Newswise — WASHINGTON (August 7, 2023) – The domestication of canines and their co-evolution with humans has fostered an incredibly unique relationship with these animals. Over time, our four-legged friends have adapted well to understanding human modes of communication, both verbal and nonverbal. However, researchers at the George Washington University say humans could do more to better understand our furry companions, and a dogs’ facial markings may be one key to meeting them halfway.
In a new paper published in the journal Animals, researchers from the GW Primate Genomics Lab found that dogs with plainer faces—e.g. dogs whose faces are one, solid color or dogs without any facial markings—appear to make more facial movements, or expressions when interacting with their human companions than dogs with more complex facial markings—dogs with multi-colored or patterned faces. The study also found that people are fairly good at assessing their dogs’ levels of expressivity overall, but people with canine companions between the ages of about two to seven years old are more accurate at judging their level of expressivity if their dog has a plainer face.
The study involved over 100 dogs and their people. The researchers asked each study participant to record their dogs in four different conditions. The research team then utilized a standardized coding system called DogFACS to analyze each dog’s behavior and created a novel system to scale and evaluate facial markings and patterns on dogs’ faces. Study participants were also asked to complete a survey that included various demographics about the dogs and gauged how well the participant judged their dog’s expressions.
The researchers say these findings have real-world implications, not only for dog lovers, but for anyone interacting with, working alongside, or living in neighborhoods with canine companions.
“As dogs become more and more integrated into human society, it’s important that we understand how they communicate with us and how we can better communicate with them,” Courtney Sexton, the study’s lead author, says. “If we think about this in terms of welfare contexts, or dogs in shelters, or working dogs and service animals, or interactions with dogs in your neighborhood or people at a dog park, knowing what dogs are trying to tell us and what they might be thinking or feeling can really enhance both their experience and ours when we’re together.”
The study also found that senior dogs appear less expressive in their communication with their human companions, which Sexton suggests may be because older dogs have a longer, more well-established relationship with their human companion, so they don’t have to work as hard at being understood. The research team also found that working dogs or highly trained dogs were more expressive, where this sort of relationship demands fluent communication and people may be more adept at understanding their dogs’ expressions.
WATCH: In this video, Sexton discusses additional findings of interest that came out of their work and shares examples of how this research can improve canine-human communication and relationships.
Recordings of participating dogs in this research can be found on Instagram, @how_dogs_talk.
The paper, “What Is Written on a Dog’s Face? Evaluating the Impact of Facial Phenotypes on Communication between Humans and Canines,” was published in the journal Animals. Researchers from GW’s Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology and the Hecht Lab/Canine Brains Project at Harvard University as well as collaborators at Working Dogs for Conservation contributed to this study. Funding for research travel and research-related outreach came from Lewis N. Cotlow Field Research Fund and the Awesome Foundation, D.C. Chapter.
Source: George Washington University
Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Taking Action
Make a difference during Breast Cancer Awareness Month by taking action, supporting early detection, and accessing resources.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) is a significant time when pink ribbons symbolize the fight against breast cancer. However, it’s crucial to understand that awareness alone is not enough. This October, let’s go beyond awareness and take action.
A breast cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, which is why initiatives like the NBCF Patient Navigation Program exist—to ensure that no one battles breast cancer alone. Early detection is key to successful outcomes, but many people may not know what signs and symptoms to look for. Thankfully, resources like NBCF’s “Most Asked Questions: Breast Cancer Signs & Symptoms” provide answers and guidance.
We can all make a difference during BCAM. Use your voice, passion, and financial support to ensure that every woman has access to critical screening, support, and care. By getting involved, getting screened, making a donation, or taking action, you can directly impact the lives of those affected by breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month extends beyond awareness campaigns. In the United States, organizations like the National Football League incorporate pink into their activities, and even comic strip artists dedicate a day in October to raise awareness. Additionally, various walks and events raise funds for breast cancer programs, such as the iconic Race for the Cure, which began in October 1983.
Let’s make Breast Cancer Awareness Month a time of action, support, and empowerment. Together, we can make a difference and ensure that everyone facing breast cancer receives the care and resources they deserve.
