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I Tried “Happy Lights” To Help Battle Daylight Savings Blues; Here Are My Thoughts

Spoiler alert: they really do work. …

I live in a tiny, first-floor studio apartment with only two windows flanked by two high-rise buildings on each side, so as you can imagine, my space is utterly devoid of natural light—it’s basically a dungeon accented with some cute home decor pieces. Like many people, my mood and productivity are highly impacted by lighting (or lack thereof) so rather than breaking my year-long lease (I moved in a just a few months ago), I decided to look for alternative options to brighten up my dim space.

When my therapist suggested that I look into light therapy lamps and fixtures, I was admittedly pretty skeptical. It seemed highly implausible that a light bulb or lamp could ever mimic the ambiance-enhancing magical powers we get from actual sunlight. But because I’ve been working from home as of late and barely make it outdoors most days until the evening, I decided it was worth giving them a try.

Light therapy devices work to emulate the appearance of natural light and can help enhance mood and productivity because the bright light they emit stimulates cells in our retina connected to the part of our brain (the hypothalamus) that helps regulate circadian rhythms. The ideal light therapy fixture should offer about 10,000 lux (the level of light intensity), which is far brighter than typical indoor light. For comparison, a sunny day usually measures around 50,000 lux or so. While many use these gadgets for about a half-hour, I tend to leave mine turned on all day while work, take conference calls and the like.

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Despite my initial doubt, I have to say that these light boxes really do make a noticeable difference in my productivity, motivation and overall wellbeing for me. I feel more inspired, write faster and just feel better when I have it turned on. Many models are equipped with adjustable settings, allowing you to shift the color and brightness level to your liking. If you’re looking to boost a dingy lighting situation in your space, I’ve rounded up a few solid options to get you out of the dark.

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10 promising young Filmmakers, Screenwriters and Producers in the world 2022

As the old guard of directors gets older, one may question what the future of filmmaking will look like. To answer that question, you need only look to the young talents of today. So many young filmmakers, screenwriters, and producers are rising through the ranks, sure to be the shapers for the next generation of cinema. Here are 10 promising young filmmakers/screenwriters/ producers in the world that you should keep on your radar, written by Mark McPherson.

 

  •   Mariama Diallo

Until recently, Mariama Diallo was only known as a director of short films (Sketch, Hair Wolf) and a handful of episodes for the experimental show Random Acts of Flyness. 2022, however, was the big premiere of her debut feature Master, a social horror that takes place at a college with issues of racism. The film premiered on Amazon Prime and starred Regina Hall and Zoe Renee. With Master having premiered just last March, she’s a fresh director with experience in both film and television that is bound for bigger projects.

  •   Cooper Raiff

Cooper Raiff got his first taste of acting by playing a 14-year-old character in the short drama Domum (2010). In addition to acting, Cooper also took an interest in writing and directing with his directorial debut in the drama Madeline & Cooper (2018). While that film was rather small and went under the radar, his next feature film, Shithouse (2020), became more notable as the tale of a lonely college student who finds love during a party. Cooper would play the lead as well as write, direct, and produce the film. Currently, he’s turning his attention to television by acting in I Would Have Kissed You but also writing and executive producing on Exciting Times. In terms of films, he’s focusing more on producing such off-beat dramas as Over/Under (2022) and Cha Cha Real Smooth (2022), which he also wrote, directed, and starred in. He’s a quad threat for helping so many of his projects that he’s worth watching for his next acting/directing/writing/producing feature.

  •   Ariel Lavi

Ariel Lavi has been making a name for himself worldwide as a producer that has worked with many famous actors and he’s not even 30. Having studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Film & Theater Institute and won the 48 hours film festival in NYC with the film “Salads For Soulmates”, he started as a producer of short films and soon expanded with crews all over the world. He has since produced several short films and music videos, taking place across the globe in the countries of the US, Mexico, Nigeria, Israel, Dubai, and Canada. He’s also been a writer on the short films Cycle of Poverty and Metanoia. Metanoia, in particular, was distributed to streaming platforms in China such as IQiyi, the Netflix Of China. The film was screened at the Hilltop Film Festival Of Diversity and Inclusion and is due for screenings at the Lift Off Filmmaker Film Festival in London and Pinewood Studios, the Hollywood studio behind the James Bond films. His success has led to him being interviewed in Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Washington, Atlanta, Miami, Beijing, Mexico, London, the Caribbean, Italy, and Dubai. He’s the owner of the production company Lavi Company, located in Miami, FL, and if you’re in New Orleans you might have seen his billboard. Lavi doesn’t just distribute to Florida but all over the world. He additionally studied screenwriting at the National Film and Television School and has worked with actors all over the world. His productions have earned him an invite to the international film festival Cinemadamare in Italy.

