Wouldn’t it be great to know when you’re going to fall in love or how successful you will be in your career? The horoscopes offered online and in magazines claim to have insights into your life path, but for many people, it seems pretty far-fetched.

How does astrology work, anyway? While the wisdom of astrology can seem a little “out there”, much of astrology is based on real, observable science. Read on to learn more about how astrology works and how to understand what it all means.

What is Astrology?

Astrology is the study of how the movement of celestial bodies (planets, stars, the sun, and the moon) affect human affairs. It is an ancient science that is thousands of years old. It was first developed by the Babylonians and the ancient Greeks.

Astrology was originally used as a way of keeping time before clocks. The motion of the stars and planets helped early astrologers and astronomers keep track of the seasons and predict weather patterns. Since this was a pretty successful system, astrology became increasingly used to try to understand more aspects of daily life.

The basic belief behind astrology nowadays is that the movements of the stars and planets provide a map for the goings on down here on Earth. Their movements and energies, combined with the way the sky looked at the moment you were born, are thought to influence every aspect of life. This includes your personality, your opportunities, and even, to some extent, your appearance.

By interpreting these movements, astrologers hope to gain a better understanding of how the world works. Horoscopes are predictions of events to come based on the meanings behind these planetary movements.

How Does Astrology Work?

As the Earth revolves around the sun, the sky appears to change. Astrology is based on the way the sky appears from Earth, not on objective movement. The zodiac is the system used to keep track of these movements and to make sense of what they mean for us humans.

The zodiac is organized by a circle split into twelve parts. The parts are called houses, and they correspond with the twelve signs and their ruling planets. Astrologers can use the zodiac to keep track of how the sun and other bodies move through the sky.

Personal horoscopes are based on your natal chart. Your natal chart is a snapshot of what the sky looked like at the moment you were born. It determines your signs throughout the twelve houses.

How Do Horoscopes Work?

Daily, weekly, and monthly horoscopes are based on how the stars and planets are moving in relation to each other during a specific period of time. Most popular horoscopes use your birthday and sun sign to personalize horoscopes.

Astrologers compare the positions of the planets and stars at the time of your birth to where they are at the moment the horoscope is written for. This influences how much the planetary movements, or “transits”, will affect you.

All this motion interacts with the houses and angles relative to other bodies. It can get pretty complicated.

For example, Mercury is the planet of communication. It rules the third house of the zodiac (also called the house of communication). Mercury also rules the signs Gemini and Virgo.

Every so often, Mercury goes retrograde, which is known to cause difficulties in communication. So, based on where you have Mercury, Gemini, or Virgo in your chart, astrologers can predict what area of your life will be affected by this breakdown in communication. The sky is full of a ton of moving parts, though, so this can be a pretty involved process.

Your Signs Explained

Most people are familiar with their sun sign. Your sun sign is determined by the position of the sun in the zodiac when you were born. Because of how the sun moves throughout the year, it takes about a month for the sun to change zodiac signs.

However, everyone has more than just one zodiac sign. Each person has twelve houses worth of astrological information, but the three most commonly used signs to make predictions are your sun sign, moon sign, and rising sign.

Your sun sign, as mentioned above, is where the sun was in the sky on your birthday. This is the most commonly used sign, and it’s thought to represent your inner nature.

Your moon sign is where the moon was in the sky on your birthday. Since the moon has a much shorter cycle than the sun, this changes more often. Not everyone born in the same month as you is going to have the same moon sign. Your moon sign corresponds with your hidden, emotional nature.

Your rising sign is based on what constellation was rising over the horizon at the time of your birth. This also changes frequently, so it can only be calculated by knowing the exact place and time of your birth. Your rising sign represents how you present yourself to the world.

Does Astrology Really Work?

While astrology has not yet been fully proven or disproven, there are many people who see it as a helpful tool. Horoscopes often give reasonably good advice, and they can help people look at their lives in new ways. Whether you believe or not, horoscopes like those at Ask Astrology can be a fun and insightful read.

What We Can Learn From Astrology

How does astrology work, exactly? While the answer may seem a little complex, there are some simpler benefits to it. Whether you are a critical skeptic or a faithful believer, astrology can be a tool to help you gain a better understanding of yourself and your goals in life.

What do you want out of life, and what personal strengths will help you get it? For more articles on how to live happier and healthier, check out more from our Beauty & Wellness section.

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The Most Hotly Contested Web Design Concepts of 2016

If there’s one topic that gets people fired up it’s web design. To succeed online, a smartly designed website is crucial. Something that brings in visitors and keeps them on your page, absorbing content.

Unfortunately, what constitutes a great site isn’t always agreed upon, and there’s constant debate of best practices, what’s hot, what’s not, and what is the cancer that is killing the industry. The argument still rages on, and recently it’s moved on to these commonly used web design elements:

The Carousel

“We’re not at the park, so why are we going around and around? Because people keep designing their sites with these blasted carousels” is just one of the commonly heard gripes about this supposedly interesting design choice.

Unfortunately, we have to keep clicking left or right to get another little morsel of information that the designers have deemed us worthy to handle. Are they afraid we can’t read full paragraphs? This one isn’t just a matter being annoyed personal preference, however, Carousel designs actually harm your websites performance.

They kill local SEO efforts by starving your site of actual content, the slow your site down with huge image files and JavaScript, and they are so confoundingly bad that nobody clicks through them all the way. The naysayers might have a point on this one, Carousels are way more trouble than they are worth.

