What’s with the news: Last month researchers at the University of Tokyo shared their innovative “diet glasses” with Discovery News. I however only stumbled upon them recently, and I think they are insane. Hence their inclusion in this week’s column.
The goggles are designed to drastically reduce one’s doughnut intake by making the food appear larger than it actually is. They also allow the wearer to look incredibly ridiculous while out to brunch with friends.
The goggle team’s experiments show volunteers consuming 10 percent less when their food appears 50 percent larger, and 15 percent more when food appears two-thirds its actual size.
Who needs the gym when you’ve got good old reliable innovative technology to bail you out?
What’s with us: Jessica Brown is a public heath prevention specialist who has worked with Planned Parenthood, Sutter Physician Services, and the Department of Health Care Services. She currently works with her nonprofit, the Encouraging Life Organization, to create community health initiatives for the purpose of eliminating disparities in underserved communities.
“I am impressed with the advancement of technology, but I definitely have some concerns,” Brown said via email. “Our society is fixated on ‘quick fixes’ to chronic problems. Most people won’t seek help for overeating until a traumatic event occurs, such as a stroke or being diagnosed with diabetes. That person will seek medical advice and possibly be prescribed medication to quickly repair health issues. He or she may then look for a quick and easy solution to prevent future issues – three-week diet plans, magic weight-loss pills … diet goggles.”
She continued, “For someone who is struggling with weight loss, recommendations would be to increase fruits and vegetable intake, decrease sugary drinks and increase water intake, and increase daily activity. The use of something like diet goggles takes away those key factors of healthy weight loss. It fails to encourage the idea of incorporating healthier foods into one’s diet. One should consider that … even though they may be losing weight, continuing to eat unhealthy foods can still put a person at risk for chronic illness such as diabetes and heart disease.”
Yeah, but they’d be a great way to scare off a bad first date over dinner.
What’s with the news: On July 3 Jane Pitt, mother of well-known actor and activist Brad Pitt, penned a letter to the editor of her local newspaper, the Springfield News-Leader.
The letter has since been reposted and evaluated by just about every major newsource in the country.
The letter urges Christian voters to support Republican Party candidate Mitt Romney despite his Mormon background. Mrs. Pitt cites Obama’s policies on abortion and same-sex marriage, reminding readers, “Any Christian who does not vote or writes in a name is casting a vote for Romney’s opponent …”
Which begs the question, is it really possible to pigeonhole voters based solely on their spiritual beliefs?
What’s with us: Aurellia Anderson received her Master’s of Divinity degree from Duke University Divinity School and is currently a Licensed Minister of the Evangelical Covenant Church. She agreed to weigh in with her thoughts on how our current political quagmire impacts followers of the Christian faith.
“I personally believe Christians struggle today, politically,” she said. “They are asked to choose between moral/ethical issues and social justice issues. If we are to label Jesus’ theology, he was a liberation theologian…he believed in social justice. I think a person’s social consciousness can influence their political stance, and when engaging in politics social justice issues outweigh a person’s moral commitments.”
She continued, “I do not believe there is a candidate today (or if ever) that adequately fits the Christian belief system. Christians are forced to choose between two candidates of a seemingly two-party system. This is usually swayed depending on the personal lifestyle of the voting Christian (race/ethnicity, class, etc).”
“Because Christians are human beings, they will disagree and tend to think their opinion and choice is the most accurate,” Anderson said in closing. “So if there was a way to vote, I believe Christ would not even answer the question, and instead tell the Church (the body of Christian believers) to reject it all and take care of the world’s problems themselves.”
So being Christian does not necessarily make any one individual’s decision at the polls, or ability to maintain faith in our political system, much easier than it is for those who don’t adhere to any particular religious belief system. Now let us all band together in frustration, and stop hating one another.
What’s with the news: Last Thursday filmmaker Jeremiah McDonald uploaded a video of himself on YouTube titled, “A Conversation With My 12 Year Old Self: 20th Anniversary.”
The video sets a rambunctious 12-year-old McDonald beside his cynical, whiskey-sipping current self at the age of 32. For just under four minutes, the two Jeremiah’s discuss current and former pets, the Internet, and McDonald’s forgotten dream of becoming an illustrator.
As of Thursday morning, one week after the video was uploaded, Jeremiah’s conversation with Jeremiah has received over 6.5 million hits. I can personally account for only a few hundred of those.
What’s with us: Dr. Catherine Cohen is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and former editor of “Sacramento Valley Psychologist.” Dr. Debra Moore is a licensed Psychologist, as well as Founder and Director of Fall Creek Associates. Both women have served in the past as President of the Sacramento Valley Psychological Association and agreed to weigh in with their thoughts on the video.
“In terms of popularity, it’s very novel and well done. Also, the subject matter is essentially human psychology and that is always fascinating,” said Dr. Moore. “One hundred percent of us have had experiences of looking back at ourselves as a kid and trying to put the pieces together — how the heck did we get here, why did we turn out this way, what were the influences.”
According to Dr. Cohen, “Our culture has always been preoccupied with youth, but in the current climate of difficulty (seemingly endless wars, economic hardship, melting planet, exorbitant college tuition, etc.) I suspect most of us have had increasing questions about the future, and whether it will be an improvement on days gone by.”
“The filmmaker has an edgy curiosity with his youthful self — as if he could interact with himself again and redirect the decisions which got him to the stagnation he alludes to,” Cohen continued. “The optimism of youth is noteworthy, and optimism seems especially desirable today. As the filmmaker documents his growth from boy to man, he’s portraying important forces at work: optimism and realism — and the quest to balance these given the external factors of life.”
“He’s cynical, but there’s a sweetness to it all,” Dr. Moore said in closing. “He’s looking at himself with a kind of affection for his younger self. Like a little brother — he bugs you but you love him.”
I for one would love to chat with little Allison over a cocktail, if only for a chance to warn her against the impending awful perm she’d eventually demand.