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New study finds video games beneficial for mental health

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A new study from England’s Oxford University has found that video games can improve players’ mental health.

Released November 16th, the university’s paper looked at a total of 3,274 gamers (all over 18) in the U.S., U.K. and Canada who play Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville and Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Overall, the study found that the actual amount of time spent playing marked a “small but significant positive factor in people’s wellbeing.” Further, Oxford noted that players’ subjective experiences during play might be an even bigger factor for well-being than mere playtime.

“Our findings show video games aren’t necessarily bad for your health; there are other psychological factors which have a significant effect on a persons’ well-being,” professor Andrew Przybylski, director of research at the Oxford Internet Institute and lead author of the study, said in a press release. “In fact, play can be an activity that relates positively to people’s mental health — and regulating video games could withhold those benefits from players.”

Przybylski added that the study allows researchers for the first time “to investigate the relation between actual game play behaviour and subjective well-being,” which enables them to “deliver a template for crafting high-quality evidence to support health policymakers.”

It should be noted that the data was gathered from Electronic Arts and Nintendo, the respective publishers of Plants vs. Zombies and Animal Crossing. Oxford says this makes the study the “first of its kind,” as it’s able to leverage specific accurate playtime data from the publishers, rather than “guesstimates” from respondents that have been used in similar research in the past.

Image credit: Nintendo of America

Source: Oxford University

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Westland Insurance marks 40th anniversary with charity campaign – Insurance Business Canada

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In celebration of its 40 years of business, Westland Insurance Group will be handing out grants to various charities across Canada – specifically local charities in the communities the broker operates in.

The broker’s “40 Weeks of Giving” campaign will see Westland support a cause every week for the next 40 weeks. The campaign began last week, and two charities have already received donations from Westland – the first recipient being the Burns Bog Conservation Society, which works to protect Canada’s fragile ecosystems; and the second recipient being the Canadian Mental Health Association, which works to reduce the impact of mental illness and addiction.

Westland Insurance, founded in 1980, has over 150 locations across five provinces – BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario.

Read more: Westland Insurance Group acquires Diamond Insurance Agencies

Recently, it acquired Calgary-based Diamond Insurance Agencies. The acquired brokerage focuses on residential, auto, life, travel, recreation, farm, and commercial insurance services.

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The Hennessey Venom 800 wants to give Ford's F-150 an edge over Ram's TRX – Driving

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Ram’s new TRX is a factory-built monster truck, with a 703-horsepower Hellcat V8 that tops the charts in terms of truck performance. Neither GM or Ford can rival that performance in a stock truck — but what they lack in factory support, they gain in aftermarket enthusiasm.

Yes, that’s where Hennessey comes in, with its new Venom 800 supertruck. Based on the latest generation F-150, the Venom 800 features a 5.0-litre V8 fitted with a 3.0-litre supercharger bigger than the engines of some cars.

The supercharger produces eight pounds of boost, helping to produce 805 horsepower and 727 lb-ft of torque when running on E85. Other horsepower aids include an upgraded stainless-steel exhaust system and new intake, fuel pump, and fuel injectors. All these tweaks make the truck pretty quick, with a quoted zero-to-96-km/h time of 3.6 seconds.

It also has massive six-piston Brembo brakes with 15.1-inch rotors on the front to bring it to a stop, as well as a six-inch lift kit, 20-inch wheels with 35-inch tires, and more aggressive shocks with external reservoirs.

Visual upgrades include a new front bumper, special Hennessey grille, LED light bar, and a numbered plaque on the interior. The Hennessey Venom 800 will be limited to 100 units, and costs US$149,500. That price includes the donor vehicle, as well as a three-year 36,000-mile warranty.

Hennessey already makes a 6×6 variant of the Ram TRX that makes 1,200 horsepower, and it’s only a matter of time before the performance brand takes the regular TRX to the next level as well.

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$2M from angel donor helps Edmonton toddler receive life-saving treatment – CTV Edmonton

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EDMONTON —
It was July 17 and Kaysen Martin’s second birthday had come and gone.

A day that had more significance than just adding another candle to the cake. It was also the deadline for Kaysen’s family to raise $2.8 million for a one-time gene therapy treatment to combat a rare disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 1 (SMA 1).

Fast forward four-and-a-half months.

An “angel donor” donated the remaining $2 million Kaysen needed to receive the therapy drug Zolgensma to treat the disease that affects the muscles used for lung support, swallowing, and crawling.

“It was a huge sigh of relief,” Kaysen’s mom, Lana Bernardin, told CTV News Edmonton. “It did take longer and, you know, it was complicated, but at the end of the day, we’re here, it’s done, (the drug) is in him and that’s all that matters.”

His family raised hundreds of thousands of dollars before the July 17 deadline thanks to community, and celebrity, donations.

Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds donated $5,000 to the cause while Edmonton-born actor Nathan Fillion put out a call for help on Twitter.

“To be able to come forward today and say that this has happened, we made it happen as a community is like amazing,” said Bernardin.

Which means adding more candles on Kaysen’s birthday cakes for years to come.

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