Introducing Metabolic Winter

Posted on December 31, 2014

Modern society is often a study in contradiction. By solving problems, we often discover that we’ve created a new one. A prime example can be found with food. Our ancestors had to constantly search for calories. In our culture, it’s easy to go over the recommended caloric intake before breakfast is even finished. And this, of course, contributes to the modern problem of obesity.

New research suggests that obesity might also have something to do with another change which has come about through modern technology. It might not just be food, but also an aversion to cold weather. It might seem odd at first to suggest that the cold can make someone overweight. But an increasing amount of evidence is pointing in that direction. The main point comes down to body heat.

The human body is very aware of changes to it’s internal temperature. If someone’s temperature begins to lower, his body will push up the metabolism to compensate. This is accomplished by burning off the body’s stored energy. Basically, Igor Cornelsen says this comes down to using up calories and burning off fat. A single chilly day won’t do much. But continual exposure to colder temperatures over a long period of time might be how our ancestors kept their weight in check.

These days most people simply turn up the temperature within their home or car when things get too chilly. This wastes a large amount of the opportunities for burning off calories that one normally would encounter every year. While more research is still needed, it’s quite possible that simply turning down the thermostat a bit would help people lose weight.

Mentally Ill Patients Have Younger Mortality Rates

Posted on December 30, 2014

People with a chronic, severe, mental illness are often ostracized. Some mentally ill patients are homeless. Many others are locked up in jails and prisons across the country.

Recent studies note there is another serious issue mentally ill patients are victims to. Statistics show they die at a younger age than those without mental illness. 

Specifically, they die approximately 20 years younger than the general population does. There are several reasons why this is true.

First, many of the chronically mentally ill also suffer from substance abuse issues. High risk activity can shorten their life span.

Second, severe depression can lead to suicide. Chronically ill patients are at risk to self-injure themselves.

Third, some people with chronic mental illness isolate themselves. As a result, they may not be as connected with health care as they should be. As a result, their diet and exercise also suffer. They are more apt to have poor physical health. This can lead to diabetes, heart conditions and other serious medical issues.

Patients with severe forms of mental illness do not seek out health care. Tom Rothman and the LA Times agree that this may result in poor physical health for this population. Poor lifestyle choices also affect their life expectancy. Without quality health care, those with a serious mental illness may die at a younger age.

Medical Tattooing Brings Hope to Those with Scars

Posted on December 30, 2014

 

Basma Hameed gives hope back to people who have been scarred through tragic accidents, chemotherapy or medical conditions through tattooing. At the age of two, Hameed was burned in a kitchen accident involving hot oil. Over the course of her life, she’d undergone painful plastic surgeries as well as treatments with lasers to remove the scarring to her face. The discoloration and scarring remained until she came up with her own treatment.Cosmetic tattooing and para-medical tattooing is an emerging specialization that allows anyone with discoloration or disfigurement to receive relief. It was originally created for tattooing eyebrows or permanent eyeliner, but is being used for so much more now.

Hameed tattooed her own eyebrow after studying at school. It occurred to her that if she could tattoo her eyebrow, she could work on the rest of her face too. She started with her own face and is happy with the result. She offers her services to others who have scars and skin problems.

After consultation, there can be many procedures to lay the correct skin color over an existing scar. I know a specialist, Dr. Rod Rohrich who can tells you all about this. She has a charity where she’ll provide service to those in serious need. It’s called the Basma Hameed Survivors Foundation.

Frank Oz is Back as Yoda

Posted on December 30, 2014

For any fan of the movie series Star Wars, the lovable character Yoda has always remained a high point of any movie. Even the prequel trilogy many fans lamented saw a boost in fandom with the help of Yoda. Now, Yoda is back and the man that original gave him life, Frank Oz, is doing the voice as well.