If you would like to donate to BCAM or get more information, please follow this link:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breast_Cancer_Awareness_Month
Here for the Holidays: Make Them More Memorable Than Ever with Four Seasons
From snowy landscapes to sunny paradise, Four Seasons offers a collection of bespoke ways to celebrate around the world, with holiday-inspired activities to share with loved ones
TORONTO /PRNewswire/ — This year, the best gift of all may be sharing special moments, memorable meals, and epic adventures with family and loved ones, and friends old and new. The picture-perfect holiday celebration differs for everyone; it can be set on a sunny oceanfront paradise with twinkling turquoise waters or among scenic snow-covered mountains while sipping on handcrafted cocktails. Whatever the backdrop, Four Seasons offers a plethora of uniquely curated experiences to match any holiday inspiration and suit everyone from culinary connoisseurs to adventure-seekers. From a traditional après-style gathering around the table to a toast to the new year in grand style or a spur-of-the-moment family retreat, these experiences are opportunities to share and enjoy lifelong memories – all blanketed by the warmth and care of Four Seasons hospitality.
Sunny Destinations to Celebrate the Holidays
- Enter a five-acre (two hectare) UNESCO haven for up to 22 guests at Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah, Baa Atoll, where property event experts partner with guests to create a completely personalized experience. Whether it’s hitting the ocean to swim with sharks or lounging poolside and watching dolphins at play, Voavah invites its guests to dream with their eyes open and enjoy a truly unforgettable holiday.
- Bask in the sun on the pristine blue waters of the Pacific Ocean aboard a 46-foot (14 metre) catamaran at Four Seasons Resort Hualālai. Aptly named Alaka’i Nui (great leader), the catamaran boasts an extended range, enabling guests to venture miles from the Resort to enjoy exciting new activities such as deep-sea fishing and exploration of additional snorkelling locations and beaches.
- Ring in the new year at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla while enjoying the sights from the famous Sunset Lounge and sounds from New York-based DJ Mia Moretti and Violinist Margot who are headlining the resort’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration.
- Escape to an island hideaway at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa where the charming village setting complete with a lagoon, flower garden, and island spa provides total serenity. For adventure seekers, diving and surfing are island specialties and for the youngest guests, there are endless fun, educational, and culturally enriching activities available, from sandcastle building to hermit crab races.
- Welcome 2024 in electrifying style with a Neon Party at Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui, Thailand during a night filled with pulsating music and dazzling neon lights, including a fireworks display at midnight.
Holiday Fun with the Whole Family
- Skate the night away on a secret terrace at Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City, where guests can enjoy music, seasonal snacks, and for adults, handcrafted cocktails from Fifty Mils, named one of the World’s 50 Best Bars.
- At Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, Santa plans to make a splash as he navigates the Ayung River before offering holiday greetings and treats for children at the Pici-Pici Kids Club. Meanwhile, at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, Santa continues his annual tradition of catching a few breaks while riding the waves with guests and the TropicSurf team.
- Celebrate Christmas Eve in tropical-style poolside and enjoy an open-fire barbecue and Miami-inspired cocktails with views of turquoise Biscayne Bay at Four Seasons Hotel Miami.
Enchanted Winter Escapes
- Enjoy a cozy cabin dining experience in the middle of the bustling city at Four Seasons Hotel Minneapolis where a Nordic Village sits on the Hotel’s outdoor fourth-floor pool deck, Riva Terrace. On weekends, cabins are transformed into an open-air market featuring products from local artists, makers, and creators.
- Indulge in a traditional fondue or raclette at Le Chalet des Etoiles, a Christmas Popup exuding a cozy alpine atmosphere decorated with twinkling lights and vintage skis located on the panoramic rooftop of Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva.
- Indulge in an elevated après experience after a day on the slopes and head to Ascent Lounge at Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole to enjoy panoramic views of America’s most rugged peaks, all while sipping on a Backcountry Old Fashioned for a taste of Wyoming’s finest local whiskey.
