Five Things Friday – Health, Parenting and Gender Issues Links

Virtual Body Swap

Thanks so much for all of the great feedback from last Friday. Now I am bold and am going to embark on another list of 5 links of things that made me think this week. But before we start, I have a question:

Pinterest: so I was asking Olena at Candies & Crunches about her infographics after reading this post and she noted finding them on Pinterest. That hadn’t even occurred to me. I have a Pinterest account and do Pin things on occasion, but have just never connected.

I have had a couple of people suggest it is a male/female thing, but I don’t know if I believe that – I don’t tend to fall on those sorts of lines anyway. I think it is more a ‘dinosaur’ thing …

So I will ask you guys … what suggestions do you have for getting more engaged with Pinterest?

OK, so here we go with another set of links I found interesting this week!

1. OK, this is totally meta, but here is a link to a set of links from Greatist. I like how they do round-ups, and this one is on ‘gender and feminism’ issues. There are several great links, looking at strategies for winning Oscars to ‘boyfriend-zoning’ to proof guys are more absent-minded (I still call it a cop-out!) and more.

I really enjoyed all of the links (and the minutes just disappeared as I worked from link to link and so on). But there was ONE I really connected with – it is a VR syste, allows one person to see life through the perspective of another – male to female, black to white, short to tall.

Be Another Lab takes a different, more visceral approach to exploring empathy. Instead of using digital avatars, the group uses performers to copy the movements of a subject: for example, racial bias is studied by having a subject’s actions mirrored by a performer of color.

I know it is only an experiment, but the thought of allowing others to gain empathy through this type of things really intrigues me.

2. Here is a unique perspective highlighted at UpWorthyEat anything you want … just cook it yourself. The main theme is that the things fast food does best are often things that are laborious in small home batches – so we end up eating those things much more frequently than we would if we had to make them ourselves. The video is just a couple of minutes long and definitely worth watching.

While we’re talking food, Greatist had another link list about ‘Odd Eating Habits’ … definitely some fun things including articles about using expired food for cheap meals, eating roadkill, how baby smells trigger the same brain centers as delicious foods, and more!

Wait! Wait! ONE MORE on food (last I swear). A great article on runners and nutrition over at Competitor that we should all take time to check out:

Just because you’re fit doesn’t mean you’re healthy, or vice versa. Knowing the difference between the two will go a long way to a sustainable lifestyle. Racing or recreational running doesn’t intrinsically make one healthy.

OK, so I lied … one more. I have always talked about how my running regulates my eating – when I run, I automatically eat better. Turns out it is ‘a thing’ because … SCIENCE! A study highlighed at Runner’s World looked at what you craved after exercise compared to non-exercize. Cool!

3. OK, so I have never worn Spanx – though apparently it is not unheard of for men to wear them, particularly on camera. But for women, shapewear has become something as natural as underwear or shoes. But according to an article at Huffington Post, all that “Spanx And Other Shapewear Are Literally Squeezing Your Organs”. Here is just a taste:

Shapewear couldn’t do its job if it wasn’t tight. Unfortunately, this leaves your stomach, intestine and colon compressed, which Dr. Kuemmerle says can worsen acid reflux and heartburn. Restrictive clothing can also provoke erosive esophagitis.

Your digestive tract is also affected, explains Dr. Erickson. The intestines are supposed to contract and move food along, but when they’re compressed over a long period of time, the flow of digestion is stifled. “It’s like when people eat a huge meal and then unbuckle their jeans,” Dr. Kuemmerle says. This damage, though not permanent, can lead to unpleasant symptoms like abdominal discomfort, bloating and gas.

Another hallmark of shapewear? Shallow breath. When you inhale, your diaphragm expands and your abdomen flares out, Dr. Erickson says, but shapewear restricts this movement and decreases the excursion in respiration.

Definitely go check out the full article … and after reading I would bet that guys will start asking ‘WHY do you think you need to wear that’ and women ‘do I REALLY need to do this to myself’?

4. Parenting – exactly where are the boundaries?

I am certainly not going to jump on a ‘parental judgment’ train here, but this week there was a post at Gawker featuring a picture someone snapped of a kid climbing all over a piece of art valued in the millions while the parents just stood by and let it happen. Here is the picture:


We have always been pretty strong with the boundary limits for our kids – look but don’t touch, no ‘visiting other booths’ at restaurants, and so on. But at the same time, we don’t pretend our kids were perfect (more than one full grocery cart was left behind over the years) – so when I see a kid who is a little fussy and the mom/dad is distracted by another fussy kid, if I can give a distracting smile, I certainly will. But there need to be some type of limits … and personally I think that climbing on art falls on the far side of that line.

Thoughts? Not just about this – but what as a parent has changed in how you now view other kids, and as a non-parent what drives you nuts about parents and kids in public?

Also on parenting, over at Neatorama, there is an amazing comic looking at the first year of parenting through the perspective of comic artist Grant Snider of Incidental Comics.

5. I used to be very quiet, but got better after losing weight … and now after moving to Corning Lisa says I am a total chatterbox who will talk to just about anyone! Yet I still dno’t have an issue with silence. I have no problems making smalltalk – do you?

There was a cool article at LinkedIn highlighting a number of topics to use and avoid and approaches for small talk. Definitely check it out – especially if you hate making small talk but find silent moments uncomfortable.

But there was a link in there I found even better – about when you get stuck talking to someone who is constantly correcting you. Personally there are few things that will drive me away from someone faster than this. Here is a sample:

A person with oppositional conversational style is a person who, in conversation, disagrees with and corrects whatever you say. He or she may do this in a friendly way, or a belligerent way, but this person frames remarks in opposition to whatever you venture.

I noticed this for the first time in a conversation with a guy a few months ago. We were talking about social media, and before long, I realized that whatever I’d say, he’d disagree with me. If I said, “X is important,” he’d say, “No, actually, Y is important.” For two hours. And I could tell that if I’d said, “Y is important,” he would’ve argued for X.

I saw this style again, in a chat with friend’s wife who, no matter what casual remark I made, would disagree. “That sounds fun,” I observed. “No, not at all,” she answered. “That must have been really difficult,” I said. “No, for someone like me, it’s no problem,” she answered. Etc.

I have definitely dealt with this too many times through the year – people who absolutely need to be right, and have the situation corrected, politeness and decorum be damned.

Bonus: Did you watch the State of the Union? Apparently they scheduled it during Supernatural so we missed it. I heard it largely consisted of one guy promising free beer even if he had to buy it himself, and a bunch of other guys nobody knows or cares about scrambling to find microphones (and occasionally threatening the people WITH the microphones) to tell people that they do NOT want the free beer but instead want what they have in a bag somewhere, but wouldn’t say what was in the bag, where it was, or whether or not it would be free if and when they DID talk about it. 😀


Over at Rolling Stone they put together a list of 27 Shocking Numbers That Reveal the True State of the Union

Here are some I thought were particularly interesting:

1. New income generated since 2009 that has gone to the top 1 percent: 95 percent

2. Financial wealth controlled by the bottom 60 percent of all Americans: 2.3 percent

8. What the minimum wage would be if it had kept pace with gains in worker productivity since 1968: $21.72

13. Years since the turn of this century that have ranked among the warmest 15 on record: All 13

15. U.S. defense spending as of 2012: $682 billion (which is $516 MORE than China spent)

25. Alternate unemployment rate including Americans who’ve given up looking for work, or have only been able to secure part-time employment: 13.1 percent

26. Number of jobs the United States is still down from 2008 employment peak: 1.69 million

So … what did YOU find intriguing this week?