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His upcoming production is The Corona Diary, a documentary in Dubai he’s producing and directing, marking his directorial debut. As a member of the Equity Actors Guild UK, Writers Guild Of Great Britain, Australian Writers Guild, Dramatist Guild of America in Broadway, and Producers Guild of Europe, he’s a triple-threat player to keep an eye out for considering his international influence. His other upcoming films include This Won’t End Well in Canada (writing/producing) and Dangerous Silence in Nigeria (writing/producing).

  •   Michael Sarnoski

Sarnoski seemed to come out of nowhere in 2021 but made a huge impression with his direction and screenwriter debut with Pig. He wrote the screenplay alongside producer Vanessa Block from his time at Yale University. Pig boasted a strong performance by Nicolas Cage that showcased how Sarnoski could not only write such a strong role for the veteran actor but direct him with great dignity as well. Although his film wasn’t a major hit at the box office, it gained a lot of love from the Independent Spirit Awards and Critics Choice Awards. Due to such success, Sarnoski is well on his way to directing bigger projects, such as a Quiet Place spin-off he’s currently working on for Paramount.

  •   Nia DaCosta
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Nia DaCosta grew up with dreams of becoming a writer or a poet. The film became more of her obsession when she stumbled onto Apocalypse Now. While attending the New York University Tisch School of the Arts, she met Martin Scorcese and was also hired as a TV production assistant. Nia specialized in making uncomfortable films about situations, having first directed her short film The Black Girl Dies Last in 2009 and making her feature directorial debut with 2018’s Little Woods, which starred Tessa Thompson. It’s worth noting that in both projects she also wrote the screenplay. She made a bigger writing/directing smash into horror with 2021’s Candyman remake. She is currently directing the Disney+ series The Marvels, based within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With such big projects on the horizon, it’s no wonder she was considered one of Variety’s Directors to Watch.

  •   Timothée Chalamet

You may know Timothée Chalamet as the heartthrob of such films as 2019’s Little Women and 2021’s Dune. But did you know this young actor is also venturing into producing as well? His upcoming film Bones & All, based on the novel by Camille DeAngelis, is being directed by Luca Guadagnino but Chalamet is one of the co-producers. This will mark his first dive into the world of being a producer. He’s come quite a long way from having been a kid actor for his first few films of Men, Women & Children, and Interstellar. Keep an eye on him for future productions.

  •   Zendaya

As another star of Dune, Zendaya has a bit more experience in producing for someone still in their 20s. After having a breakout role in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), as well as future Spider-Man movies where she appeared as MJ, she has since gone on a slew of television and movie productions with some of them acting as producer. She starred in the minimal romantic drama Malcolm & Marie (2021) where she is also a producer. As for television, she’s currently all the talk of the downbeat drama series Euphoria, where she has also served as executive producer since season two. So far, Zendaya has been a producer on projects where she’s the lead and this move could very well lead to her becoming a screenwriter or director. It’ll be interesting to see how her career proceeds.

  •   Lisa Hurwitz
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Lisa Hurwitz went to The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and found herself most infatuated with the format of the cafeteria. Though she wasn’t going for a degree in filmmaking, she was so intrigued by the cafeteria that she directed and produced the documentary The Automat (2021), centering around the 20th-century phenomenon of vending machine-style cafeterias. This is her directorial debut alongside documentary veteran Michael Levine as a writer. With such a fantastic debut, it’ll be fascinating to see what types of documentaries she may produce next.

  •   Tayarisha Poe

Tayarisha Poe first directed the short film Honey and Trombones in 2012 as a personal reflection of Indiana. She seemed to disappear for some time but then broke onto the filmmaking scene where she made her feature directorial debut with Selah and the Spades (2020). The film proved to be an intriguing school-based drama of romance and cliques. She would also guest direct episodes of Dave, Two Sentence Horror Stories, and The Twilight Zone. Filmmaker Magazine was on point when they declared her one of the 25 New Faces in 2015 and she proved as much with her breakthrough into feature films and television as a director.

  •   Carlson Young

Those who grew up with the Disney Channel may know of Carlson Young as the lead role in the show As the Bell Rings (2007-2009). She broke into horror when she appeared in the independent horror film Premature (2014). In 2018, she would star, write, and direct the short horror film The Blazing World, based on the prose of author Margaret Cavendish. In 2021, The Blazing World would expand into a feature film that Young also wrote and directed, in addition to once more playing the role of Margaret Winter. Her direction has also spilled into music videos, having directed “Catch & Release” by Peel. She is currently writing middle-school fantasy-horror Femina Nox with a possibility that she’ll direct as well. Having become accustomed to horror, Young is someone to watch for in this genre.

