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Cats and dogs have been, for a long time, man’s companions, pets, a part of your family. But with the new technology wave spreading nowadays, the digital era brings a new type of invention, a new type of ‘pets’: robot pets.

Robot pets – What are they.

An artificial intelligence, AI for short, inside a machine, a robot pet is, as the name implies, a robot designed in the shape and size of a common pet: dog, cat or even bird. Made to be similar in attitude and behaviour with a real animal, robot pets are used to help elderly people that, for various reasons, cannot keep a pet.

The robots are supposed to help with dark emotions, like depression, to keep the elderly active, maintaining their wish to live, fresh. But with the creation of such robot pets, comes the question everyone asks at the end. Can robot pets really replace real dogs and cats? The answer is simple: it depends on the individual.

There are numerous benefits when it comes to owning a robot pet:

Helps with several mental illnesses

Several mental illnesses, like depression or dementia, are, in the long run, hard to cure. By using robotic pets, there has been an increase in relaxation and lack of stress in the elderly people diagnosed with such illnesses.

They not only respond better to the caretakers, but they also are more active, more sociable, engaging in discussions and interaction with other fellow patients. The pets provide the necessary emotional support for the patient to take a step forward in a positive way.

Does not bring additional costs aside its acquisition

Once you buy the robotic pet, there are no other future costs. It will not require medicine, treatment, food or water to survive. With several types of robotic pets already on display, there are sure to be some affordable robot dogs or cats you can ‘adopt’ and bring into your family.

Is ideal for those who suffer from allergies, as it does not shed

Allergies are not something you can control fully. Some people are born that way; some acquire allergies in their lifetime.

Those who are allergic to animal fur, but still wish to have a pet, can now have their dream come true. They do not need to compromise anymore, as the robotic pets do not shed and have no real fur.

According to what model of robot you choose, they might have a synthetic coat over their mechanical body that imitates the way real fur looks like, on the one hand. On the other hand, if you prefer a more mechanical look to it, you can choose one that will satisfy your taste.

Does not need cleaning

As they do not eat and drink, they do not defecate. So you do not have to take them outside for them to do their business, nor do you need to clean after them while indoors.

They will not misbehave

Everyone who owns a real pet, be it dog or cat, has come face to face with the situation in which the pet misbehaved.

A friend came to visit you and your dog jumped up and down, barked and tried to bite your friend? Did your cat act aggressively, trying to scratch the one who wanted to pet it?

With the robot pets such misbehaviour does not exist. They are programmed to recognise you as their owner no matter what, their expressions and actions already installed in their memory. Or, if you are good at computers, you can also download and instal several other tricks for your robotic friend to perform.

In contrast to the benefits a robotic pet can have, there are a series of downsides that, for many, are just a deal breaker.

However, there are also undeniably drawbacks in terms of owning a robot pet:

It only has a limited set of actions and cannot respond to you directly

They already have programmed in their memory what type of actions trigger what effect. For example, a cat will only purr if you pet it on the back, while a dog will wag its tail only if you pet it on the head. If you do any other type of action and expect the robots to either purr or wag their tail, you are going be disappointed as they will not do anything.

It may break down unexpectedly

You never know when it might break down. Some products do need to recharge their ‘energy’, but others may use a more advanced and complex system that does not require batteries or recharging. If one of such products breaks down, the only way to repair it might be to send it back to its producer and have it replaced with a new one.

No walk

Robot pets do not need to be taken out for a walk. And while this might seem attractive at first, on the long run it is a major drawback. Walking your dog is highly beneficial to both yours and your dog’s health. You get to exercise, you have a way to meet new people, and you relax and avoid over-stressing while the dog gets his energy level down a notch while doing its ‘doggy business’. But with robotic pets, your healthy lifestyle might suffer.

Does not provide the emotional achievement of training or interacting with a real pet

Pets, no matter what type, have their own way to show their affection, to communicate and interact with you. Moreover, when you finally manage to train your dog or you receive your cat’s affection, you get a feeling of fulfilment, of serenity, of achievement.

When robot pets are concerned, there is no such feeling. They are already programmed to do certain things and to offer you their ‘unconditional love’. But at the end of the day, robots do not have feelings, and they cannot compensate for yours.

No emotions

A pet will feel sad when you leave it alone for too long and will be a cute, furry joy-ball when it sees you. There is no dog that will not wag its tail as soon as it sees its owner. It will do anything in its power to grab your attention in order to receive a few affectionate words or a pat on the head.

A robot pet, however, is another story. If left alone it will enter a standby state, in which it will try to imitate ‘sleep’. It might fall under the ‘cute’ category at first, but as the time passes, you might feel the need to be ‘asked’ for attention by your pet.

A robot is not capable of doing so while putting feelings and emotions into the act itself. Sure, it might emit certain sounds and noises to get your attention because its battery is running out, but it will never behave like a true, real, animal.

In conclusion, despite being a new trend, and despite having their own benefits, robot pets still have a very long road ahead before there is any chance for them to replace a breathing, loving cat or dog.

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So, it's that time of year again, the grass is green, the sun is shining – or at least, that's what you've been told.

It's not like you can actually see anything through those puffy eyes and blocked nose – that's right, hayfever season is officially upon us.

For those of you who do suffer from the irritating symptoms, finding a cure can seem impossible. Sure, you could stock up antihistamines, but remembering to take them is a task in itself.

Well, what if we told you that the answer could actually lie within your favourite bottle of gin?

Now, we know what you're thinking. Doesn't alcohol make hayfever and asthma symptoms worse?

Not necessarily. In fact, according to Asthma UK, gin could actually be the best choice of drink for hayfever sufferers.

While 64 per cent of asthmatics claim that alcohol can make their allergies worse, it seems it's actually the darker beverages that are at fault.

