Items filtered by date: Friday, 02 March 2018
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Selfies make your nose look bigger

Taking a selfie at a distance of 12 inches from your face increases the size of your nose by 30%.

According to a study published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, selfies distort the nose by 30% in width in men and 29% in women.

 

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However pictures taken 5 feet away do not distort the nose.

Study author Dr. Boris Paskover, facial plastic surgeon at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, stated, “At 5 feet, the distance between your nose and the camera and the distance between your facial plane and the camera is almost the same.”

He and his colleagues are finding a huge increase in people requesting plastic surgery to improve their look in selfies.

But if the image taken provides a distorted view, thousands of people may be having unnecessary operations.

According to the American College of Plastic Surgeons, reported by USA Today, minimally invasive cosmetic procedures have increased 200% since 2000 and are rising each year. They find the top 5 cosmetic surgeries in 2017 were:

  • Breast Augmentation (300,378 procedures)
  • Liposuction (246,354 procedures)
  • Nose Reshaping (218,924 procedures)
  • Eyelid Surgery (209,571 procedures)
  • Tummy Tuck (129,753 procedures)

And the most common minimally invasive cosmetic procedures were:

  • Botulinum Toxin Type A  (7.23 million procedures)
  • Soft Tissue Fillers  (2.69 million procedures)
  • Chemical Peel  (1.37 million procedures)
  • Laser Hair Removal  (1.1 million procedures)
  • Microdermabrasion  (740,287 procedures)

Selfies may share part of the blame in our obesity crisis

 

This week BBC news reported millennials to be on track to be the most overweight generation since records began.  Millennials have popularized the selfie on social media and are the most tech savvy when it comes to marketing themselves online.  The rest of us are catching up.  And our exceptional skills at taking great selfies may unwittingly de-expose us to the truths of our appearance.  If we look at our computers more than we look at a mirror, we won’t see the enlarging waist line, large butt, full face or love handles.  We think “we’re good” rather than being reminded of our figure’s shortcomings.  Complacency leads to laziness and letting one healthy meal or workout slide could lead to down-spiral of our weight maintenance.

Selfies have overtaken how see ourselves, attract dates, entertain others, and communicate with our friends. They’re not going away anytime soon and in fact leading to an epidemic of selfitis.  And if we’re not careful we’ll see an epidemic of unneeded plastic surgery as well.

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Daliah Wachs is a guest contributor to GCN news. Doctor Wachs is an MD,  FAAFP and a Board Certified Family Physician.  The Dr. Daliah Show , is nationally syndicated M-F from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and Saturday from Noon-1:00 pm (all central times) at GCN.

 

Published in News & Information
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Spring fever and baseball

It’s springtime, my favorite time of year. The weather warms up without a lot of humidity.  Flowers bloom at their very best. It’s the season of my birthday. If you live in Louisiana, we witness music festivals galore, including Mardi Gras, JazzFest and a host of local harmonic gatherings of local bands all over the state. And one more springtime reminder. It’s the beginning of baseball season.

I’m spending the next week in Tampa, Florida, surrounded by 15 major league teams who hold their baseball season kickoff in a number of towns surrounding the Tampa area. It’s my annual ritual that I have shared with friends from the Bayou State for many years. I grew up watching and playing baseball, particularly the St. Louis Cardinals. There were no televised games back then, but I often fell asleep at night listening to legendary sports announcer Jack Buck on 50,000 watt station KMOX tell his listeners “All’s right with the world cause the Cardinals won again tonight.”

I grew up in St. Louis, and lived next door to the general manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, the great former Cardinals shortstop Marty Marion. I was in his box the Sunday afternoon back on May 2, 1954, when Stan the Man Musial hit five home runs on the same day in a doubleheader. When I moved down to Louisiana, I was disappointed that there were no major league teams close by, but the state is filled with baseball fans from little league to college and professional ball teams.

LSU is a perennial contender for the college baseball world series with ULL in Lafayette also a strong challenger. Some of the best major leaguers have come from Louisiana. Mel Ott from Gretna was the first national leaguer to hit 500 homers. Lou Brock was raised in Colliston outside Monroe, hit .348 and stole 33 bases to spark St. Louis to a world championship. Alvin Dark from Lake Charles was NL Rookie of the Year in 1948.And who can forget the Louisiana Lighting, Ron Guidry, who went 25-3 for world champion New York Yankees. The list goes on and on.

