being homeless, living on the streets,” he told the Guardian.

“I started to have panic attacks, which I’d never had before. My depression was severe.”

In 2010, he tallied up more than $1m of pokies losses and then continued gambling for another four years and lost count.

Ian saw eight or nine counsellors over many years but most ignored gambling as a “root cause” and tried to fix his other problems such as homelessness, depression, financial and relationship problems.





PokiesPokies



Pokies clubs become a haven because it’s acceptable to go there alone. Photograph: Paul Jeffers/AAP

“That was a real failing that I found in the mental health system,” he said.

“It’s like an octopus, they try to cut one leg off, but the octopus is still going to be an octopus.”

Within three months of starting counselling sessions with Gamblers Help, he stopped playing the pokies. He now runs a peer support program to help others get their addictions under control and urges authorities to boost funding to such groups.

“It doesn’t help to speak to family members … it’s very hard for them to understand. They’ll say things like ‘just stop’. If it was that easy I would have. It’s like you’re in a clothes dryer. You keep going round and round and round.”

A 2017 research report found 70% of Victorians gamble, 0.8% are problem gamblers and 2.8% are at moderate risk of becoming problem gamblers.

For some a gambling addiction stems from the need for an evening activity, particularly if they are recently divorced or widowed. Pokies clubs become a haven because it’s acceptable to go there alone. Some Melbourne libraries have been staying open later as an alternative under a trial.

Former pokies addict Anna Bardsley, 70, recalls the first time she went to play poker machines on her own one night. She felt safe, staff were friendly to her as a woman alone and she stayed longer than intended.

“The machines did what they are designed to do, which was calm me down and settle me into a zone,” Bardsley told Guardian Australia.

She went on to “shred” every ounce of her self-esteem during her decade of compulsive gambling and lost tens of thousands of dollars. It’s taken years of counselling, music, art and theatre therapy groups to rebuild her life.

“It was a deadly spiral into an ocean of shame,” Bardsley said.

She said GPs should be asking people what they do to relax and in their spare time, as part of health consultations.

The Alliance for Gambling Reform’s submission to the royal commission recommends $1 bet limits, a ban on cash withdrawals in poker machine venues, greater power for local councils to veto new gaming venues and reduce pokies numbers as well as shorter operating hours for clubs.

One Melbourne mother was forced to move interstate after years of struggling to help her compulsive gambler son Ben who also suffers bipolar disorder.

The mother, who doesn’t want to be named, spent a fortune on a psychiatrist who had no specialist training in addiction. She said she met with “closed door after another” in the mental health system.

She characterised it as a “desperate battle to save our drowning child, who fights you as you try to get his head above water”.

* Gamblers Help: 1800 858 858. Other crisis support services can be reached 24 hours a day: Lifeline 13 11 14; Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467; Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800; MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78; Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636. In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.orgor jo@samaritans.ie. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org

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27 Jul

Meet new CEO Neil Verdal-Austin, who concedes missteps with Renew Sleep Solutions and pivots toward a technology-driven future.

At the end of 2018, SomnoMed was stumbling. The oral appliance maker was in the process of shuttering its direct-to-consumer subsidiary Renew Sleep Solutions as well as changing its chief executive. Its CEO since fall of 2016, Derek Smith, stepped down, and long-time chief financial officer Neil Verdal-Austin stepped up.

New CEO Verdal-Austin had been SomnoMed’s CFO for the past decade, a role he characterizes as not just number-crunching but “highly operational and strategic.” He says, “It was implementing the strategy that the board and the CEO at the time had embarked on.”

At SLEEP 2019, Verdal-Austin spoke with Sleep Review about how his vision differs from his predecessor’s, including how good intentions went awry, digital initiatives, and an upcoming device launch.

Renew Sleep Solutions Closure

There were several factors behind Renew Sleep Solutions’ failure, including patient volume missing expectations, high advertising costs, lower than expected third party payor reimbursement, and ill-will from dentists who utilized SomnoMed oral appliances in their practices and perceived the direct-to-consumer centers as competition.

Verdal-Austin says the execution and implementation of the subsidiary was fraught with difficulties the company didn’t anticipate. “Looking at the Renew Sleep Solutions’ experience, our intention was never what we experienced, unfortunately. And that’s our fault. It’s not anybody else’s fault. There’s no doubt about that.

