Horizon The Truth About Exercise and Fat, My Thoughts

The Truth About Exercise with Michael Mosley, of whom I am a big fan, explores the myths about exercise and how sometimes less really is more. Just a few minutes of exercise per week, split into 3 minute bursts of intense workout can improve insulin sensitivity by 24%, particularly useful for those at risk of diabetes. However, your genes play a vital role in how well your body responds to excercise, some people are classed as ‘non-responders’ and their aerobics do not noticeably improve. As Mr Mosley said when discovering he was among this genetic minority; “Thanks mum, thanks dad.”

The Truth About Fat, lead by surgeon Gabriel Weston explores the fat epidemic spreading throughout Western culture. Our genes, programmed by evolution, tell us to look for high calorie foods; a reflection of what life was like many years ago when food was sparse and any meal consumed needed to be high in calories for energy and survival. But nowadays, when we are spoilt for choice and not always surrounded by the healthiest choices, our genetic makeup is against us. As a nation we are eating more than we need to, and not always allowing ourselves to get ‘hungry’ before eating, as well as plentiful meals there are snacks constantly available.

The programme explores how overweight people often lack sufficient hormonal response to food; so although their ‘hunger’ enzyme is not usually higher than yours or mine, Continue reading

Samantha Brick gets Brick to the Face

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The reaction to her article, which I talked about in my previous post, has been incredible.

Moral of the story:

– There’s nothing wrong with feeling good about yourself, just don’t assume the whole world views you the same way. I have to agree that false modesty, or self-deprecating comments fishing for a compliment are just as bad though.

– Don’t blame your “lovely looks” for your social and career failures. It’s true physical appearance can have an affect, but don’t apply such vain stereotypes to both men and women, and assume they’re either in awe of your beauty or just jealous. Life isn’t that simple and doesn’t revolve around you.

– Don’t write a delusional rant instead of an educated analytical article on the psychological/sociological affects of appearance, you have just given the Daily Mail exactly what they wanted, and frankly done no favours for the female gender as a whole.

Daily Mail – 1                Female Gender – 0

Some of the best responses to Samantha Brick’s delusional “article” are here:

Like Samantha Brick, I have been hated for my good looks

The Mail simply threw Samantha Brick to the wolves

Samantha Brick Facts

Who Said It: Samantha Brick Or Derek Zoolander? (QUIZ)  –  I would have gotten more wrong if I were not a Zoolander fan.

Celebrity Twitter reactions

Youtube: Get Over It – The Troubled Beauty of Samantha Brick

Religious Child Maltreatment

Religion is no excuse for beating or killing your child, for physically or emotionally hurting a child. “God told me to” won’t stand up in court for good reason, and for any other scenario when the perpetrator told them an imaginary voice told them to do it they’d be carted off to a mental ward. Why does religion sometimes get an easier ride? The parents didn’t “mean well”, it wasn’t an accident, and even without religion these people would still find a way to exact their warped intentions on an innocent being. Why do some things get chalked up to ‘culture’ and ‘belief’? Regardless of where you’re from, who you are, or what you believe, it’s fairly obvious that hurting a child is not acceptable, not in this day and age. Perhaps that’s the problem, some people are still living in the Dark Ages of superstition and punishment. We are privileged to have education, and the ability to develop emotional intelligence sufficient enough to at least co-exist if not help one another.

Join the movement to end child abuse: www.1sta...

Join the movement to end child abuse: http://www.1stand.org (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am not having a go at religion itself or saying this applies to all religious people, but there’s no doubt some people use religion as an excuse for violence and abuse, a way to disengage from their own responsibility, ‘God’ forbid they would ever have to feel guilt or culpability. I am disgusted to still be reading things like this article here.

Would you give change to a homeless drug-addict?

English: A homeless man in Paris Français : Un...

Image via Wikipedia

There is a fine line between logic and emotion, and quite often one defies the other. Logic told me the man would use the money he collected to buy more heroin, and that therefore it was wrong, and would be enabling him. But the other part of me knew there was a very slim chance he would at least spend some of it on a hot drink, or something useful, and that I would feel guilty if I just walked past impassively. I knew he was a drug addict from his eyes, his skeletal appearance, the marks, when you’ve seen it all before you know the signs.

I’m not “soft” in a sunshine-and-rainbows, crying at rom-coms, Mother Teresa type way. But I always put myself in another person’s shoes, allowing me to empathise and weigh this with logic. I never just walk past and ignore a homeless person begging for change, or even a charity fundraiser standing neglected with their hopeful bucket, I always give change even if it’s just a little. Does this say something about what kind of a Doctor I will make? I don’t know, but it says something for the way I balance logic with emotion.

In my opinion it is wrong to assume that all homeless people begging for change are drug addicts, and therefore morally wrong to deny them change solely on that basis. Furthermore if they are a drug addict, why are they any less deserving of loose change? As distasteful as it is to enable them, or make any contribution to the grotesque drug business (where someone is always profiting, and others are always losing; their lives, their bodies, their minds or their homes), the beggar has no control over their addiction, and could die from the cold-turkey withdrawal.

Of course, giving them help would be better than giving them change; establishments exist to help drug addicts and homeless people, there are soup kitchens, shelters, Methadone programmes. But nothing is perfect, just as there is no perfect way to handle the scenario laid out in this post, do you:

– Walk past and ignore

– Give them change without knowing whether they are a drug addict or not

– Give them change knowing they are a drug addict (Are the above options doing indirect harm or good?)