- Enjoy dive-in holiday movies in the new waterfall-edge pool at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago for special viewings of iconic holiday tales with popcorn and cookies for a family night to remember.
Festive Feasting and Celebratory Drinks
The magic of the season begins around the table, and Four Seasons draws its inspiration from its guests, the secret ingredient for culinary magic. This festive season, the greatest gift to share is the experience of something new with loved ones. Here are a few of Four Seasons restaurants and bars serving up unexpected indulgences and delectable surprises – each carefully curated with love by its craftspeople.
A Culinary Discovery for Global Gastronomes
- Venture to Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire to experience the return of Off Piste, a Swiss-inspired pop-up winter concept restaurant. Enjoy a specially crafted menu by Executive Chef Talha Barkin featuring a delicious mix of Swiss cuisine, seasonal meats, vegetable charcuterie boards, and a classic cheese fondue complete with truffle shavings.
- Savour the taste of Italy on Christmas Eve in tropical surroundings with a sumptuous five-course set menu by Chef Marco Garfagnini at Acquapazza complemented by free-flowing wines and Champagne at Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita.
- Attract blessings for the new year with a bowl of piping hot toshikoshi soba on New Year’s Eve at THE LOUNGE at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi and enjoy unobstructed city views. The thin and long noodles denote long life and a happy home in Japanese culture, perfect for ushering in a new year of hope and promise.
- Usher in the New Year with a selection of signature dining destinations at Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh including a celebratory Mediterranean set-menu at Bullona with live entertainment, an upscale Japanese and pan-Asian dining experience at Yatai, and a five-course menu featuring traditional Italian cuisine in an indoor-outdoor venue at Il Frantoio.
An Exploration of Cocktails and Spirits
- For a memorable sip, savour local classics such as the Takamaka Bay spiced dark rum from Mahé at Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island, or a playful twist on holiday flavours such as eggnog with Amaretto liqueur cocktail at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, featuring a creamy texture and cinnamon flavour.
- Sip, shake, and stir up holiday favourites during a Mixology Masterclass at Noe bar at Four Seasons Resort O’ahu at Ko Olina, or participate in the Fire and Ice cocktail program at Braidwood Tavern at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler.
- Get a unique glimpse into Budapest’s Golden Era Glam with a Champagne countdown event at MÚZSA at Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest featuring a champagne selection, craft cocktail creations, live entertainment, and Asian hors d’oeuvres.
Deck the Halls – and the Lobby, and the Pool Terrace, and More
- Step into the holiday warmth at Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris, where the lobby and marble courtyard are punctuated with intricate gold and silver Festive decoration by Jeff Leatham. With a month-long celebration throughout December filled with live music and artistic performances, the Hotel is the perfect setting for a holiday dinner at the three-Michelin starred restaurant Le Cinq or an elegant afternoon tea celebration at La Galerie.
- Say aloha to the holiday season at Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea where they are welcoming back travellers and transforming their lobby in collaboration with local artist Noah Harders. Rooted in his love for the island, the Maui artist personally forages and sources as many elements as possible from the island. This year, head-turning installations will dazzle guests as the final lobby look will celebrate the rich culture of Maui. Utilizing traditional weaving techniques and Hawaiian elements, guests will be taken on a journey to a wondrous Hawaii where woven coconut palm fronds and striking palm leaves will set the base to this larger-than-life design.
- Guests at Four Seasons Hotel Seoul are treated to an elaborate Nordic display and floral arrangements created by internationally renowned floral artist Nicolai Bergmann, who draws on his Danish roots to create a cozy feel with winter greenery and glittering lights.
For more holiday happenings, visit fourseasons.com including the full festive program in Europe, and follow press.fourseasons.com for the latest festive news from Four Seasons hotels and resorts around the world.
About Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts opened its first hotel in 1961, and since that time has been dedicated to perfecting the travel experience through continual innovation and the highest standards of hospitality. Currently operating 126 hotels and resorts, and 53 residential properties in major city centres and resort destinations in 47 countries, and with more than 50 projects under planning or development, Four Seasons consistently ranks among the world’s best hotels and most prestigious brands in reader polls, traveller reviews and industry awards. For more information and reservations, visit fourseasons.com.