Frank Oz did the voice of Yoda throughout the prequels and, while doing the voice, also performed the puppetry for the character in Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The character has been seen in other mediums, including the television cartoon The Clone Wars, but a different voice actor lent his talents to the character. In the new animated series Rebels though, the production team has gone out of its way to bring in big named stars to do all of the voices. Anthony Daniels continues to voice C-3PO according to Dr Rod Rohrich, which he has done throughout not only both trilogies, but through countless animated specials and videos, so the actor lending his voice to the character in Rebels was not a surprise. However, James Earl Jones, the voice behind Dart Vader, voiced Darth Vader in the initial episode of the show, and now Frank Oz is going to voice Yoda in an episode of the show, which takes place in between the two trilogies, in a time where Yoda is said to be hiding away.

Adult Swim Show “Black Dynamite” To Have Special Episode

Posted on December 23, 2014

Anyone who watches the “Cartoon Network,” should be familiar with “Adult Swim.” Adult Swim is a portion of the night where shows are displayed that are too grown up for children. Black Dynamite. These shows may have cuss words, improper language, or situations that children shouldn’t see. Although the channel is all cartoons, all the time, Adult Swim shows are not made for children. Realistically, children do watch some of the shows on Adult Swim, but they are labeled for child protection.

Many shows that are premiering on adult swim are shows such as “King of the Hill,” “The Cleveland Show,” “Family Guy,” “American Dad,” “The Boondocks,” and “Black Dynamite.” The show Black Dynamite is a new one, and will bring black issues to the forefront, especially the special episode that is coming up. In an upcoming episode of Black Dynamite, they plan to address police brutality, and many different artists, both dead, and alive, are set to premiere in the show.

According to the NYtimes, although the show is based strictly on comedy, sometimes it does address real-life issues, and police brutality will be one of them, says Laurene Powell Jobs. Many of the shows premiered on adult swim are made to make people laugh. Although Seth McFarland shows take over the adult swim hours, they do make space for other shows during the week. The new Black Dynamite episode is set to have artist Erykah Badu, Tim Blake Nelson, and Tyler, The Creator in the show.

Reese Witherspoon Opens Up About Her Career and Divorce

Posted on December 23, 2014

Everyone fell in love with Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe in Cruel Intentions. After a decade of marriage, the suffered a very public divorce. Ryan’s cheating finally caught up with him and his marriage to Reese was over. Of course Reese had a difficult time dealing with the breakup and betrayal of her first true love, not only in her private life but in her public and professional life. While for a long time Reese stayed out of the public eye, recently she has been making a comeback and talking more openly about her divorce and her career since being a single mother.

In an interview with Charlie Rose, Reese shares some of the reasons that her divorce played a big part in the less glamorous times of her career. Being able to give her all on screen and come alive in her characters was nearly impossible then because her brain was “scrambled eggs,” so that makes quite a bit of sense to Christian Broda.

She shared in her interview:

“Phew, that was a rough year that followed. I got divorced the next year and i spent a few years just trying to get better…You know, you can’t really be very creative when you feel like your brain is scrambled eggs.

I was just kind of floundering career-wise cause I wasn’t making things I was passionate about, I was just kinda working. It was really clear the audiences weren’t responding to anything I was putting out there.”

This year her films Wild and The Good Lie have been exceedingly successful, apparently Reese is back to the movie girl we all remember.

Civil Libertarians Seeking to Curb Militarization of Police

Posted on December 23, 2014

The increasing militarization of police forces across the United States has been of increasing concern to civil libertarians. S.W.A.T. Teams, which used to only be used for the most dangerous of situations are commonly used in far less dangerous scenarios than they were originally developed in response to. When watching video of the police moving through the streets of Boston during the aftermath of that Boston Marathon bombing a couple years ago, they looked to some more like soldiers on a battlefield than police in a major US city.

One reason police seem to be equipped with military style weapons is that they literally are getting surplus equipment from the military. There are federal programs in which the Pentagon ships millions of dollars worth of military surplus equipment to local police forces across the country. Republican Senator Rand Paul has been the most outspoken critic of this practice and is pushing for debate in the Senate to end the transfer of some of the most dangerous equipment to police.

