Even an Ape Could Learn About Annuities

Posted by Melanie Burns on

To prevent an equity index annuities crisis you first need to understand what an equity index annuity is. Equity index annuities are long-term investment/agreement that is issued by insurance companies and is designed in order to protect you from the risk of outliving your income/retirement. Through the process of annuitization your premiums (what you contribute) is then turned into periodic payments that can last for the rest of your entire life.

For example: a $500,000 equity index annuity per month would pay you approximately $2,188 each month for the rest of your life if you purchased the equity index annuity at the age of 60 and began paying premiums immediately.

There are four types of annuities, immediate fixed, immediate variable, deferred annuity, and deferred variable annuities. An immediate annuity is a type of annuity that is referred to as single lump sum payment or single payment immediate annuity (SPIA) and is funded by a lump sum of money paid once from savings, 401K or individual retirement account (IRA). with an immediate annuity you decide the frequency and duration of the payouts when you buy the policy. An immediate variable annuity is slightly different in the way that as soon as you pay the lump sum you immediately receive payments. A deferred annuity is a promise from an insurance company to pay a regular income or lump sum of money to the buyer at a different date in contrast to immediate annuities that start paying you right away. Finally a deferred variable annuity is an annuity that offers you a way to accumulate savings and defer taxes until you begin withdrawing the money. 

Which of the following annuity plans to choose? Asking an independent agent to create side by side annuity quotes can help show you the differences you’d get from each type of annuity and can also answer any questions you have about annuities in general. An agent can help you understand how much annuity you need and walk you through the reasons an annuity is an important part of your plans for retirement. 

Why does planning matter? Stepping away from work, whether unexpectedly or carefully calculated, is a major moment in life that many people look forward to as soon as they start working, but what would you do if you’d plan your retirement to last until 80 and then you woke up and were going to live into your 90s? That is where equity index annuities come in. Regardless of whether or not you have a retirement plan that may not be enough. Every 1 in 3 men and 1 in every 2 females who are currently in the mid-50’s is projected to live to be 90. 

To retire at the age of 65 it is suggested that you would need to save approximately 1 million dollars and or 90% of your annual pre-retirement income, 12 times your pre-retirement salary. These numbers are not assuming you’ll survive to 90 years or possibly even older. 

So where do you begin? Go online and find an agent who is independent and will work for you to find the best possible annuity plan for you. They will walk you through the entire process from start to finish.They will ask you questions to ensure your equity index annuity plan is right for you using annuity calculators and the information they have been taught in order to help you. Everyone’s equity index annuity rates are unique to each person. Your equity index annuity rates should be unique to you and the right agent will make sure it is. 

How will you prevent your own retirement crisis with equity index annuities shown to you today?


Brain Games Make You Smarter

Posted by Melanie Burns on
Brain Games Make You Smarter

Brain games or puzzles can actually help boost brain power and improve memory and sharpness. Just like the muscles on your arms and legs which can be grown through regular exercise, your brain also has similar capabilities.

That’s right your brain can also be “exercised” through mental games or activities such as word games, puzzles, and riddles. Exercising your brain daily through these games can even raise your I.Q. There even exists supporting evidence to back this. Here is a list of specific brain games which could help improve brain power as found on a long-term care insurance article regarding the effectiveness of puzzles on the aging brain.

Human Intelligence

6 ways to improve your IQ

Posted by Melanie Burns on
6 ways to improve your IQ

IQ (Intelligence Quotient) is a measure of mental agility and comprehension speeds. Some of the greatest scientists of all time had impressive IQ. In the UK, the average 32-year-old has an IQ of 100. This is thought to be increasing by at least 3% per decade, as human beings evolve to cope with changing environments. The good news for you is that you don’t have to move with this pace. You can fast-track your IQ by following the following simple steps.