“Our intention, as bold and courageous as it was, was to reach patients who had been previously diagnosed, treated with CPAP, and failed CPAP, if they remain at home untreated and are still sick. Our intention was to try and reach those patients and bring them back into the system…and treat them with an oral appliance that they probably were unaware of, unfortunately, because the physicians tend to not talk about oral appliances.”

The company “misread” several circumstances, Verdal-Austin concedes, including that it didn’t see the centers as in conflict with existing dental sleep medicine practices and it didn’t predict the changing health insurance landscape.

Former patients of Renew Sleep Solutions can get their medical records by emailing treatment[at]renewsleep.com with their name, birthdate, and mailing address. The patient portal is available to message the billing team, view and print clinical summaries, and make payments. SomnoMed’s list of recommended dentists for patients to continue treatment is available at renewsleep.com in a chart format organized by previous center location.

According to Verdal-Austin, “At every single center, we contacted the patients and let them know which dentist they can go to for help. We did not abandon or leave anybody at all.”

Driven by Technology

In terms of his vision for SomnoMed, Verdal-Austin says, “Our business will be technology driven in the future.” He says that technological systems, platforms, and partnerships are being put in place around the product line and will be unveiled as early as this fall. “And then we can start communicating in a stronger way,” he says, for now only saying that technology will “enable the facilitation of use of our device in more areas than we’ve seen before.”

Neil Verdal-Austin

“Digital Done Right”

Verdal-Austin went into more depth about a new SomnoMed oral appliance that has been FDA cleared and will be unveiled to the sleep medicine community this fall. The device is part of SomnoMed’s “digital done right” initiative, which also includes promotion of the company’s digital workflow.

The new milled device can be created using digitally scanned impressions and ordered online via the SOMaccount e-commerce portal for an end-to-end digital workflow.

It also represents a new design concept from SomnoMed: a feature that limits patients’ ability to open their mouths during sleep. A pilot study detailing apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) changes with the device was presented at the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine 2019 annual meeting (Poster #009: Short-Term Results on a Novel Duo-Block Custom-Made Titratable Mandibular Advancement Device Using A Flexible Counter-Balancing Titration Mechanism: A Pilot Study).

“Gravity and muscle relaxation might cause the mouth to open during sleep, decreasing the amount of protrusion during mandibular advancement (MAD) treatment. Applying a connection mechanism that could maintain protrusion should be advantageous in such circumstances,” the investigators wrote. “The present study investigates the effect of such a MAD using a flexible counter-balancing titration mechanism, on reduction in apnea-hypopnea index.” It found statistically significant improvement in overall AHI, as well as AHI when participants slept in supine and non-supine positions. “Especially in the supine sleeping position, it can be expected that mouth opening during sleep increases, thereby counteracting therapeutic efficacy. The tested MAD effectively alleviates such supine effects, showing even a statistically significant higher improvement in terms of decrease in AHI_supine as compared to the improvement in AHI_non-supine,” they wrote.

Dentists aren’t required to have intraoral scanner access to order the new device; Verdal-Austin says SomnoMed can convert traditional impressions into a format useable in its digital workflow. “But more and more dentists are starting to see [intraoral scanning] as viable—it’s efficient; it’s time saving; it’s accurate. And for us, it’s the future,” he says.

More SomnoMed devices will be added to the company’s digital workflow to reap benefits such as shorter turnaround times, Verdal-Austin predicts.

Final Thoughts

Though Renew Sleep Solutions is no more, Verdal-Austin expresses some of the same sentiments behind that initiative today: “As an oral appliance company, we are really determined to try and reach more and more patients with what we believe to be the patient choice, and that’s an oral appliance.”

He says that means increasing awareness about overall patient health outcomes—that is, adherence (where oral appliances shine over CPAP therapy) and efficacy together. “Our battle is not with other oral appliance companies,” he says. “Our battle is trying to reach, advise, make aware, and drive adoption and acceptance of oral appliances and lift the water table level for all boats in the industry, so that patients are aware that CPAP is not the end, or the only option.”

Sree Roy is editor of Sleep Review.