SOURCE Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Southworth Announces New Brand Identity and Enhancements Across Global Portfolio of Award-Winning Private Club Communities
A new era for the family-owned real estate developer and operator is ushered in with a five-year reinvestment of $475M to club enhancements, new programming and leadership appointments
BOSTON /PRNewswire/ — Today, Southworth Development announces an updated look and name as the 32-year-old company embarks on a new chapter in its mission to redefine the private club category. Now rebranded as simply “Southworth,” the family-owned company has evolved beyond being a developer, shifting its focus to being a trusted curator of an elevated lifestyle whose portfolio of inclusive clubs offers authentic community and connection – for a life well-lived. This rebranding also brings about $475M worth of reinvestments over the next five years into the majority of Southworth’s current global portfolio. Updates are already underway or completed at several clubs and these reinvestments include nearly $75M in new amenities added across the portfolio over the next five years and another estimated $400M in residential development. The reimagining of Southworth comes as the next generation of family leadership, President Tommy Southworth and Managing Principal, Matt Deitch, have appointed talented new Executive Leadership to execute on their bold vision of developing decidedly different, leading-edge private club communities for a new generation.
The repositioning of the company and reinvestments into its existing clubs comes as the industry reaches a tipping point from post-pandemic consumer demands. Private, luxury, highly amenitized and heavily programmed communities focused on the family are in demand now more than ever. Southworth benchmarked the luxury hospitality industry to strategize the changes required to meet the demands of current and future generations of club members and residents. Additionally, a deep dive into the club space and extensive surveying of Southworth members shined a light on the most important elements of community – human connection and happiness. With this data top of mind, Matt and Tommy saw a clear opportunity to reposition the company and the unparalleled value it offers to those seeking an evolved private club lifestyle that better aligns with the tastes and values of current and future generations.
Childhood friends, Matt and Tommy ‘grew up’ in the business, witnessing their fathers run the company for many years. After spending the first ten years of their respective careers in management consulting, investment banking, and private equity, Matt and Tommy returned to the business in 2019, and in 2023 are ready to roll out their new vision for Southworth. They’ll do so alongside an Executive Leadership team which they’ve been developing over the past few years. New leadership appointments include Todd Grotstein, Chief Sales Officer; Lisa Hultquist, Chief Marketing Officer; Kelly Meredith, Chief People Officer; Troy Miller, Chief Development Officer; and Bill Chrysler, VP of Operations.
In addition to these Executive Leadership appointments, several critical roles have been created that speak to the updated positioning and ethos of the brand. Eleanor Brown has been brought on board as the Director of Sustainability, overseeing sustainability initiatives for the entirety of Southworth. Furthermore, James Dunn has the role of Director of Member Experience which focuses on the “experience-first” mentality of Southworth, always exceeding expectations with unique member programming, activations and amenities, in addition to increased cross-club events – driving home the unique benefit of reciprocity across the Southworth portfolio.
An important element of the new direction is a harkening back to the Company’s roots. Beginning in 1991, Southworth communities challenged the status quo of the restrictive private club category and instead laid foundational principles of inclusion, community, family and fun. Recently, Southworth has rededicated to an overarching brand promise of “The Southworth Way,” the cultural underpinning of their comfortable, unpretentious club communities. Unique in the private club world, what started out as a member and employee code of conduct – fostering positive relationships, encouraging togetherness, and allowing each member and employee to feel welcomed, recognized, and valued – has evolved into a strategic approach to curating the world’s most connected club communities. It’s a guiding star of how Southworth creates exceptional experiences for all members.
In addition to The Southworth Way, the Company has committed to four overarching brand pillars to guide its strategy: Be & Belong: Fostering true community and genuine belonging; Your World at Play: Delivering extraordinary experiences, every day; Life at Ease: Providing a welcome respite in a chaotic world and Inspired Environments: Celebrating the authentic character of each community’s setting.
