Ukraine,Crisis,Map.,Ukraine,And,Russia,Military,Conflict.,Geopolitical,Concept.

How the Russia-Ukraine Conflict Could Affect Global Markets

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has been a long-running and ongoing battle, with no foreseeable end in sight. Several countries have imposed sanctions on Russia because of their involvement in the Ukraine conflict. Now, with the conflict continuing to intensify, it is causing instability in the global markets.

The west will be looking to protect their interests by attacking Russia’s economy while Russia will be looking to retaliate. Let’s understand the likely impact on global markets as the global financial turmoil ensues.

What is the Russia-Ukraine Conflict?

The Russia-Ukraine conflict began on November 21, 2014, with the annexation of Crimea by Russia. On February 18, 2015, Russian President Putin signed a treaty with the rebel regions of eastern Ukraine. And called for an internationally supervised referendum that would decide whether to remain in Ukraine or ally with Russia. The referendum was held on May 11th and declared it wouldn’t be able to make a decision because of the low turnout.

After months of fighting, on September 5th, 2016, the Minsk II agreement was signed between Kiev and separatists. They called for a ceasefire between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine. However, this lasted only two days before fighting broke out again on September 7th. Rebels attacked Ukrainian forces over the withdrawal of heavy weapons from front-line areas as per the agreement.

As of 2022, the crisis has entered into a new phase with a much worse situation prevailing in the region.

How This Could Affect Global Markets

The conflict in Ukraine has had a severe impact on the global economy. The sanctions imposed by the west could lead to a global recession. In addition, Russia may respond to the sanctions by increasing oil prices and raising the interest rates, which could cause further economic instability for countries like the U.S., Europe, and China.

In light of this, countries will be looking to protect their interests by investing in assets that are less vulnerable to these kinds of factors.

A Rush Towards Safer Investments

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a major risk event that may cause investors to flee bonds, considered the safest investments. This time will most likely not be different from any other because inflation risks from oil prices are very high.

For bond markets, inflation and interest rate hikes have had a negative impact on the first month of 2019. US 10-year rates are still hovering close to 2% while German 10-year yields remain at 0%. But if the Russia-Ukraine conflict escalates, that could change.

The euro/Swiss franc exchange rate is seen as the biggest indicator of geopolitical risk in the eurozone. The Swiss currency has long been viewed by investors as a haven. In late January, it hit its strongest levels since May 2015.

Gold is finding support at 13-month highs, a reminder of the metal’s importance in times of conflict or economic crisis.

Impact on Energy Prices and Petrol

Russia is no one-trick pony. The country ranks third in petroleum and second in natural gas production. While the United States dominates energy production with about 17% of global production (in 2019) according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

If Russia becomes less reliant on its older and more expensive reserves, countries like the UK will have to find alternative solutions for energy. This would impact prices in a similar way, or even potentially increase them depending on how costly these new sources of supply are.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has already driven up energy prices. The EU will likely be burdened with even higher costs for these items as a result of the tension in Europe.

Politicians in Germany are calling for a “national gas reserve” to be created as an insurance policy for consumers from price shocks.

Household fuel bills in the UK could reach £3,000 and average petrol prices have already hit a record high of nearly 149.5p on February 23rd, with diesel at 152.8p.

Airlines may have to pass on the rising costs of aviation fuel to customers, which will also likely lead to an increase in plane ticket prices.

Impact on Commodity Markets

The unintended consequences of any conflict can be disastrous and are one of the biggest dangers. The most severe would be when these uncertainties bring about a change in economic periods which is unexpected.

Russia’s role in the world of commodities has been important for centuries and continues to be so. The country is one of the most significant producers of iron, nickel, aluminum cobalt, copper, and gold as well as diamonds. Russia also suffers from supply-chain bottlenecks that have caused prices to rise worldwide due to shortages in domestic production.

Russia is the top producer of palladium, which it uses to make the catalytic converters required in gasoline-powered cars. These prices have already contributed to a surge in American inflation, but they could be on Western sanctions lists if Russia doesn’t act more responsibly.