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27 Jul

Adam Fitzya joined his father, Voytek, at Big Cork Vineyards outside Frederick, Maryland, in mid-July for a gathering of top-flight East Coast winemakers. Both run the family-owned Catoctin Breeze Vineyard in Thurmont, Maryland, which has won the state’s Comptroller’s Cup the past two years for its Cabernet Franc.

There were 12 wineries in attendance representing six states, covering almost 800 miles from Long Island to the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina. These sessions, started in 2017, were created for a couple reasons: educational, where winemakers who sometimes double as vineyard managers and/or owners can sample some of the best wines being made throughout the region and trade notes, and promotional, with the discussion happening among wine writers and others immersed in the industry.

Those who participate are welcomed by invitation: They are wineries that are achieving excellence, evident either by word of mouth and/or awards. Each one of these “summits” has included no more than four wineries from one state, with the goal of trying to draw a collection of participants spread across a wide area and growing grapes in a variety of micro climates.

Catoctin Breeze is a natural for an event like this, squeezing quality juice from grapes that grow on a south-facing hill that’s associated with the Catoctin Mountains. Several top-flight Maryland wineries are growing grapes or will be planting grapes around there. Besides winning the two “best in show” titles in one of Maryland’s two in-state annual competitions, Catoctin Breeze wines also score well regionally and nationally. Its Barbera and Cabernet Franc both scored 91s and its Syrah received 90 points in the “American Wine Revolution” tasting that jamessuckling.com conducted last fall, its 2015 Syrah was named best on the East Coast at the Atlantic Seaboard Wine competition in December 2017, and its Cab Franc (92), Barbera (90) and Syrah (90) all were profiled in a report by the International Wine Review that was released this spring.

Adam admitted that a lot of the cellarspeak from the six-hour session that included the tasting of 25 wines and the answers to questions about the vintage and production styles that followed went a little over his head.

“I am not a winemaker, so I can’t speak too much relating to that, especially on the micro scale,” he responded to a question on what he took away from the session. “My role is more in marketing and overall business management, etc. That being said, the only thing I can really comment on is that I feel like East Coast wineries are still trying to hone in on which vinifera varietals work for their sites. I say vinifera, because in my opinion, those are the varietals you need to be successful with if you want to be a part of the overall global conversation.”

Each winery brings two of their best dry wines, almost all from vinifera grapes, usually a sparkling/white/rose and a red. A couple of adjustments are requested to make sure not too many wines are made from the same grape, but an East Coast gathering in general tends to bring in a variety of grapes and styles.

  • READ MORE: Takeaways from East Coast winemakers tasting? Here are four to chew on
  • READ MORE: Best East Coast wineries: A sampling meet for a late April ‘summit’

Still, these tend to draw an abundance of a couple grapes: to some extent Chardonnay and to an even greater extent Cabernet Franc, which has become the signature wine at many East Coast wineries. Four participants brought it as a varietal to the gathering and several others had the grape in the red blend that they served.

Many hybrids make great wines, Adam continued, “but I just don’t feel like the market really asking for them – perhaps they are just not as well-known, exciting, or romantic as vinifera, Napa has its Cabs, Argentina has its Malbecs, even the Finger Lakes have their Reisling, but what does Maryland or Pennsylvania have? Many vineyards [including Catoctin Breeze] have had to rip out vines that just didn’t work out on their respective sites. So in a sense, my overall impression and takeaway is that we’re still trying to sort of figure out what works here – trying to find our identity or flagship wine.”

The 2019 Virginia Governor’s Cup winner, a Petit Manseng from Horton Vineyards, was one of the wines poured at the East Coast Winemakers Summit. July 9, 2019

Maybe no wine displayed the possibilities of what can be grown and made into an award-winning and consumer-friendly wine than Big Cork’s Russian Kiss, a blend of three Eastern European grapes that winemaker and winery co-owner began making several years ago. If you haven’t read the backstory on the grapes and how the wine has started to be noticed internationally, click on this link.

Sean McRitchie, who runs his namesake winery and cidery in the mountains of North Carolina with his wife, Patricia, said what appealed to him during the sessions was not only the taste of Russian Kiss, an off-dry white wine, but how maintenance-free the grapes are in the vineyard. “I liked tasting the Big Cork Russian blend and hearing about its disease tolerances the most,” he wrote in an email a couple days later. “And I like to hear about people’s stories [success and failures with growing grapes] -example; induction of water stress or cropping 6 tons per acre with success.