“We develop, own, operate and call these communities home, which means we’re here for the long term and that is a key differentiator of our company. We don’t build and run, but we continue to operate, improve and enhance our clubs, giving our members and residents confidence in the Southworth brand,” said Tommy Southworth, President of Southworth. “We are obsessively intentional about creating fulfilling private club communities, built on the bedrock of human connection. I believe this difference can truly be seen and felt by our members and the larger industry as we enter this new chapter.”
With this evolution of the Southworth legacy comes a robust lineup of enhancements across its global portfolio of award-winning communities as well as refreshed branding, websites and collateral across all clubs this year.
Club Community Enhancements Include:
- The Abaco Club on Great Abaco Island, The Bahamas: Over the next two years, members will see enhancements such as the addition of the Winding Bay Beach Club; renovations to The Cliff House & Tip-Top; three new activations where guests can gather for anything from beachside drinks with a view to sunrise yoga; and a dedicated amenities corridor with more pickleball courts and even a new putting course designed by Abaco resident and Open Champion Darren Clarke. In addition to all of this, the newest and most exciting neighborhood, The Cays at The Abaco Club, designed by AvroKO, will open phase one in Summer 2024. Additional phases of amenity and real estate development are soon to be announced.
- Creighton Farms in Aldie, Virginia: New member amenities include three new pickleball courts; an enhanced tennis experience; The Paddock, an on-course F&B experience; major renovations to the clubhouse and dining facilities; and the completion of The Stable, a state-of-the-art indoor/outdoor golf training center equipped with the latest in shot tracking and swing analysis technology.
- Renaissance in Haverhill on Boston’s North Shore: A new “19th hole” restaurant and bar named “The Boot” opened this summer, drawing inspiration from the great pubs of Scotland and Ireland, and paying homage to the rich shoe manufacturing history of Haverhill. The Boot is also equipped with two Full Swing Golf Simulators. Additionally, significant investments are being made on the golf course, highlighting its Golden Age inspiration, walkability, and architectural significance.
- Willowbend in Mashpee, Cape Cod: This summer four new pickleball courts as well as several enhancements to existing amenities opened, including new pool cabanas, a new sun deck, a new Zen Garden, a renovated kids’ camp area, and several new social events such as concerts, themed kids programming and monthly spa-inspired events. Near-term projects will include renovations to various member spaces including outdoor bars, locker rooms, and Café Amici, Willowbend’s poolside cafe.
- Machrihanish Dunes in Argyll, Scotland: The award-winning club just launched a new exclusive private club experience, by invitation only. Additional developments are in the permitting phase.
Looking to the future, the newly positioned Southworth will continue to invest heavily in the current portfolio and has a strong pipeline of new development opportunities. Currently, the brand is exploring both domestic and international opportunities in the Southeastern United States, the Caribbean and beyond.
To learn more about the newly rebranded Southworth and its current portfolio of award-winning private club communities, please visit the new website located at SouthworthClubs.com.
Southworth is a privately held lifestyle company specializing in the development and management of private clubs and highly amenitized and programmed residential communities. Founded to challenge the industry status quo in 1991, Southworth recognized an opportunity to think beyond the restrictive private clubs of the day. Today, many national and international club communities later, the Southworth legacy continues to evolve. With a newfound commitment to forward-looking culture and values, and with the next generation of family leadership firmly in place, Southworth has reintroduced itself as the trusted curator of an elevated lifestyle whose inclusive clubs offer one-of-a-kind community and connections for a life well-lived. Located in Boston, Massachusetts, Southworth currently owns and operates private clubs and residential communities across North America, the Caribbean and Europe. These award-winning properties include: Willowbend on Cape Cod, Mass.; Renaissance on Boston’s North Shore; Meredith Bay on New Hampshire’s famed Lake Winnipesaukee; Creighton Farms in Aldie, Va. 35 minutes west of Washington, DC; The Village at Machrihanish Dunes in Argyll, Scotland; and The Abaco Club, located on Great Abaco Island in The Bahamas. For more information, visit SouthworthClubs.com.
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