Conclusion

Though the Russia-Ukraine conflict could affect global markets in a variety of ways, it’s always wise to be prepared for the worst. With that in mind, it would make sense to put investments into safer havens for when things get worse. Even if you can’t know exactly how bad they’ll become!

apple logo on glass window

Apple’s Plans for 2022

Now that we’re settling into the new year, we wonder what Apple’s up to. Here’s what we found on Apple’s plans for 2022.

Apple’s Plans 2022

From their gadgets to business moves, here’s what we may see Apple do this year.

AirPods

One task on their agenda is working on the third-generation AirPods. Specifically, Apple is enhancing noise-cancelling and Bluetooth technology on the airpods. The guy in charge of acoustic engineering, Gary Geaves, explains more in this video here.

AirTags

Next on the list is the Apple AirTags. Customers are becoming increasingly concerned about the safety of AirTags. There are claims that it can track people and lock/unlock car doors. The purpose of AirTags is to help users keep track of keys, wallet, and other important but often misplaced items through an app. Apple is working to strengthen security and work out bugs.

A15 Chip

With the release of their A15 bionic chip in September 2021, we can bet that they are in the process of increasing production. It is highly likely that they are designing the next iPhone based around their chip. Reviewers are happy with its performance, so it doesn’t look like Apple needs to re-work it.

Apple The Grove

In November 2021, Apple opened up Apple The Grove. It’s the biggest Apple store in the world. The two-story store is in Los Angeles. It aims to be interactive with every customer than comes in the door, and not to mention the largest selection of in-store Apple products. The company will be busy trying to make the store as successful as possible this year.

Possibly a new Macbook?

And of course, Apple will be releasing new products this year. The last Macbook we got was the Macbook Air in 2018, updated July 2019. But, now that the company has their A15 chip, they are developing the next Macbook to contain those chips. Maybe we’ll see them hit the shelves later this year.

 

Interested in marketing assistance? Contact Redwood Creative, Inc. today!

three gold-colored bitcoins on black surface

Bitcoin City

When cryptocurrency is life, then you gotta live where you can thrive in that cryptocurrency life. Imagine being so invested (pun much intended) in crypto, that you design a city dedicated to crypto. This is a reality for El Salvador. Bitcoin City, El Salvador is currently in the works.

Bitcoin City

In November, Salvadorian President Nayib Bukele announced his plans to fund an entire town with bitcoin. He hopes this will bring good fortune to the country. Specifically, his goal is to bring people in and get the crypto business booming. In other words, BitcoinCity will be the Wall Street equivalent of crypto. And, as the name suggests, Bitcoin will be the official method of transactions. Yes, citizens will likely have their own Bitcoin credit cards. Bukele noted that the city will have a circle-shaped design, with a circular plaza in the middle. So, from the sky, it will look like the Bitcoin symbol.

On another note, it will have its own sustainable power source- a nearby volcano will provide thermal energy. Then, the city will harness the thermal energy for electricity.

Does “the city of crypto” concept sound familiar to you? That’s because the Mayans had their city of gold, and the Greeks decked out everything in marble and bronze. The estimated cost to build the city will equal out to 1 billion US dollars. Fiscal officials expect to reach financial stabilization 5 years in.

Read the official press release here.

 

purple and pink plasma ball

How Doctors Are Using LSD as a Therapeutic Treatment for Psychiatric Conditions

LSD or lysergic acid diethylamide was considered therapeutic psychedelics and was subjected to exhaustive experimentation in the 1960s since it was believed to have the potential to be a useful drug. But since it was banned shortly after all the research, advertising and marketing relating to LSD as a drug also had stopped. In recent times, research and experiments on LSD have commenced again. Doctors are hopeful that LSD will result as a potential drug in the medical world with beneficial therapeutic results. It is being perceived that consuming a specific amount can help people eliminate their fears and anxieties.

Can LSD be used in treatment?