  • Play Games – fluid intelligence relates to your working memory, and is a crucial part of all IQ tests. By using games where you are required to remember a sequence of sounds or geometric shapes, you can boost your fluid intelligence. Dedicate about 25 minutes to play an appropriate game each day and you can raise your IQ measure by at roughly 4 points. Nowadays, you only need your smartphone to get started. There are tons of apps that are dedicated to enhancing your IQ through games.
  • Take Supplements – now, you probably didn’t expect this one on my list. But there’s evidence that ingesting 5g of creatine daily can get your IQ up by up to 15 points over a 6-week duration. Creatine has been known to significantly boost brain power. In tests, scientists administered this supplement and requested participants to spot missing items in grit patterns. They noted that there was an increase in the energy level available for the brain’s computational functions.
  • Engage in social games – play Scrabble to improve your brain power. Any activity that entails a diverse range of skills plus social interaction will suffice. Dedicate about 50 minutes to do this at least once each week and you’ll definitely see some increment in your Intelligence Quotient.
  • Get some bad guys – there’s a direct link between 1st-person video games and increased visual awareness in the real world. Visual awareness is an IQ building block, and scientists have confirmed that the ability to accurately absorb visual cues at speed is invaluable. So you might want to go right ahead and play Call of Duty 4. This should get your IQ up by at least 2 points, before you even know it.
  • Get some training rolling – a Swedish demonstrated that cardiovascular fitness improves your verbal intelligence by up to 50%. There are many other studies that have tied cardiovascular fitness to better cognitive capacity. On the contrary, muscular strength is very weakly tied to intelligence. Carding some cardio routines going one at least 20 minutes every once in a while should get your IQ up by at least 5 points.
  • Practice, practice – there’s strong evidence that retaking your IQ tests could raise your score by up to 2 points. Practice helps arm you with the skills you need to tackle the next test. So if you are not happy with what you scored the first time round, load your best IQ test app and get going the second round. You might be surprised to see your IQ score up.

By engaging in these activities, you might be able to upgrade your IQ by up to 17 points in total. Largely, it’s all about focusing on activities that strengthen your mental faculties.

Religious Evolution

Religion vs scientific evolution

Posted by Melanie Burns on
Religion vs scientific evolution

Evolution in nature is inconsistent according to Pope Francis. A substantial percentage of adults in America totally disagree with the scientific explanation for human origin. Although most Catholics in U.S accept evolution ideas, a number of religious groups in the U.S argue that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection is wrong since it conflicts with their creation view. May be with a better understanding of the above terminologies one can get the whole idea easily.

What is religion?

Religion is a cultural reality comprised of sacred stories, tradition of practice and sacred places. Religions are diverse and it’s common to identify the ultimate with a deity like Christianity, Judaism and Islam but not all do. Religious understanding draws from traditional authority and also from scientific explanations about the world as a way of knowing how world is like.

What is science and evolution?

Evolution is the process by which species of organism undergo change over a period of time through natural selection. The genetic makeup of organism is traced using fossils or DNA technology. Science is a way of understanding nature and developing explanations for stuctures. Science does not provide proofs but it provides well supported theories which guide future efforts of solving all questions about natural world.

Here are some facts about religion and science.

Minority of Americans accept scientific evolution

A minority of Americans says that human and other living things have evolved over time through natural processes. About 24%  of U.S adults believe that human beings and other creatures evolved through the guidance of a natural being. Survey shows that there are those who do not entirely believe in evolution and argues that humans existed since the beginning of time.

Evangelical protestant rejects evolution

Majority of evangelicals believes that humans existed from the beginning. Only one in ten evangelicals says that humans evolved through natural selection. Church like Southern Baptist Convection rejects evolution as being in conflict with what they see as biblical truth.

A quarter of white Catholics reject evolution

Despite the church acceptance about evolution through natural selection, Hispanic Catholics in US rejects evolution since they believe that humans existed in their present form.

Series of court decision prohibits teaching creationism in public schools

Despite many Americans states efforts to ban the teaching of evolution in public schools court has rejected any curricula that veers away from evolutionary theory.US Supreme Court once ruled that Louisiana law that required students to learn both evolution and creation science was violating the US Constitution prohibition on establishment of religion.

Roman Catholic Church accepts evolutionary theory

Pope Francis was not the first to publicly affirm that evolution is compatible with religious teachings. Pope John Paul II even went deeper by saying that evolution is more than a hypothesis. Most Catholics believes that humans and other living things evolved with time through natural processes.


It’s clearer now that religion and science do not differ much. Religion borrows from science in order to understand life in a better manner. Evolution happens in our day to day life since more species are evolving and our body features are changing.

Peak of Evolution

The latest levels of human evolution

Posted by Melanie Burns on
The latest levels of human evolution
The latest levels of human evolution

Human has not stopped evolving. Assuming that civilization continues along the same path as today major changes will be expected over the next few years. Since civilization hasn’t been around for long we can expect extraordinarily changes as years draw by. Here some major changes we expect in human evolution.