– Offer friendly advice about programmes that could benefit them. (Or is this intrusive?)

– Offer to buy food for them rather than give them change (I’ve heard stories of people doing this when they suspect that the money they give would be spent on drugs, therefore this acts as a sort of test, but is this morally sound or not?)

The truth is there is no definite universally applicable right or wrong, it’s all down to the individual. But I find ethics very interesting, and the way empathetic impulses or emotions can lead to views being solidified as law, that is why the law is always changing, particularly medical laws, think about euthanasia, how new cases affect our human rights.

Tiredness

Sleepy Tigers

Image via Wikipedia

Tiring day taking blind people to the dentist, jumping out of a window to avoid annoying neighbours, and negotiating a knife/boiling kettle out of the hands of a mentally challenged patient.

Not complaining, love my job. But the day…or rather, night, isn’t even over for me yet. Going out again now Byeeeee *yawn yawn yawn*

I killed your partner, so The Tournament begins

After watching The Tournament(2009) I am left mostly unaffected. But the film wasn’t trying to be emotionally powerful, so I suppose this near impartiality is acceptable.

It’s what you expect an average gun-slinging assassin movie to be; without any of the awesomeness the Kill Bill movies had, but with a prompt pacing, vendettas, and a slight twist. Despite being predictable, and not exceeding any expectations, it was nicely cast, acceptably made, and there were no drastic errors.

DON’T watch if you’re looking for something stylistically new, emotionally/intellectually engaging, or rivetting enough to hold you on the edge of your seat.

DO watch if you appreciate guns, lots of them, and explosions. Also if you’re familiar with The Vampire Diaries, you would be pleased to know that Ian Somerhalder plays an assassin called Miles Slade. I do genuinely think he’s a really good actor, and of course Kelly Hu and Robert Carlyle are great.

Dear John, sob stories don’t ensure a great movie

Cover of "Dear John (Limited Edition Blu-...

Cover via Amazon

Despite my reluctance, I just watched Dear John (2010), directed by Lasse Hallström. This is because my friend Katie insisted.

It’s not entirely fair for me to slate the filmmakers just because I did not enjoy it at all. My lack of enjoyment came mainly from the fact that I’m not a stereotypical girl who falls for the lead male every time, or dreams of that kind of thing. I have everything I need in that department. I do like films about love, but they must have something more to offer.

So, aside from getting people to relate to the smushy love scenes, what else does this film have to offer?

Well, my favourite aspect was John’s father, played by Richard Jenkins. He has always had an affinity to play loner roles, and fatherly ones. Six Feet Under, the Television series which ran from 2001-2005, is a good example, with his role as Nathaniel Fisher.

I loved his fragility, it evoked more feeling from me than Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried‘s love scenes ever did. His coin collection made a great metaphor throughout the film, and was like another character.

Sympathy tactics are not enough to make a great movie for me though, it did not change the fact that the film was predictable, relatively shallow, and did not fully convince me. Despite all-round acceptable performances, Richard Jenkins was the only fully convincing part.

The Wolfman, Ruthbug’s Review

The Wolfman (2010 film)

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve decided to at last review The Wolfman, directed by Joe Johnston.

It lacked the charm of older supernatural movies, but offered a modern take, and the atmosphere was mildly reminiscent of Sleepy Hollow.

Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro made great performances, and had obvious chemistry. Needless to say Anthony Hopkins was on usual top form.

Best Parts: 1) In the forest when Del Toro (in wolf form) catches up with the gentleman stuck in a bog, the man tries to shoot himself in the head before Del Toro kills him painfully, but there are no bullets left, so he has his head savagely sliced off by the wolfman.

2) I loved the trippy montage within the asylum.

Visually impressive, well cast and atmospheric, but it didn’t grip my attention the whole time, and I am still trying to work out exactly why. It felt like there was an ingredient missing, or perhaps it was just too long, like not enough butter stretched over too much bread. The plot twists did not feel very surprising, and I do not think the film offered anything new to me. Still, I don’t have any serious complaints, and think it’s worth watching.

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Cannibals and Snowboarders

Today I watched Scarce (2008), directed by Jesse T. Cook and John Geddes, a film about a group of snowboarders on vacation. During a snow storm they are forced to seek refuge, but little did they know they are safer out in the storm. The people who grant them refuge are cannibals, surviving on what they ‘hunt’ throughout the winter.

Overall a pointless film with a very slow start, but the effects were cool, especially because it was on a low budget. I mean, of course I only watched it for the blood; I wouldn’t sit down and watch a film with that premise if I were looking for an intellectually challenging experience.

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‘Knots’ – By R.D. Laing

(Sorry for posting so much today, keep finding old bits on my computer that never got published)

I read a really good psychology book today (March 19th, 2008): ‘Knot’s by R.D. Laing. Some parts I felt were sexist, but a lot of the book is cynical, insinuative, and intelligently ironic, so I concluded that maybe the ‘sexism’ was in fact just mocking sexism…thereby rendering it free of sexism. It’s a book full of delightful moderate contradictions, and explores the cycles of thought in a typical human mind, it does so through poetry and formulas of wording. It’s basically a case of ‘she knows that he knows that we know that they know that he doesn’t know that they know’