It cannot be denied that the consumption of LSD can distort one’s experiences of space and time. It can also make the person hallucinate. But that happens only when consumed in excessive amounts. If LSD is consumed in prescribed amounts, it can be helpful for the individual. Various positive effects are being discovered about LSD. LSD can affect the structure as well as the function of the brain, and in this way, it promotes neuron growth. With the help of advanced technology, LSD is known to react with multiple chemicals and receptors of the brain. It is being noticed that when taken in the correct amount, it makes the consumer experience creative and out-of-the-box thoughts. Doctors believe that LSD will have positive effects if used in the treatment of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, dependency on drugs, and anxiety.

When talking about treatment, LSD has to be administered under the proper guidance of a medical professional, like a psychologist, so that the patient gets the maximum benefit and remains safe. It has been noticed that after consuming LSD, the patient might lose consciousness, but they perfectly remember their experience.

Results of trials for LSD Therapy

There have been successful trials for LSD with improved technology, and in every trial, LSD proved its potential therapeutic psychedelics. Doctors had given single doses of LSD to certain participants who had no medical history of any mental illness. They witnessed that the participants were seen to be more optimistic and open-minded for about two weeks. They were feeling happy and motivated.

So, the doctors could figure out that controlled doses of LSD on people without mental ailments could help improve their mood. In addition, doctors had conducted an LSD experiment on people with alcohol dependency. To their pleasant surprise, the people reported that after receiving the dose of LSD, they experienced a lot of positivity and optimism in themselves.

They could face their hardships more smoothly. Then came the most promising trail that bought a revolution in LSD therapy. The doctors gave specific doses of LSD to patients with life-threatening diseases. Such patients’ added anxiety, in general, leads to the reduction of their life span. The doctors were pleased with the results as the patients reported that they were experiencing improvement in their mental strength and could feel a stronger self-assurance.

These patients experienced a relaxed state of mind for about a year, and the doctors were very impressed with the results. This called for marketing LSD as a potential drug for treatment.

Benefits of LSD Therapy

Doctors are advertising and using LSD in the treatment of patients since LSD provides promising results. Mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety would usually take a lot of time to cure, but with the help of LSD, these illnesses are getting cured at a much faster rate. Since the doctors are continuing with the LSD research, they are confident about the medical potential of this drug. Doctors are encouraging business/industry personnel to start with the production of LSD as a drug. The influencers on social media are also talking about the benefits of LSD and encouraging people with mental illnesses to try at least one dose of LSD.

Conclusion

Doctors are promoting the use of LSD via various sources. However, it should be noted that the consumption of LSD poses a few threats. First, though LSD does not impart addiction, the patients are sometimes seen to experience confusion and anxiety after receiving their doses. Second, the patients may show rebellion, and in worst cases, they might get violent. Lastly, it is still not determined how much is the perfect dose of LSD for various illnesses. Also, at what interval should the drug doses be given to the patients.

We can conclude by accepting that LSD is very beneficial to fight mental illnesses and also acts as a mood lifter. But when using LSD, one needs to be ultra-careful since incorrect dosages of this drug can result in undesirable results.

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Facebook Business Suite Tips

It’s not easy running a business, but thankfully Facebook Business Suite can help. If you know how to utilize it, you’ll be directing more traffic to your website. Your audience will likely see your FB Business Page before your actual website. So, here’s how to get them onto your page, then onto your website.

FB Business Suite makes it easier to manage your followers/customers, posts, comments, etc. Also, you can connect your Instagram business page to your Facebook business page, which we recommend doing. All activity from your Instagram page will show on your FB business suite.

Posting on Business Suite

If you do have an Instagram page linked to your FB page, then check the box for the post to automatically share on your Insta. This will save time. Then, write your caption and upload your video/photo. Facebook can be funny about posting GIFs, so avoid those unless necessary. Links cannot be embedded in the text, so they have to stand alone. Therefore, make sure your audience knows what the link is for. Whether you’re posting on Instagram or not, don’t forget your hashtags- they will help you with your reach. Now, most importantly: down at the bottom, click “optimal times’. This will show you when your followers are most active. Finish off your post by scheduling it to post during optimal times! It’s good to have your social media posts planned out so you can schedule them to post at optimal times.