Muscle Atrophy

There are two main foreseeable causes of human gradual physical weakness which are; Over reliance on technology most especially on machine to do our muscle enhancing work. This makes the whole species weaker since they do not depend on physical strength for body muscle growth. If we were to relocate to space the second cause of muscle atrophy is much relevant. Here physical strength is less necessary for day to day activities but it doesn’t mean we spend too long as explorers since we eventually lose most of our body muscle mass. The future generation should consider this to prevent finding themselves confined to wheelchairs.

Smaller/larger scull volume

Scientists argue that it is impossible for human to evolve with larger heads. The ‘small scull’ gets all the support from biologists who believe that a larger head will make birth impossible. A larger head at birth is most likely to kill or hurt the mother and with it seems the head size will stay the same or decrease over time. With advanced technology caesarean section has provided more opportunities for survival of big headed children which is heart thrilling for the mothers affected. Many may think that C-section is safer than natural birth but its dependence would be dangerous for human.


Soon human will reach a point where they can force evolution on themselves through technology. A good example of this is through gene selection where prospective parents choose their child’s trait before birth. This is the avenue of human evolution will take in near future leading to a boom of what is known as “designer baby” in which all undesirable traits are removed.


As long as multiculturalism continues being the essence of modern society humans are expected to evolve into a single ethnic group. Humans will start slowly start losing the main distinguishing features of their ethnicity and take on characteristics from different cultures in the world. This is a benefit since race will no longer be a problem.

Increased height

For the last two centuries human height has been growing rapidly which is believed is caused by abundance of nutrition. The more a person’s eats the more energy he/she has to grow. Eating will make species to grow taller whether the sky is our limit or not. Only evolution can tell the limit of tallness.

Brain rewiring

Technology has greatly affected how our memory works. Our brain can only remember where the information is stored but not the content. Technology is advancing each day thus our brain adapts to maximize properly at the detriment of our memory.

Weakened immune system

Human immune system is growing weaker due to relying on medication for survival. It is foreseeable that soon humans will evolve to the point where hormones no longer organically created within the body. Our body needs a powerful immune system to fight diseases and self-dependency. Use of medication will only make most of our internal functions obsolete.


These are the recent levels   of evolution which will be taking place in the next few years to come. Evolution is advancing so fast that many changes are not easily noticed. With time humans will have many more variations in traits as years goes by. Evolution from apes to human to more advanced creatures in future with better living environs mixed cultures and level of intelligence.

Cultural Evolution

All you need to know about Cultural Evolution

Posted by Melanie Burns on
All you need to know about Cultural Evolution

Cultural evolution is also known as social cultural evolution which is the development of one or more cultures from simpler to more complex form. The general mark on modern theories of cultural evolution is their insistence of cultural inheritance. Members of our species are able to survive in part of habitat and technology which are maintained by learning and discoveries made from others. The main question here is how theories of cultural evolution should be related to the traditional understanding of organic evolution. Here is all you need to understand about cultural evolution.

What is culture?

According to Richerson culture is mostly the information in brain. Cultural inheritance is understood as the transmission of brain information from person to next. He argues that there is no similarity in gene and cultural variant but insists that cultural variant must be gene like to carry cultural information. To understand culture better we have define information which simply means the knowledge stored in books but the definition differs from person to person. Although the precise details are yet to be ironed out research shows that cultural evolution is possible.

Culture as a product of biology

Nature and biology share a complex relationship .Research shows that culture can influence human evolution. A good example is the rapid spread of a gene that produces a protein which allows humans to digest lactose. Change in culture greatly affected human genetics. Culture ranges from micro-level of interpersonal interactions to the macro-level of the influence on entire societies.

Nonhuman animal cultural evolution

There is an existence of some degree of culture in nonhuman species. The songs of a certain species of birds and tool use in some primates vary from one group to group within the same species. A good example is how group macaques of Koshima Island began to use the sea for washing instead of the stream and preferring the taste of the salt water. This shows how innovation created behaviorally distinct population within the same species. Cultural evolution on nonhuman is under researched and unclear on how observational learning is. Further work will establish the extent on which we may speak about cultural evolutionary processes in nonhuman species.

Memes theory

Memes theory draws a very strong analogy between evolution at cultural level and biological evolution. Dawkins argues that in standard biological models of evolution genes are the relevant replicators. This is because genes make copies of themselves and this explains why offspring organisms resemble their parents. Incase culture evolves it is important to find a form of cultural replicator which explains cultural inheritance. Some exemplary memes are ideas, ways of making pots and clothe fashion.