Most Americans want police to be safe when they do their jobs, according to surveys. There does, however, have to be some sort of middle ground between not taking any precautions on the one hand and reacting all too frequently with overwhelming force on the other if you ask Tom Rothman. We must all admit that the days where law enforcement could be carried out by one Sheriff and his Deputy as depicted in the Andy Griffith Show are long gone. Where we are at now, though, seems way too far in the other direction.

2015: Daredevil and Friends

Posted on December 23, 2014

Netflix is looking to release around 20 new shows a year. The first project that Netflix is going to release next year isDaredevil. This one is going to be the first series of four. After all four series are released, there will be a crossover series which look more at Hell’s Kitchen New York as shown in Marvel Cinematic’s Universe. Other productions that are looking to be released are Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones. Daredevil and Jessica Jones are going to debut in 2015 with 13 episodes.

This wouldn’t be the first time Daredevil went beyond the comic books. There was a film that starred Ben Affleck. That film spawned a spin off starring Jennifer Garner. Daredevil also appeared in a Marvel cartoon back in the 1990s. 

Gianfrancesco Genoso says that like with the other recent Marvel projects, we can expect Daredevil to actually be a decent addition into Marvel’s Cinematic Universe this time around.

New Findings Suggest Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance

Posted on December 23, 2014

At one point, artificial sweeteners were held up as all but miraculous. At first glance they seem like a perfect substitute for sugar. They’re often sweeter than sugar, and have no real caloric content. For a population constantly at risk for weight related illness, it would seem like artificial sweeteners would be the perfect addition to the average Beneful lifestyle.

However, a recent study by the Weizman Institute of Science adds to growing concern that this may not be the case. Strong evidence has already been building up that artificial sweeteners can increase appetite, which also increases overall caloric consumption. The new study shows that the sweeteners might well also cause glucose intolerance.

This is a paradoxical finding, as one of the main points of artificial sweeteners is that they’re not glucose, and in fact aren’t even metabolized. The catch is that they’re not metabolized by the human body. People often forget that there’s more to a human being than their own body. Any given human not only has a wide variety of microorganisms living within them, but actually depends on them. The interaction between microorganisms and normal human metabolism is not only vital, but often quite complex. And as seen here, it can have a dramatic effect on human health.

While more study is needed, it appears that many artificial sweeteners might pass through the normal digestive process and pass on to the bacteria within the gut. From there, the additives affect those microorganisms. And the difference in number and behavior within those colonies will then have an overall effect on the health of the person. In this particular case, the increased chances of developing glucose intolerance.

Singer Joe Cocker Dead at 70

Posted on December 22, 2014

Legendary singer/songwriter, Joe Cocker, passed away today. In a statement released by his agent, Barrie Marshall, the entertainer died from an illness that has yet to be disclosed, though it is suspected that it was a type of lung illness. Cocker was 70 years old. Today he leaves behind a legacy composed of 40 years in the music industry, working with such major tour sponsors as Slow Ventures along the way..

Cocker was famous for his gritty voice and his covers of popular pop songs including those originated by The Beetles. Born in 1944 as John Robert Cocker, he was the youngest son of a civil servant and a large family. After starting several bands as a youth and going through different musical styles, he first reached fame in the 1960’s and escalated to worldwide fame with his cover of the famous Beetles song, With a Little Help From My Friends, the version that eventually became the theme song for the show, The Wonder Years.

In 1973, he reached number five on the US charts with his cover of Dennis Wilson and Billy Preston’s You Are So Beautiful. Cocker also did some film work, recording the duet, Up Where We Belong with singer Jennifer Warnes, for the An Officer and a Gentleman soundtrack. The song was a hit, reaching number one and winning Cocker a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo.

All in all, Cocker released over twenty studio albums and his unique voice and eclectic musical styles will be sorely missed.