Don’t forget you can boost your post. Typically, Facebook will offer $10 ad credit if you wait a couple hours after posting to boost it. You will get an e-mail and a notification of your ad credit.

Other Business Suite Tips

Inbox will help you manage comments on your posts and ads, and any Facebook messages. The same applies to the linked Insta account. Through Business Suite, it’s highly unlikely you’ll miss a comment or message from someone. Look at your post statistics under ‘posts and stories’. There, you can gauge how many people your post reached, as well as likes & comments. You can boost older post under this tab as well. Business Suite has all kinds of cool stuff- you can even link your Marketplace page onto the site. Have a look and see how Facebook Business Suite can help you reach and manage your audience!

Are you interested in web marketing services? Contact Redwood Creative, Inc. today!

MacBook and Coffee Mug

Zoom Faces Legal Action

In early December, you might have received an e-mail about a Zoom settlement. It wasn’t spam mail- it’s true. Zoom is now facing legal consequences for compromising personal data. If you didn’t open the e-mail or get it, here’s the deets.

Zoom Faces Legal Action

On December 1, 2021, the Zoom class action lawsuit became available to the public. Thousands received an e-mail about possibly being entitled to a cash settlement. The platform is now undergoing trial due to misuse of personal data and Zoombombing. Zoombombing is when an uninvited 3rd party hacks into the video conference, usually revealing disturbing content. Therefore, users are pointing fingers at Zoom for not taking more preventive measures. Usually, to join a Zoom call, you enter the meeting code, then a password. However, intruders still find their way in. Along with uninvited Zoom guests, the company is also being accused of violating California and federal privacy laws. These laws protect users’ personal data, such as e-mail addresses. However, Zoom violated this by selling personal data to third parties. Many platforms have been guilty of selling personal information to third parties, such as Facebook.

So far, Zoom is denying these allegations. The company and all parties involved agreed to settle the matter outside of court. The final hearing will take place April 2022. The class-action lawsuit is worth $85 million.

Zoom Settlement

So, between sharing personal data and Zoombombing, Zoom is in some hot water. As of 2021, Zoom saw approx 300 million users daily.  If you used Zoom anytime between March 30, 2016 to June 30, 2021, you could receive a cash settlement. To file your claim, look for the e-mail from the Settlement Administration. In there, you can read more about it and find your claim number.

Remember, be careful on the Internet. Third parties and the dark web look for personal data!

Are you interested in web marketing services? Contact Redwood Creative, Inc. today!

human anatomy model

How do Psychedelics Treat Depression?

Psychedelic treatment is used when depression fails to respond to traditional medication. Psychedelic therapy involves the use of plant ingredients that can induce psychedelic effects such as hallucinations. These plant compounds are commonly derived from a fungi group of plants called magic mushrooms.

Doctors may prescribe psychedelic treatment as a stand-alone treatment or combine it with other forms of available treatments to address depression. The purpose of psychedelic treatment is to complement the traditional treatment for depression and improve its success rate.

Psychedelics Treat Major Depression

A small study was conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine to understand the impact of psychedelic substances on depression. The study participants were adults with major depression.

There were 24 patients. Researchers administered to patients 2 doses of psilocybin, a psychedelic substance. The treatment was supported by psychotherapy.

Patients showed rapid results after the treatment – a substantial and rapid decrease in depression symptoms was observed. Most of the patients showed improvement after the treatment.

Of the 24 patients, 67% showed over 50% reduction in symptoms of depression after a week of follow-up. 71% of patients showed improvement after a 4-week follow-up. After 4 weeks of treatment, 54% of participants were qualified to be in remission. This means these patients are no longer qualified to be in the category of patients suffering from depression.

Impact of Psychedelics on Depression Patients

According to the researchers of the above study, psilocybin produces hallucinations in visual and auditory forms in patients. The compound produces a deep alteration in the consciousness of patients within a few hours after intake.

A follow-up of the participants would be conducted for a year by the researchers. This follow-up would assess the duration of the impact of psilocybin on the patients. This study will give insights into the length of stay of the antidepressant effects of the compound.