Cultural evolutionary theory

Cultural inheritance is an important factor in explaining how species has changed over time. Change in culture brings about alterations to the environment and this affects how genes act and how natural selection pressure acts on genes. Cultural evolutionary theory provides insight into the historical pattern of cultural change in the same way that evolutionary biological tools have reticulated history of life. Culture is important since it highly affects human evolution in positive manner.


Natural selection acting on gene variation can cause disposition to learn from non-kin and this can cause maladaptive traits. This is considered as genetically inherited adoptions by cultural evolutionists. This was produced in response to the problems faced by our earlier ancestors. Cultural evolution includes the inheritance of habits from group to group within species. This contributes to human evolution for example in the ability of species capacity to acquire language.

Evolution - Tools

Humans’ Use of Tools Through Time

Posted by Melanie Burns on
Humans’ Use of Tools Through Time

In the age of technology it’s nearly impossible to imagine a time that humans had to make do without the use of tools. We couldn’t build the smartphones and laptops we have now, we couldn’t build the skyscrapers that dot the landscape and even food as we know it would be entirely different. Thankfully, one thing that humans constantly are is resourceful, and thanks to that fortunate tendency throughout history we have managed to find and create a plethora of tools that have helped us build the society that we have today. But we had to start somewhere.

Stone Age

Historians have found that stone tools appeared among humans around 2.6 million years ago, but with the evidence of chimpanzees improvising wooden tools for various tasks like ant foraging, that suggests that our ancestors may have had very basic wooden tools up to 4 million years ago. The oldest known stone tools, known as the Oldowan toolkit, shows the earliest examples of stone tools: large hunks of rock for pounding, and sharp flakes of stone used most often to cut through the hide of an animal to get to the meat and bones. The bones found among these sites are the oldest evidence of animal butchering.

Bronze Age 

The Stone Age lasted a very very long time, until with the advent of melting down metals to create new tools. Starting around 2000 BC humanity began to use bronze tools. This was preceded by what is known now as the Copper Age, until it was discovered that mixing copper with tin created the much stronger material bronze. Bronze didn’t chip or crack, and could be bent into different shapes for different purposes. Now we could create axes, knives, and swords along with cauldrons, buckets, and spades along with other very useful objects. This age absolutely revolutionized weapon and tool-making, and allowed for huge advances in farming.

Iron Age

The Iron age began between 1200BC and 600BC, depending on the area of the world. Iron is the most common metal on the earth’s surface, but it is far more difficult to smelt than the copper and tin that were used in the bronze age. Bronze could be melted in a simple furnace and then poured into a mold to cool, but iron needs to be worked and bent while it’s still hot, and required hotter temperatures and special equipment. Once the forging of metal was perfected, that was huge news for technology. Now new tools and weapons could be made that were stronger and used for new applications. Iron-tipped ploughs, for example, made it possible to plough fields that had tough clay, and made the whole farming process quicker. This was the age, then, where humanity started having free time for things other than work. Various hobbies like needle-work and an interest in personal appearance started to appear, all because the invention of iron was making lives a little bit easier.

Peak of Evolution

8 things you probably didn’t know about human evolution

Posted by Melanie Burns on
8 things you probably didn’t know about human evolution

Evolution refers to changes or growth that occurs in a particular way most especially in biological organisms. This is in recent days referred to as Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection. Evolution by natural selection includes three principles: variation of traits that lead to reproduction, competition for the limited available resources and heritability for only the genetic traits being passed from one generation to another. The evolution stretches much back before our early human ancestors and before the evolution of Homo sapiens. Evolution is a tangled tale with most unanswered questions to many people till today. Here are some facts you may not know about human evolution history.

1. Early human beings migrated from Africa over 1 million years ago

Most of us have heard how Homo sapiens migrated to Europe and Asia from about 80000 years ago. The same route was taken by our ancestors, Homo erectus, who was on and off Africa for over million years. After Homo sapiens left they would have encountered other human creatures who looked exactly like them .This would probably be the descendants of Homo erectus or Neanderthal who have been wondering around Eurasia for hundreds of thousands of years. This entire people were the early human.

2. You might be a Neanderthal

Neanderthal is well-known specie in evolution story. Recently a genetic analysis of Neanderthal bones was done to determine if there are some of Neanderthal genes which made way into modern non-African population. It suggested that after Cro-Magnon entered Europe they most likely had children with the local Neanderthals. This reproduction caused the lead to the rise of more Neanderthal traits and species. The fact remains that we are all one happy family despite the trait variations.

