Entries Tagged 'Health' ↓

My Goodness: Are Pop Rocks Next On the Airlines’ Restricted Items List?

Here’s a question for travelers in our security-minded era: Should the TSA put Pop Rocks, above—the fizzy, crumbly, kids candy from the ’70s—on its air travel prohibited items list?

I ask because it’s long been known what happens to the human digestive system when you swallow Pop Rocks, then mix it with Coca-Cola, a drink available on every commercial flight: Your stomach explodes!

The effect on the individual is, obviously, catastrophic. As for the craft’s airframe, well, suppose this were to happen while flying over the Pacific, right?

Heh, heh. Of course, it’s nonsense, the idea that these two substances, when combined, detonate. It’s a 30-year-old, urban myth. But, as every parent knows, kids have lots of questions about how our bodies are affected by all kinds of phenomena, and why we work as we do.

Andrea and Julia Ditkoff sure did. For example, they wanted to know:

Why do you get a headache when you eat ice cream too quickly?

What’s that small, dewdrop-shaped thing in the back of your throat?

Why do people hiccup?

…not to mention the query which forms the title of their mother’s book, Why Don’t Your Eyelashes Grow?: Curious Questions Kids Ask About the Human Body, right, by Dr. Beth Ann Ditkoff.

In fact, they came up with all the interrogatives Dr. Ditkoff uses in her text. She thought her daughters’ inquiries were, indeed, provocative, but commonplace. Other children, and other adults, would want to hear the answers, also.

They will: Dr. Ditkoff is the guest today on a repeat edition of my WBAI-NY / 99.5 FM radio show, NONFICTION, this afternoon, Friday, June 18, at 2 pm ET.

You can listen to this thoughtful writer / physician’s ideas by tuning in at 2 pm. If you’re outside of the New York tri-state, check out our stream on the web. If you miss the live show, dig into our archives for up to 90 days after broadcast.

Going Beyond the Body Beautiful.


I so utterly dig this gorgeous one-sheet, above, that director David Lam fashioned, in lush black-and-white, for his 2009 documentary, Athlete. The film tells the stories of four ordinary folk, including 35-year-old twin sisters Carrie and Kellie, above. All are locked into mind-breaking tests of physical endurance, each for their own personal reasons, each redefining the idea of limits. That’s the trailer, below, but, in a way, you can say that the poster tells the whole story. Out on DVD March 9.

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Haiti, When the World Changed.

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Crash Text Dummies.


I’ll give you one guess why British viewers were so outraged by this provocative anti-texting-while-driving PSA, above.

Drive safely.

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Don’t let ’em lie to you: I know with all the cooking shows, people try and act like, in the past, American food, though artery-clogging, was hearty and simple. Meanwhile, many argue, today’s chefs have gone bonkers, working to outdo each other with odder and even odder ingredients, methods of preparation, plating, and the like.

Well, if you really think so, try and hold down your lunch just imagining what anybody you love would do if you sat this, below, in front of them: A whole pheasant, tail feathers, head, eyeballs, beak, and all, surrounded by greens, and, incidentally, plunked down next to a roasted version of itself.


Baaroomph. Around 8pm, one day over sixty years ago, somebody probably ran out onto a busy city street and upchucked all the previous week’s electrolytes. I know that because the above is a print ad for Niblets Whole Kernel Corn, from pg. 10 of the Nov 11, 1946 issue of LIFE magazine. (“Gay Color – Good Eating,” blares the headline. Wow.)

That retina-scalding, ornithological centerpiece, above, says the copy, was

prepared by Louis Diat, Chef, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, New York City—a spectacular way to serve pheasant…the casserole of meat flanked by the brilliant plumage of the bird itself. And what goes better with pheasant than the gold of Niblets Brand whole kernel corn, the tender flavor of its sweet young kernels?

nibletsA little context, admittedly, might be helpful here. This is, literally, the postwar period; WWII had ended a bit over a year before. Julia Child wouldn’t start teaching French cooking for another half decade. American women probably wanted to do something exciting in the kitchen, after years of shortages and rationing.