Different Ways of Working of Psychedelics

Continuous research into the mechanism in which psychedelics work is underway. Researchers are still in search of answers that reveal how psychedelic compounds exactly work on the body.

Researchers are keen to know the reason behind the rapid effect that psychedelic compounds are able to produce in patients.

Traditional treatments for depression often require several weeks to take effect. They also work for only so long as the patients adhere to the medication.

But psychedelic substances are able to bring a change almost immediately, and that too, with as few as a single or couple of doses.

Though research is still underway, experts believe that psychedelics may be showing impact in the following ways:

Psychedelics Influence Neurotransmitters

Neurotransmitters are the body’s chemical messengers that keep the communication between the brain and different parts of the body intact and effective. Drugs commonly prescribed for depression work by impacting these neurotransmitters. Patients experience a positive change in mood when depression drugs act on these neurotransmitters.

Psychedelics, too, work on the same lines. These substances may modify neurotransmitters, enabling them to transform signals, and in turn, the brain behavior and mood of patients.

Psychedelics Produce Mind-Altering Experiences

Patients administered with psychedelic doses undergo an intense and significant experience. These experiences can alter an individual’s cognitive responses. This change in thinking can bring about a positive change in the patient’s behavior.

Psychedelics Impact Neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity refers to the capacity of the brain to re-form itself after exposure to new stimuli such as new information, sensory inputs, damage and development. Brain’s neural networks, including neurons, in particular, are capable of finding new connections and aligning with them.

Research shows that psychedelic drugs of the category serotonergic are associated with several positive effects at a psychological level. Serotonergic psychedelic compounds are a group of psychedelic drugs that operate on a mechanism that is associated with serotonin.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is produced naturally in the body. This neurotransmitter is responsible for maintaining a good mood, among other functions. Research is still on to understand the different functions of serotonin in the body.

The positive psychological effects that serotonergic psychedelic compounds are known to include an increased positive influence and decreased negative influence. They also enable individuals to feel a better connection to the self and other people.

Psychedelics May Improve Patient Suggestibility

Psychedelic substances may improve an individual’s response to suggestions. As a result, they may show an improved response to a physician’s suggestions, leading to positive behavior.

Another way that patients may show improvement in depression symptoms is by being responsive to their hallucinogenic experiences. They may be more willing to adapt to new ways of thinking and behavior as a result.

In Conclusion

The almost immediate impact of psychedelic drugs on patients with depression encourages more intense research into this form of treatment.

Promising results from research on depression-associated psychedelic treatment provide hope for people suffering from severe forms of depression.

Psychedelic treatments can be accessed only through clinical trials as they are considered only as experimental treatments. Psychedelic treatment may be prescribed on its own or in association with standard depression treatment.

Psychedelic treatment may also be offered as guided therapy. A qualified therapist may guide the patient through the changes or “high” that a psychedelic may induce as part of the treatment. The therapist offers therapeutic suggestions to the patient in this heightened or induced state.

With research on psychedelic treatment continuing, this treatment could soon be available as a mainstream therapy. If you are considering psychedelic treatment either for yourself or a loved one, then talk to your physician first for expert advice.

Hemp bath bombs by HomeMadeBeautyByIzzy on Etsy

CBD Gift Ideas 2021

Still don’t know what to get for your friend/sibling/fur babies this month? Here’s an idea that doesn’t always make it on the list- CBD gift! CBD comes in different strengths and forms and can be eaten, applied on the skin, and more. So, there’s something for everyone.

CBD Gift Ideas

  • Lotion. Hemps lotion is hydrating without feeling slimy. Plus, Bath and Body Works lotion is overdone and the giftee probably already has too many of them. Get it on Amazon or at Walgreens/CVS. You can also find homemade CBD lotion at your local market and shops.
  • Topical oil or aromatherapy oil. Muscle pain or have a headache? Check out CBD oil. Either apply directly onto the sore area. Or, get some for your oil diffuser to create a relaxing home.
  • Edible treats. Holiday treats are always tempting. But, these won’t leave you feeling sugared out- you will feel mellowed out instead.
  • Know someone who is trying to give up cigarettes? Have them swap nasty tobacco (and other chemicals) cigarettes for a pure, all-natural CBD cigarette instead. Or, try these patches. Tobacco merely suppresses the stress, CBD kills the stress.
  • Bath bombs. If you’re going to gift bath bombs, make sure they’ll do the job. Most just simply make your bath smell good and offer a few minutes of fizzy fun. Gift a bath bomb that will not only make the bath smell nice, but also work into those sore muscles and slow down the busiest minds. Bonus- the really good ones are moisturizing too, so the giftee (or you) can skip the lotion.