“My biggest takeaway is that we all suffer the same impossible challenge on the East Coast. Weather! The changing patterns will require us to look harder at varieties that will withstand the new normal of wet we may be in for.”

Here’s a sampling of what was poured and, to some extent, chewed over.

  • A dry Prosecco-style sparkling from Raffaldini Vineyards and Winery, which is a neighbor of McRitchie Winery
  • An Albarino from Hawk Haven outside Cape May, New Jersey
  • A sparkling Viognier and Petit Manseng from Horton Vineyards, in Virginia’s Orange County. The latter had the distinction of being a rare white to win the Virginia Governor’s Cup earlier this year.
  • What eastcoastwineries.blogspot.com blogger and Hudson-Chatham Winery owner Carlo DeVito called a “pretty zippy Sauvignon Blanc from 1723 Vineyards in Pa.’s Chester County.
  • An orange wine called “Broken Land” made from Gewurztraminer grapes. Alie Shaper of Long Island’s Brooklyn Oenology/As If Wines, brought along this one among several to taste. “Big notes of honey and orange zest from the barrel aged wine,” was DeVito’s assessment.
Alie Shaper, of Brooklyn Oenology and As If Wines: on the winemakers summit: 'It only re-affirmed for me my conviction in the possibilities for great wine on the Eastern Seaboard, and certainly strengthened that conviction.'Alie Shaper, of Brooklyn Oenology and As If Wines: on the winemakers summit: 'It only re-affirmed for me my conviction in the possibilities for great wine on the Eastern Seaboard, and certainly strengthened that conviction.'

Alie Shaper, of Brooklyn Oenology and As If Wines: on the winemakers summit: ‘It only re-affirmed for me my conviction in the possibilities for great wine on the Eastern Seaboard, and certainly strengthened that conviction.’

Shaper and Long Island neighbor Alex Rosanelli, the owner of Hounds Tree Winery, made the long trip to participate. Possessing one of the industry’s more interesting resumes, Shaper said not only was the insight valuable but also meeting some of the winemakers who she knew only from their product.

“I was really impressed with all of the wines; nearly all of them knocked it out of the park,” she said. “It only re-affirmed for me my conviction in the possibilities for great wine on the Eastern Seaboard, and certainly strengthened that conviction. Lord knows I’ve been squawking about it to anyone who’ll listen for almost 20 years.

As for the reds, the mix included:

  • Red blends from Brooklyn Oenology, McRitchie, 1723 Vineyards, Raffaldini and Lancaster County (Pa.)’s Vox Vineti.
  • Cabernet Franc from Hawk Haven, Catoctin Breeze, Big Cork and Hounds Tree.
  • A blend of Rhone grapes called Mistral Rouge from New Jersey’s Unionville Vineyards.
  • A Bordeaux blend from Maryland’s Chateau Bu-De called Dickerson Red (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab Franc and Syrah). That winery served as host for one of last year’s two summits.

Joe Fiola, the longtime small-fruit and viticulture expert who worked for years for New Jersey Extension and has exceeded that length of time in Maryland, served once again as moderator. He chose the and pairings of the wines, which were poured two at a time, followed by discussions that ranged from issues in the vineyard to fermentation to production styles and aging.

Joe Fiola, a small-fruits specialist who among other things oversees several experimental vineyards around Maryland, handled the moderating once again from one end of Big Cirk's barrel/tank storage room. July 9, 2019Joe Fiola, a small-fruits specialist who among other things oversees several experimental vineyards around Maryland, handled the moderating once again from one end of Big Cirk's barrel/tank storage room. July 9, 2019

Joe Fiola, a small-fruits specialist who among other things oversees several experimental vineyards around Maryland, handled the moderating once again from one end of Big Cirk’s barrel/tank storage room. July 9, 2019

He has moderated all four of these, with another scheduled for Friday at Linganore Winecellars in central Maryland.