Parallax Scrolling

You’ve seen this technique on graphics heavy sites in which the foreground and background scroll at different speeds. It creates a feeling of depth, helps tell a story through visuals, and looks pretty cool when properly implemented.

Unfortunately, it comes with some (resolvable) issues that may make it a waste of time. Like the Carousel, use of Parallax Scrolling is damaging to SEO. Since there’s usually just one page and a bunch of images, there’s no text content for search engines to crawl through and rank.

The abundance of images reduces performance (and completely kills performance on mobile devices). Most damaging of all though, is that the technique can just make it confusing to absorb any useful information, which will cut your number of repeat visitors down tremendously.

Think about it, would you stick around on a website where your only navigation option was to scroll downwards through hard-to read image/text combos? Of course, there are examples of Parallax Scrolling done right, so the argument is there that it’s all about how you choose to use it.

The Hamburger Menu

That three lined symbol in the corner on most websites that you click to access navigation options is commonly known as the hamburger menu.

While it does look cool, and you can see why one might be tempted to clean up their navigation by having it sleekly displayed in a drop-down menu, many say it kills a websites discoverability.

When your navigation options are out of sight, they are also out of mind, the thinking goes. There’s also the argument that it’s less efficient, since you’re forced to go to a separate menu just to see your options, but that’s more a matter of personal taste, it would seem.

We may never get definitive answers on whether these trends are good or bad, but it seems pretty clear that if you are going to try to incorporate any of these ideas into your design, you have to do it with care.

We’ve given you an overview of the tons of free web design options out there for building a pretty good site. When you have to move up to the big leagues though, it’d be prudent to hire some big league talent.

Professional web developers like Big Drop (out of New York), or Brown Box Branding (Dallas TX) offer great designs coupled with high level marketing strategies proven to keep the visitors coming back to your site for more.

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How NEOFECT Created a Smart Glove (Robotic Arm) That Uses Online Gaming for Rehabilitation

Wearable technology keeps evolving. And it is transforming the way we experience the world. Watches, eyeglasses, rings, bracelets and even smart home devices like the thermostat are changing how we consumer information, monitor our health and use home products. Smart technology has a significant role to play in how people will live in the future.

NEOFECT wants to change how to aid rehabilitation and the provision of clinicial real-time patient data. In an interview with  Scott Kim, Neofect’s co-founder and CEO of the US office, he spoke to us about how he started NEOFECT, the company’s success factors and challenges they have faced in their bid to change physical therapy using online gaming.

Brief summary about your startup

Established in 2010, NEOFECT is a mobile health startup with a vision to deliver an affordable and effective at-home system to aid neuro patients with central nervous system disorders such as a stroke.

Its first product, RAPAEL Smart Glove, combines a wearable device, virtual reality and gamification for rehab exercise, while its software analyzes the data from built-in sensors and provides training tasks based on the patient’s activity level.

The device has been successfully employed by a number of major hospitals in South Korea since December of 2014, and approved for use in the US and Europe. NEOFECT has offices in S. Korea, San Francisco, and Poland.

Why and how it was started

The President of NEOFECT, Ho-Young Ban, experienced first-hand the difficulties faced by stroke patients and their families when his father and two uncles fell victims of stroke.

Although his uncles were fortunate to survive, they had to turn down the rehab therapy because of the costs involved. So, when his friend Young Choi came up with an idea of Rapael, Ban could not resist.

Soon after, their classmate from the University of Virginia’s Darden MBA program Scott Kim joined the team to launch the US operations.

Kim was born with spinal bifida and went through a surgery and a long rehabilitation process, so he immediately recognized the opportunity and became a co-founder and the CEO of the Neofect’s US office.

What has been the biggest success factors

Personal motivation of the founders combined with the latest, most advanced smart technologies have become the major engines behind the company’s success.

– Gamification, which motivates a patient throughout the rehab process. It helps to induce neuroplasticity for hand function of a patient with a brain damage.

Various rehab games are updated monthly and each game targets specific movements such as squeezing the orange for finger flexion/extension and pouring wine for forearm pronation/supination, for example.

– Artificial Intelligence: the software analyzes data from the glove’s sensors and provides training tasks based on the patient’s activity level. The algorithm is designed to enhance learning multiple functions by offering an optimal task at a proper level of difficulty.

– Wearable Device: RAPAEL Smart Glove is a wearable bio-feedback training gadget. Lightweight and designed to fit different hand sizes, it uses the Bluetooth technology to collect the patient’s data.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced launching and running the company?

The biggest challenge was the product’s concept itself. Many people believed that Rapael could be a threat to the therapists. Fortunately, after we launched the program in several hospitals, we’ve been able to prove that our device is designed with the doctors’ and patient’s needs in mind and helps them make the rehabilitation process more efficient.

Which do you think is most important: the right market, the right product, or the right team?

This sounds like a cliché, but the right team is easily the answer to me. With the right people, you can make necessary adjustments based on new information to make sure there is a product-market fit.

My previous job was to lead a team to make mobile apps – without any exception, all great apps loved by users were made by great teams.

Final words for those chasing the startup dream

Never underestimate the importance of execution. Many people waste their time just to validate what they think or others think, or even just to finish the conceptualization.

However, you should “fail fast” in order concentrate your efforts on building a product which has a market demand, and of course, to save time and money as well.

Plus, you should fail while you are small rather than big, if you’re meant to face it. The earlier you do the reality check, the faster you can reach your goal, although it might cost you a couple of failures at the beginning.

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