Not only are these CBD gift ideas unique, but they’re also better than most chemical and non-eco-friendly alternatives. On that note, make sure that you shop eco-consciously: minimize plastic packaging, and ditch the harmful corporate chemicals. Remember to support your local, small businesses. CBD will be sure to make the holidays merry, indeed!

Are you interested in web marketing services? Contact Redwood Creative, Inc. today!

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Cobalt Mining For Electric Vehicles

We now know that electric cars are coming very soon to our future lives. In fact, there are some electric cars on the road already. However, there’s been some talk about cobalt mining for electric vehicle manufacturing. What’s all this about?

Cobalt Mining

As a nation, we are transitioning from fossil fuel-powered cars to electric cars to help preserve our natural resources and the environment. Also, electric cars do not emit harmful gases. But, the lithium-ion car batteries contain cobalt, which is a precious mineral. It is a key component of electric car batteries. Cobalt comes from Africa. So, consumers worry about how ethical this practice is. Miners and similar workers face exploitation and do not have the same labor laws as the USA. And, there is also concern for over-mining and a disastrous re-creation of the California Gold Rush.

Thankfully, EV (electric vehicle) companies recognize this is a problem and are working with engineers to design an EV battery that will not contain cobalt. Whether it will still be a lithium-ion battery or a whole new design, we will have to wait and find out.

On this note, we’d like to add that the majority of cobalt mining is for electronic products, mainly cell phones. That’s why it’s important to only buy a new phone/tablet/computer when it’s absolutely necessary, in order to reduce our carbon (and cobalt) footprint.

Thanks for reading! Are you planning on buying an electric vehicle anytime soon? Do you see a lot in your area?

Are you interested in website and/or marketing assistance? Contact Redwood Creative, Inc. today!

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Platforms for Virtual Teams to Stay Connected

Working from home certainly has its benefits! But, it’s also hard to deny there is less communication than when you were in the office. However, thankfully there are ways for virtual business teams to stay connected. See how below.

 

Stay Connected When Virtual

Thankfully, there are websites/apps that help offices stay together, even when everyone is spread out throughout the country. Virtual offices, such as Slack, offer quick messaging, group chats (called channels), and file sharing. Additionally, public/private folders help everyone find documents easily. You can even take notes- handy for remembering deadlines. Also, it’s the little things- such as, receiving a message that doesn’t require a response, so you can “react” to the message to at least acknowledge it. Slack is a great way to keep everyone and everything together. But, some find it to be a little overwhelming, especially if there’s a great number of channels. In that case, try Asana.

Asana focuses more on scheduling and task managing. It is especially handy for editorial teams needing to keep track of blogs and articles. You can categorize them into “to do”, “doing”, “on hold/scheduled” and “Done”. Additionally, you can write notes and @ mention relevant members to keep everyone updated on your progress. Another site similar to Asana that I personally use is Trello. It is perfect for the organized-obsessed. Here, you create a card under the same categories as Asana, but you can add way more detail to the cards. Add members, due dates, descriptions, activity logs, and reminders! Also, you can create different boards if you need to manage clients. And of course, you can always @ someone for a subtle “hey you need to do this.”

We’d also like to suggest ProofHub as well. Google has all the apps for an organized virtual connected workspace- calendar, hangouts, meet, and of course, being able to send google docs back and forth is a breeze. How does your workplace stay connected virtually? Let us know, we’d love to hear about y’all!

 

Interested in marketing services? Contact Redwood Creative, Inc. today!

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