Asked for what he took away from this latest summit, Fiola sent the following list:

  • Attention to detail in the vineyard continues to improve as wineries understand “the wine is made in the vineyard.”
  • Wineries are honing in on which cultivars do best year after year at their site and concentrating on them.
  • Cab Franc and Petit Verdot continue to be the over consistent stars in the Mid-Atlantic.
  • Growers are continually improving on their blending skills.

For those looking for a road trip suggestion …

I’ve been assembling these weekend or daylong road trips for a couple years. Here’s a sampling of destinations for you to try this year.

Winery Tour 2018: A trip to 5 southeastern Pa. wineries and a cidery

Winery tour 2018: A visit to 4 south Jersey producers

Winery tour 2018: Four wineries in a trip along Chesapeake Bay

Winery tour 2019: Visit these six in one Cape May weekend trip

Winery tour 2018: Three northcentral Pa. wineries in one day trip

Wine tour 2017: Four Lehigh Valley wineries in one day

Wine tour 2017: Two wineries in one northern Md. day trip

Wine tour 2017: Four wineries in one central N.J. day trip

Wine tour 2017 Three wineries in one central Pa. day trip

Wine tour 2017: Three northwest Pa. wineries in one day

Wine tour 2017: Two-day whirlwind trip to the Finger Lakes

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27 Jul

Glee

Sydney Grace Glee Loose Pigment ($6.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a deep purple with neutral-to-cool undertones and a metallic sheen with moderate, green sparkle. The contrasting sparkle is what made the shade harder to dupe. It was richly pigmented with a finely-milled, lightly creamy texture; it was a denser, weightier powder (so it didn’t have a bunch of product that dispersed as soon as you opened the jar) that applied best by pressing and patting onto the lid, which avoided most of the fallout. The product adhered evenly to bare skin and “melted” so that it had a very smooth, highly-reflective finish that didn’t emphasize my skin’s texture. It wore well for eight hours on me before fading noticeably.

  • Pat McGrath Smoked Amethyst (LE, $25.00) is less shimmery, darker, warmer (90% similar).
  • Ciate Wicked (P, $24.00) is more shimmery, lighter, warmer (90% similar).
  • Tarte Graphic (LE, ) is lighter, warmer (90% similar).
  • Coloured Raine Black Butterfly (LE, $6.99) is more shimmery, lighter, cooler (90% similar).
  • Dior Gravity (094) (P, $29.50) is more shimmery, darker, cooler (85% similar).
  • MAC Victorian Plum (LE, $19.50) is more shimmery, warmer (85% similar).
  • MAC Panthertized (P, $22.00) is less shimmery, darker, warmer (85% similar).
  • Urban Decay Spandex (LE, ) is lighter, warmer (85% similar).
  • Sydney Grace Beauregarde (P, $15.00) is more shimmery, lighter (80% similar).
  • Too Faced Shady Bitch (LE, $16.00) is more shimmery, lighter, cooler (80% similar).

Formula Overview

$6.00/0.14 oz. – $42.86 Per Ounce

It’s designed to be worn alone, though the brand recommends a “mixing medium or a glitter glue” to avoid fallout. The loose consistency was denser and more weighed down, which made it less messy to work with than some more finely-milled (but very powdery) loose eyeshadow formulas available. They were very pigmented without much product, and they had similar coverage applied dry as well as wet.

The wet application typically yielded smoother, more metallic finishes and less fallout compared to dry application. Dry application required a bit more finesse as the product applied best by patting and pressing it on and then gently smoothing it into place, otherwise it had some fallout during application. A few shades that were more sparkly looked a bit chunkier applied to my skin when I used it dry (but were smoother and more forgiving when used wet). They lasted between seven and eight hours on me before creasing.

Browse all of our Sydney Grace Loose Pigment swatches.

Joyful Day

Sydney Grace Joyful Day Loose Pigment ($6.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a bright, bluish-teal base with warmer, gold-to-green shifting sparkle and shimmer. It had a loose consistency that was weighted down by binders, which helped keep it from fluffing up and out of the jar (so less messy than some loose powders). The larger particles of shimmer/sparkle did make it seem a bit “drier” to the touch and more prone to some fallout unless applied with a wet brush or fingertip. I’d recommend applying the product by pressing gently into place and pulling the brush outward to spread the color out. This should minimize fallout while giving it a smooth, even application of opaque coverage. It stayed on nicely for eight hours on me before creasing very faintly with a touch of fallout over time.