Drinks like red wine, beer and whiskey actually contain two triggering chemicals- histamine and sulphites.

Asthma UK instead recommend that sufferers opt for clear spirits such as gin or vodka in order to their symptoms at bay.

Now, we're not saying a tall G&T will provide a miracle cure, but it's definitely your best option on these sunny afternoons.

Gin is a particularly good choice as it does not contain any sulphites and according to The Independent, Absolute Vodka have recently revealed that their products are free from them too.

It's also best to stay away from foods like bacon, cheddar cheese, salami and tinned tuna which are usually high in histamine.

Instead, it is recommended that allergy sufferers opt for fresh meat and fish, and cheeses such as ricotta and mozzarella.

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Oh ladies, the trials and tribulations associated with allergy and allergy management are not for the fainthearted.

If you're one of those people who has mumbled 'don't mind me, just allergies' from a young age, you'll know that day-to-day life can be pretty tough.

From the onset of allergy season to your undisguised suspicion of household pets, suffering from allergies pretty much blows.

And it's highly likely all of the following things apply to you, but it's OK because we're here for you.

1. You sense household pets a mile off

For as long as you can remember, your parents have insisted that four-legged creatures, while beautiful, have the potential to kill you.

And understandably, you've regarded every household pet with an air of suspicion ever since.

You need only take one step down a friend's driveway to know that there's a furry creature lurking inside just waiting to send you into a sneezing fit.

2. You'd rather forget your phone than your pack of tissues

There are some points throughout the year when the only thing you care about is your proximity to tissues.

You have strategically placed boxes and packets around your home, car and workspace, and woe betide anyone who thinks they can use them for anything except an explosive sneezing fit.

Oh, and you know you're in a particularly bad way when you'd rather soldier through the day without your phone rather than your tissues.

3. You wish the Bono 'I wear sunglasses inside' look worked for everyone

At the height of an allergy attack, you can look like you've done three rounds with an Olympic boxer, right?

And the only way to avoid concerned looks and well-intentioned remarks is to wear the biggest pair of shades you have.

Except people who wear shades inside are… well… we all know what they are.

4. You feel the oh-so-familiar 'itch' coming for days

Whether it's a build up of dust in your home or the onset of summer, your body has a way of telling you that you're in for a world of discomfort in the coming days.

And it generally comes in the form of a niggling itch which manifests itself into a full-body spasm when you come into close contact with a trigger.

Why must it feel like every potential pollutant has a personal vendetta against you?

5. You hate the term 'bless you' because at this stage, you know you're not

They mean well and they assume you'll appreciate it, but there comes a point in your day when the term 'bless you' loses all meaning.

After your 80th eye-watering sneeze of the morning, the last thing you feel is blessed.

And no amount of well-meaning acknowledgements will convince you otherwise.

6. You fantasise about a pristine home devoid of dust and other allergens

While other people fantasise about holidays and time off, your daydreams generally involve dust-free floors and pristine rooms.

This allergy-free zone may sound like a stretch, but with the Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Link, it can actually become a  reality.

They might have begun by engineering vacuums that capture the pollutants found on floors and surfaces, but now they've turned our attention to those in the air. As pollution increases, technology has sought to counter it, and that's where this incredible fan comes in.

7. You can't enjoy freshly cut grass like the other humans

Ask most people what they adore about summer, and the smell of freshly cut grass will rate pretty high.

And that's because these people aren't attacked by it.

You long for the day when the smell of freshly-cut grass doesn't leave you bent double and wheezing while frantically searching for your emergency pack of tissues.

 

Brought to you by

dyson pure hot+cool™ link automatically purifies to remove gases and 99.97% of allergens and pollutants as small as 0.3 microns.

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In 2013 Gwyneth Paltrow gave an interview that shocked the world when she seemed to say that she doesn’t feed her children carbs.

Or is that actually what she stated?

The Oscar-winning actress has now explained that she feels the interview was taken out of context:

“I’ve been misquoted a lot around food," she said. "The reason I wrote my last cookbook [It’s All Good] with no overt allergens in it was because of my son’s eczema.

"He should eat gluten-free, based on his allergy tests. I don’t know how that got construed to I don’t feed my kids carbs.”

Like every mum, Gwyneth claims she only wants what’s best for her kids, Apple, 11 and Moses, 9. And this includes their diet.

Gwyneth explained in the same interview with Women’s Health that it's important her kids eat as healthily as possible: “I try to have whole foods, organic when possible.

"And a lot of vegetables – my daughter is vegetarian, so a lot of our meals are plant-based.”

In 2011, the Iron Man star was serving lunch to guests in her London home when she fell ill. She initially feared she was having a stroke, though it later transpired that she had suffered the effects of a severe migraine and a panic attack.

As a result, Gwyneth, who 'consciously uncoupled' from hubby Chris Martin last year, discovered that she was anaemic and had a serious vitamin D deficiency. And the health scare prompted her to get her family tested for allergies; she has since adjusted their diets to suit their needs.

Sounds like a pretty great mum to us! 

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There are a number of reasons why someone can end up with dry skin, from genetics to allergies and in some cases even asthma. But, a lot of the time, external factors are the biggest cause for dry skin.

Here are ways you can tackle it:

  • Use cleansers that are suited to your skin type.
  • Don’t over-scrub your face as it will strip your skin’s natural oils and leave you with a dry and uncomfortable feeling.
  • Always use a moisturiser after you’ve cleansed your face. Whether it’s in the morning or at night, your skin needs to be moisturised.
  • Make a habit out of exfoliating. This will remove any dead cells lying on the surface of the skin.
  • Since saliva has enzymes that draw the moisturise from your lips, it’s best you avoid licking them. Instead, use a balm whenever you feel your lips are dry.
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