And speaking of the Yankees, they are a real unifying team. You see, unless you are a die-hard Yankees fan like me, everyone else, and I mean everyone, hates the Yankees. They are never the underdog. No, just the opposite. The Yankees are the overdog, brash, cocky, and rich, always spending more than any other team in baseball. They have won more world championships than many other teams combined. Syndicated columnist Mark Shields writes: “To be a Yankees fan means to root for Apple or Amazon rather than for your neighborhood mom-and-pop store.”

I know, I know. A populist like me who has hailed for many years from Ferriday, Louisiana has no business pulling for the Yankees. But I’m just hooked. I have seen the Yankees play three games in a row, and will seem many more both here in Tampa and in New York. You know just one of the reasons? The Yankees sell very the best hot dogs. Large, grilled just right and juicy with all the trimmings. Not like those shriveled, tasteless weenies on a cold bun sold at LSU’s Tiger Stadium. This year, baseball fans will consume more than 21 million hot dogs at stadiums across the country. That’s enough to round the bases 29,691 times.  And I’ll eat my share.

Many folks think baseball games are too long. Not really. NFL games average 16 minutes longer than a major league baseball game. And think about it. There are only about 12 minutes of actual playing time, from the snap of the ball to the whistle, in pro football. In baseball, there are about 25 minutes of time when the ball is in play.

Some fans feel like baseball is not all that difficult to play. If you think that, just talk to Michael Jordan, probably the greatest basketball ever, who tried pro baseball but couldn’t get out of the minor leagues. The same for former Quarterback Tim Tebow who is still lingering in a minimal Class A league.

So as the new season warms up and unfolds, I’ll be cheering on baseball from little league watching grandsons, to a cold beer and great hot dogs at the new Yankee stadium in  New York. Hey, give the game a shot. You just might get hooked like me.

Peace and Justice

Jim Brown


Jim Brown is a guest contributor to GCN news. His views and opinions, if expressed, are his own. His column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide. You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownusa.com. You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show, Common Sense, each Sunday morning from 9:00 am till 11:00 am Central Time on the Genesis Communication Network.

 

 

Published in News & Information

The 90th annual Motion Picture Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 4th, with show host Jimmy Kimmel leading the way.  Here is list of all the nominees. As someone who graduated from film school and freelanced in “the biz” on and off for twenty years, the Oscars once held a special place in my heart. I never cared for the glamor of it all, and “What are you wearing?” is the most vapid question I can think of. No, it was my pure love of cinema that drew me and forty million of my closest TV watching friends to Oscar night. And for a long time I believed that the Academy Awards always - got it right!

 

But now, “meh” - I don’t really care that much. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll watch them. And then, like so many years past, will be unable to recall who won best actor, best picture, best adapted screenplay in, like, three months.

 

Perhaps the failing memory of age is why I can’t remember recent Oscar winners. Perhaps it is the dumbed down formulaic construction of Hollywood movies that make them all mediocre and there for - quite forgettable. Maybe it’s a combination of both.

 

I used to think the Oscars would go to - you know - the actual best actor, actress or movie - in each category. Isn’t that the idea? It’s just not true though, Academy voters rarely vote for “the best” of anything. Instead they vote for their friends. They vote for sentimental reasons. They get too get caught up in politics and targeted marketing campaigns sway their minds. Many voters don’t even watch all the movies that are nominated despite getting free screener copies of all of them. Many older voters don’t “get” movies that young folks make. The Oscars is nothing more than a popularity contests where, occasionally, and quite by accident - voters select the best choice in any given category.

 

Do you know how many times movies win the “Best Screenplay” award because voters are like, “I should probably vote for this for Best Picture but I’m not going to so I’ll just give it a screenplay prize.”

 

Do you know how many times an actor loses for a performance that should have earned them an Oscar only to win the following year for a lesser performance because voters go, “Whoops. I really should have voted for him last year - guess I’ll just do it this year.”

 

About fifteen years ago,  maybe longer, the Hollywood Reporter started a “Brutally Honest Oscar Ballot” column. Usually they would find four voting members of the Academy - an actor (or actress), a producer, a writer and a director. And, given total anonymity have the four voters say who they are voting for and why.