Optimism

Sydney Grace Optimism Loose Pigment ($6.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a rich, emerald green with subtle, cooler undertones and warmer golden sparkle that gave it more of a neutral-to-warm tone overall. The texture was soft, finely-milled, but it had larger sparkles, too, so it was a touch “drier” to the touch in the pot. You could tell that there was more to the formula, and there was a creaminess to the product as soon as it touched my skin that helped it adhere evenly and retain its full opacity in a single layer. I had slight fallout when I worked with a dry brush, despite pressing and patting on, and fallout could be further minimize by using it with a wet brush or patting on with a fingertip. It lasted well for eight hours on me before fading noticeably, and there was a smidgen of fallout over time.

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27 Jul

A student hanged herself after she found she would have to wait up to a year to access NHS mental health services, an inquest heard yesterday.

Nicole Kaye, 21, had been put on the lengthy NHS waiting list to access “intensive therapy” in an attempt to help her psychosis – even though she had been flagged as a suicide risk.

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust told her inquest it was only able to work “with the resources that we have”.

However, Ms Kaye was found hanged in a cupboard at her parents’ home in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, soon after finding out about the wait.

“It is very unfortunate that it was not able to be started straightaway. It took four months for the assessment to take place, but we were with the resources that we have,” Dr Daniel Maughan, a consultant psychiatrist from the Warneford Hospital in Oxford, said.



The inquest was heard at Oxford Coroner’s Court

 

And Darren Salter, senior coroner for Oxfordshire, concluded a verdict of suicide.

He said: “The correct conclusion is suicide, on the basis that Nicole did the act, on the balance of probabilities at least.

“If the trust could write to me on what the position is regarding that treatment, I think it might be helpful for families as well to have a note of what the position is going forward. It would be helpful and reassuring to understand if there is a prospect of funds becoming available.”

Ms Kaye, who studied fine arts at Sheffield Hallam University, was highlighted as a suicide risk when she went missing in August last year. She was detained under the Mental Health Act.

The inquest was told concerns were raised that Ms Kaye had misinterpreted research about the potential withdrawal symptoms of quitting smoking cannabis.



The young woman attended Sheffield Hallam University
(Image: GOOGLE)

It is believed the part-time florist may have started smoking the drug again shortly before her death in the hope of becoming well.

But cleaners at her parents home found her dead on February 21 this year.

Dr Daniel Maughan added: “I am very concerned about our lack of psychological provision and, unfortunately, we haven’t been successful in getting funds for more psychologists, so the waiting list remains a year.”

However, he said it was “speculative” whether Ms Kaye receiving intensive therapy would have helped her in time, as it can take months for patients to improve. Ms Kaye was considered at low risk of suicide at her previous assessment.




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Ms Kaye’s mum Caroline, from Henley-on-Thames, described her daughter as a “talented artist”, who was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and raised in Wokingham, Berkshire.

“I am not sure if I should say this… It is to do with balance of the medication she was on, so the response was there might have been a relapse if she is given too much of the antidepressant drugs. However, in light of this case, she may well have been alive if she got more of the antidepressants,” Caroline told the hearing.

“The other point is, she never actually got the chance to experience or get help from cognitive behavioural therapy, so it is all subjective as to how much it would have helped. She never got the chance.”

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust had provided a “reasonable level of care” for Ms Kaye, the court in Oxford heard, but reviews are now in place.

If you need to speak to someone, Samaritans are available 24/7 by calling 116 123 or by emailing  jo@samaritans.org


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27 Jul

It can now be argued that Washington state’s signature wine is cabernet sauvignon — the grape that attracts wine lovers from all corners of the globe to Napa Valley and France’s Bordeaux region.

Cab, known as “King Cab” to winemakers, is Washington’s most planted, most expensive and most famous variety. It is the grape that made wineries such as Leonetti Cellar, Quilceda Creek and Woodward Canyon famous.

Last fall, winemakers crushed more than 64,000 tons of cab, by far the most of any wine grape variety grown in Washington. Acclaim from critics and consumers continues to generate headlines for regions such as Walla Walla, Red Mountain and Horse Heaven Hills.