Minnesota Valley Canning Company probably seized the opportunity to market arguably the second-most generic vegetable known to humanity, after rice, by linking it to exotic dishes and fantasy. They knew full well their target audience would never go to the Ritz-Carlton, but would be entranced by its world-renowned reputation for luxury and excitement. They certainly knew that the chef there woulddn’t have touched Niblets, above, to make a meal for his discerning clientele. Notice they never claim he does in the text, but just strongly associate it with his food?

Fortunately, Minnesota Valley Canning smartened up and realized that they needed to talk to regular people, and heightened both the visibility and branding opportunities in the green giant on their label, even ultimately sprouting a little giant called, of all things, Niblet. (Green Giant was a ho, ho, ho.)

But, thankfully for all of us, they stopped trying to sell housewives the myth that their hard-working, meat-and-potatoes husbands would stomach the sight of an undressed bird, still smoking with buckshot, on their dinner plates. After all, supper’s the time for family talk, not taxidermy.

Love Your Uterus.


In high school, Etsy craftsmaker VulvaLoveLovely says she “was more than an outcast, I was an untouchable.” Hurting desperately to connect with someone, she tried to drown her pain in meaningless sex, but only ended up getting abused, assaulted, and despising herself more.

It wasn’t until she saw a performance of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues that she began to peel away the layers of self-denigration that she’d built up.

vaginalipsAnd how. Today, the artist not only fashions pieces like this 2-inch pudenda-positive polymer clay pendant, right, but also creates massively hysterical works like the huggable “Utera Maxima,” above.

“Utera” is 20 inches tall, 29 inches wide, with a fallopial tube “wing span” of 69 inches. The piece is

crafted out of fuchsia fleece. The detailing is done in dark pink, light pink, and white candy striped detailing.

“Utera Maxima” should look great in your car, riding shotgun, flickin’ the finger to drivers who get too close; draped across your bed, where fortunate boudoir visitors can pay due homage; or seated in a place of esteem on your living room couch when you serve tea. Plus, the next time some nosey kid asks you where babies come from, you can just point. Vagina Pendant Necklace, $17 + $1.99 s/h. Utera Maxima, $45 + $12-$25 s/h, depending on country of destination.

[via thingamababy.com]

Babies Breastfeeding Babies.

screen3Suck on this: A little girl demos Bebé Glotón’s remarkable talent

Does Bebé Glotón, Spanish manufacturer Berjuan‘s “breastfeeding” toy, above, mark the end of the world? Does it simply represent that less delicate, more raw & direct quality Spain seems to possess as a cultural birthright? Or is it an innovative and educational device, fitting for today’s more introspective age?

I haven’t figured it out. What I know, however, is that the chance you’ll see it on U.S. shelves any time soon is exactly zero. No, make that -8.

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Strong Enough for a Man, But Made for a Woman.

Introducing the Shenis

Biomimicry, according to an institute which bears the name, “is the practice of developing sustainable technologies inspired by ideas from nature,” like, for example, studying the seemingly frictionless quality of shark skin, in order to design better boat hulls.

Yet, somehow, I don’t think the aureate schlong pictured above was what scientists had in mind. Dubbed The Shenis by its creator, Kiki Curry, it’s 12 inches of hard plastic she calls “the female answer to standing to pee for ladies.”

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The Rainbow Coalition.

Colors get you looking good!

Looking to lose weight in the New Year? Jennifer Kenny’s Color Me Beautiful outlines her dynamic and innovative approach to exercising off the pounds: She links muscle groups to an entire “color wheel,” getting them to act together as one unit.

For example, B.L.U., or “blue,” stands for Bilateral Latissimuss Upright, indicating the parts of the body to be worked. Kenny’s is a tough routine, but the results, as she demonstrates, can really be something to look at. Highly recommended, whether you’re in shape…or thinking about getting there!

What’s Up, Sis?

Lisa Leslie and Regina King

The functionally titled Tall Black Women blog posts pics and info about women of African descent who range between six feet and seven-and-a-half feet in height.

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