3. Indian Ocean navigation by humans in boats over 50,000 years ago.

How did Homo sapiens get to Australia from the shores of Africa? Homo sapiens used small boats lashed together out of reeds. This was equivalent to Paleolithic early Stone Age where they used to fly using tin can. All this worked incredibly and humans were so comfortable to sale to the next region.

4. Low genetic diversity

Humans are considered as the least genetically diverse apes. This is because we all descend from small human groups. Genetic diversity is the full population of reproduction by each individual. When we consider our actual population size is 7billion.Humans number of genetic diversity rotates around 15,000 individuals which is totally less compared to today’s population.

5. Human population crashed about 80,000 years ago

Humanity effective population size reduced mysteriously about 80,000 years ago. There are many theories that explain why like apocalyptic disasters and interbreeding among small species. The eruption of Toba volcano affected the human diversity in a great way something many of us are yet to understand how it happened.

6. Homo sapiens used fire as a tool

As a species Homo sapiens couldn’t exist without one of the most important tool: tamed fire. Homo sapiens evolved after our ancestor’s tamed fire and were making tools. At this stage of evolution Homo sapiens was less apelike. Our species had more interest in the invention of fire and other artificial tools. This is because we were born tool users and fire makers for survival.

7. Homo sapiens had a culture or less than 50000years

Many anthropologists believe that human did not develop a recognized culture until around the time of Homo sapiens which is 50,000years ago. This species hanged around for the longest time before developing various features like symbolic communication and making tools. This is because Homo sapiens evolved around the time of mitochondrial Eve. Anthropologists believe that humans had not developed language until this stage which is very hard to prove.

8. Homo sapiens is still evolving rapidly

The good news is that Homo sapiens is still evolving. One day our posterity will be different from us just like we are from Homo erectus. This has made some biologist to wonder whether we are developing to be most intelligent or disease resistant which is not yet clear.


Human evolution started ways back during our human ancestors and it is still evolving. This makes it hard for many to understand clearly all the facts about human evolution story. The above listed few facts will help in understanding the evolution process a little better. We were all apes once and now we are living as one happy family of humans.

Peak of Evolution

The Story of Human Evolution: Where We Stand Now

Posted by Melanie Burns on
The Story of Human Evolution: Where We Stand Now

Simply put, evolution is the most scientific answer to the eternal questions of who we are and what’s our origins. It is nature’s process of creation. Scientific evidence shows that millions of years ago, our species and ape-like creatures began to evolve from a common ancestor.

Although, scientists did not identify the common ancestor research could trace back and determine the evolution of our species up until now. So it is evident how we evolved. We know that the first homo sapiens first emerged from Africa, then spread across the globe.

Homo sapiens adapted to every environment and dominated the world when they discovered fire. Interestingly, cooking meat with fire led to our brain evolve faster and become bigger. For survival, homo sapiens developed mutations that in a way led to more adaptation to harsh environments around the world.

So why we do not grow wings or breathe under water? Because evolution does not work like that, and it takes millions of years even to notice any significant change in any given species. Plus, if we needed wings to survive we would already have them. How?

Scientific evidence shows us that every species gradually adapts to its environment, but this does not happen overnight. It happens over generations and generations. Each generation passes the “good” genes to the next that is why how they survive.

How exactly? The more a species capable of adaption to its environment, its DNA becomes altered and that DNA gets to pass on to the next generation and so on. That is most notable in mutations. That is also why you see same animals with different colors or characteristics. It is an evolution in action.

As you now know, evolution is a process and doesn’t happen overnight. We are still evolving. When British naturalist Charles Darwin published his theory in two books On the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man, people of his time mistakenly thought that “the origin of man is apelike creatures.”

In fact, we share 99% of our genetic makeup with chimpanzees, but that does not mean we were apes in origin, that is an oversimplification. We do indeed have a common ancestor that maybe never identified as mentioned above, but it is entirely different to say we were apes in the beginning, and we theoretically share a common ancestor. What does that mean?

It says that millions of years ago, chimpanzees and humans branched out of the same tree, there are thousands and thousands of other species that did not survive. Making it either a huge tree or more accurately a bush.

The “missing link” never existed. Fossil specimens already prove the evolution of the various branches. We cannot know for sure who or what was the first primate to walk the earth. All we know for sure is that scientific evidence proves without a shred of doubt that evolution is the best answer to date for how we as humans came into being, and how life started on earth, from a common ancestor. The rest is history!