 

Here is this year’s, “Brutally Honest Oscar Ballot.”  A few samples:

 

Dunkirk looked great, but it was a little confusing, there wasn't enough of an emotional thread, and the drone of the airplane through the whole fucking movie just drove me crazy. For me it just didn't fully work.”

“... I grew to dislike Lady Bird because of its fucking social media campaign. They pounded the drum too much. They put a magnifying glass on everything — like, how they shot the scene at the airport in one take. They shot the scene at the airport in one take because they fucking stole it!” (“Stole it” means they didn’t have permission to shoot there and did it quickly before getting caught).

 

Talking about best director:

 

“Christopher Nolan got involved with a huge undertaking [Dunkirk], but he made a confusing film, so he failed. [Jordan Peele's] Get Out is well done, but let's not get carried away.”

 

And so on and so forth. To be honest, this one is a bit tame by previous standards. There is usually more swearing, racism, sexism, finger pointing and laughing at ridiculous nominations. I remember one year a long time ago a voter saying they flat out hate Jim Carrey and would never vote for him in anything he ever does. Ever. No matter what. Probably in reference to Man in the Moon, or Truman or Eternal Sunshine...

 

Um. Okay. But that kind of invalidates the idea that the Oscar goes to the “best of.” Sure, a lot of voting for a “best of” is subjective and your “best of” might be different than my “best of.” But much of it is objective. Consider this - who is the better actress - Meryl Streep or Paris Hilton?

 

You can argue subjectivity as much as you want but there is a quantifiable difference between the two and we know it. Now, if I were to ask you - who is the better actress - Tilda Swinton or Cate Blanchett - well, um … that’s a little more difficult.  And now who gave a better performance - Tilda in movie A or Cate in movie B?

 

We are now arguing degrees of 1% and in that scenario, coming up with "who’s better" is, frankly, kind of silly. But that’s precisely what award shows do. Year after year. Sometimes Academy voters get it right. Often times they don’t. I don’t remember who else was nominated for Best Actress in 2010 and I don’t need to look it up because - I guarantee you that each and every one of them gave a better performance than Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side.

 

And it’s not because Sandra Bullock is incompetent. She’s not. She’s a very adequate actress. She has a lot of skill. She knows how to hit marks and find her light and says her lines. I certainly wouldn’t call her talented. Meryl Streep is talented. Sandra Bullock is adequate.

 

And Bullock should not be an Academy Award winning actress. But she is because she is very well liked amongst her peers. And when they saw their charming, lovely friend Sandra Bullock on the ballot, they overwhelmingly voted for her. Not because she gave the best performance of the year by an actress. No. They voted for her because they personally like her. A lot (and she really does seem to be a stand up person. I mean, did you even see her acceptance speech at the Razzie Awards for worst actress of the year?! You should). Anyway, her friends voted for her to win an Oscar because they universally thought, “When is dear Sandra ever going to get another chance?” Which means all the other great actress performances that year both nominated and un-nominated lost out to Hollywood nepotism.

 

So, while I moderately enjoy the much too long Oscar awards, and I’m occasionally surprised by a few excellent nominations and wins, I’m usually underwhelmed by the final result.

 

That being said, this year there really is no clear front runner. The Shape of Water has the most nominations and that usually means it will win the most awards. But the various end of the year movie awards shows have divided up the movies, actors, directors and screenwriters to multiple films and people.

There are also a lot of milestones to be seen at the Oscars this year:

  • The first woman to be nominated in the cinematography category - Rachel Morrison for Mudbound. (Although, hopefully Roger Deakins finally wins for Blade Runner 2049. Sorry Rachel).
  • The first transgender director to be nominated - Yance Ford for feature documentary Strong Island.
  • First black writer / director / producer to be nominated for all three in the same year - Jordan Peele for Get Out.

 

All great! Baby steps in the right direction!

 

And maybe this is the year where Academy voters honestly cast their vote without pride or prejudice. Maybe this is the year where they get it all right!

 

But I won't hold my breath. I’m now "Oscar cynical" enough to just expect that Academy voters will, you know - disappoint and get it wrong.

 

And I still do not fucking care what they are wearing.

 

Published in News & Information