Writer: Mark McPherson

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How to Choose the Right Type of Lube for Sex

With so many types of lubricants on the market, choosing the right one may become overwhelming. While the quality varies from one brand to another, the kind of lube fit for the sexual activity you want to have can significantly impact your overall experience.

Different lube types are better for oral, vaginal, and anal sex, masturbation, strap-on play, and squirting toys, so it’s essential to get the type of lube suitable for what you want to experience.

To give you an idea of what we’re saying and how to choose the right type of lube, we will go over a few of the most important aspects of choosing a lube and how to use it to get the best sexual experience.

 

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What is lube?

Lube is a gel or liquid used in sexual activities to facilitate penetration and minimize friction between body parts. Its intended use and purpose are to make sex more enjoyable, but it also does wonders for reducing pain during sex, masturbation, or similar sexual activities. Some are also used as cum lube for squirting sex toys.

Types of lube

There are four types of lube: water-based, silicone-based, oil-based, and natural lubricants.

Water-based lube

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Water-based lubricants are the most popular type of lube for vaginal sex. They have the most natural consistency similar to our body fluids, so they are most comfortable to use during sex. Because it’s mostly water, water-based lubricants are a great option for those that have sensitive skin, experience dryness, and want to use silicone toys (it won’t damage the material as silicone lube). It’s also compatible with latex condoms and doesn’t stain, so you can use it with or without a condom and clean everything up with a quick water rinse afterward.

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The biggest flaw of water-based lube is that it tends to dry out faster than other lubricants, so you would need to reapply it more often during sex. This is also why most people avoid using it for anal sex, as this part doesn’t self lubricate and may result in irritation and itching.

Silicone-based lube

This is the most popular type of lubricant due to its consistency, which makes it easier to use for any type of sex. It’s longer-lasting than any other type of lube and safe to use with condoms, so you can use it during long sex sessions without reapplying often. The thickness of the lubricant makes it great for anal sex, but it’s also an excellent option for vaginal sex and masturbation. Silicone also holds well underwater, so it’s perfect when you want to take things in the shower, pool, tub, or another aquatic environment.

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The biggest flaw of silicone lubricants is that you can’t use them with silicone toys, which are the most common sex toys. The friction of silicone lube with silicone material may cause the toy’s surface to start deteriorating, so you may want to avoid this type of lube if you don’t want to damage your favorite silicone toy. Another potential downside is that it can be challenging to clean up and stain clothes, so it will take longer to get the silicone lubricant off your body and clothes than water-based or natural lube.

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Oil-based lube

As their name suggests, oil-based lubricants have an oily texture that makes them easy to use during any type of intercourse. Due to their consistency, oil lubricants perform best for masturbation, sensual massages, and hand jobs. Because oil holds well in water, many use it for sex in water and aquatic surroundings as well.

As with every other lube type, oil lube also has downsides. First, it stays in the body longer, so it may cause irritation and bacteria forming, so it’s not recommended for people with gentler skin. Because it’s based on oils, the lube is also more challenging to clean and can stain fabrics, so you would have to be careful not to stain anything while using it. Finally, oil lubes cannot be used with latex sex toys or condoms as they can cause them to deteriorate, which puts users at risk of STIs or pregnancy.

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Organic lube

Natural lubricants are your best bet if you’re environmentally friendly and want to keep things organic. There are many natural lubricants, from aloe vera to homemade options and everything in between. Because they are typically made of natural ingredients, they are body-safe and are less likely to cause irritations or allergies unless it contains an ingredient you’re allergic to.

The biggest downside to using natural lubricants is the smell they may cause. After all, they are made from natural products, so some of them may have unpleasant odors. Another negative aspect is that they dry out faster than silicone or oil lubricants, so similar to water-based lubricants, they will also require frequent reapplication during sex.

Final Thoughts

Having the correct type of lubricant is key to having enjoyable sex. It’s good for anal, vaginal, or oral sex, masturbation, and pairing with different sex toys, so it’s a significant part of having a healthy sex life. However, different types of lubes are fit for different types of sex, so while one may feel fantastic for vaginal sex, it may not be suitable for anal sex, and vice versa.

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When choosing the type of lubricant, make sure it indicates that it’s body-safe. Using high-quality lube will ensure you will have enjoyable and safe sex that will make you and your body feel good afterward.

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