The Bordeaux variety thrives in the Columbia Valley’s heat, sunshine and cool nights, a climate that helps the grapes preserve natural acidity and allows them to benefit from hang time that often extends deliciously well into October.

Here are several examples of cab produced in Washington that earned gold medals this year in either Cascadia International Wine Competition or Washington State Wine Competition. Ask for them at your favorite wine merchant or contact the winery directly.

Abeja Winery 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $52: The Harrisons set the bar for wine-country B&Bs in the Pacific Northwest when they created Abeja in 2002 along Mill Creek Road in Walla Walla. Their goal to produce world-class cab continues to be realized, first by John Abbott and now by the husband-wife winemaking team Daniel and Amy Alvarez-Wampfler. Their flagship cab from Destiny Ridge, Kiona’s Heart of the Hill and a trio of historic Sagemoor sites shows off aromas of sweet herbs and spices, then black cherry and blackberry fruit. Flavors range from black cherry, blackberry and blueberry, ending with a dollop of dark chocolate amid well-managed tannins.

Armstrong Family Winery 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $48: Tim and Jennifer Armstrong moved their young family to a bucolic farm in Walla Walla, but their continued success allows them to operate both their original tasting room in Woodinville as well as their new spot along Main Street in Walla Walla. Seven Hills Vineyard near Milton-Freewater, Oregon, serves as the source for this cab that received a double gold medal at the Washington State Wine Competition. The theme of blackcurrant, cassis, baking spices and vanilla is made even more enjoyable by the silky tannins, which allow for appreciation of the underlying thread of graphite.

Eleven Winery 2017 Series BWA Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain, $55: Matt Albee and his colleagues continue to lure wine lovers to Bainbridge Island for award-winning wines. His latest cab from his 15th commercial vintage as a Puget Sound producer offers classic notes of blackberry, toast and eucalyptus, which are followed by flavors of black cherry, President plum and black pepper. Smooth tannins make this an ideal foil for leaner cuts of beef such as London broil or New York strip. And a portion of this wine’s sales goes to World Bicycle Relief efforts in Africa.

LTL Wine 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain $30: The maturity and development of Chris and Thea Upchurch’s vines, estate winery and tasting room along the southern slope of Red Mountain have allowed them to quickly build a following and create a sister label to their eponymous project. This youthful release from the founding winemaker of DeLille Cellars is centered on dark plum and black cherry with hints of clove and mocha. Fine-grained tannins akin to espresso grounds build a delicious mouthfeel.

Nodland Cellars 2015 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $45: Spokane attorney, musician and winemaker Tim Nodland works with 25-year-old Pepper Bridge Vineyard to create a cab filled with spicy oak, black cherry and blackcurrant aromas. Those are backed up by black cherry, blackberry, blackcurrant and spice in the mouth, finishing with firm tannins and juicy acidity. This ranks among the most stunning recent examples of cab in the state, having earned gold medals first at the Cascadia and two months later at the Washington State Wine Competition.

Jacob Williams Winery 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $40: Second-generation winemaker Peter Cushman joined Columbia Gorge winery in 2017, and he took the juice from Eagle Ranch Vineyard near Echo, Oregon, to a delectable finish line. Aromas of black cherry, dark plum, blackberry, chocolate and toast make up the full aromatics that are echoed on the palate. Firm, yet soft tannins carry into the farewell of toast and dark chocolate.

Westport Winery Garden Resort 2017 MV Endeavor Elephant Mtn. Cabernet Sauvignon, Rattlesnake Hills, $49: The Roberts family near Grays Harbor saw their nascent “MV Series” christened with a gold medal from the Washington State Wine Competition. Motor Vessel Endeavor pays homage to the boat that patriarch Blain Roberts was building at the shipyard in Westport when he first met Kim. Here, their winemaking son, Dana, doted on a single barrel of cab from acclaimed Elephant Mountain above the Yakima Valley. It’s a bright and expressive example that first hooks you with aromas of Montmorency cherry, blackberry, cured meat and fresh mint. Inside, bold flavors of plum and Craisin pull in more mint and a pinch of red chili flakes before leading out with a lingering finish of coffee.

Andy Perdue and Eric Degerman operate Great Northwest Wine, an award-winning media company. Learn more about wine at www.greatnorthwestwine.com.

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27 Jul

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