Monday, June 05, 2017

Invasion of privacy - Guilty

A former Playboy model recently pleaded to a criminal charge of invasion of privacy. Ana Kasparian, Brett Erlich, and Grace Baldridge, the hosts of The Young Turks, discuss the case.

"Dani Mathers, the 2015 Playboy Playmate of the year, pleaded no contest on Wednesday to a criminal charge of invasion of privacy for secretly photographing a 70-year-old nude woman and was sentenced to 30 days of graffiti removal work, prosecutors said.

Mathers last July posted to social media a picture of the woman in the shower area of a Los Angeles fitness center, city officials said.

At her sentencing, the judge also placed Mathers on probation for three years, according to the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office.

"The message today is clear: body shaming is not tolerated in the city of Los Angeles," Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said in a statement.

The photo contained the caption, "If I can't unsee this then you can't either" and showed Mathers covering her mouth. Mathers was publicly condemned by social media users and prosecutors charged her.

California law prohibits secretly taking such photos, but not their distribution online. Legislation under consideration at the state capital would establish penalties for sharing them on the Web, Feuer said."

Read more



Friday, May 26, 2017

Health and beauty. What is it?

In December 2016, the year-on-year sales of the Health and Beauty sectors had grown 5.7%* on the previous years record breaking £4bn, making it the fastest growing retail category. The words health and beauty is often joined together, forming the term ‘health and beauty’. The term is also closely associated with wellness and wellbeing.

So, what is health and beauty? It is clearly an umbrella term that is used by many people to signify a multitude of things. Another aspects of the term that needs considering is: is health and beauty purely physical (internal and external) or does it include mental and spiritual health? In this article we will include all the above aspects of health and beauty.

The journey in pursuit of health and beauty usually requires a considerable investment of time (perhaps for the rest of a persons life), physical effort and mental will power and a financial input of varying amounts.

Read Article



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

25 life lessons from centenarians


A new infographic presents 25 life lessons from people who lived past the age of 100.

The centenarians comment's included:

“Age is in the mind. If I tell myself, I have to continue growing and functioning. That's the only antidote for age.
Kurt Douglas 100

“Always be optimistic, never better, and always be polite with people.”
Luiginia Vigiconte 101

“Don't drink don't smoke don't retire.”
Ebby Halliday 101

“I may give out, but I never give up.”
Richard Arvin Overton 109

“I feel that people should learn to be optimistic because life goes on, and sometimes favourable surprises come out of the blue....”
Irving Kahn 106

‘Three cans of Miller High Life a day and a shot of good booze at 5pm”.
Agnes Fenton 110

“Mind your own business and don't eat junk food. Treat everyone the way you want to be treated, work hard and love what you do.”
Bessie Cooper 116



Thursday, April 27, 2017

The onscreen objectification of men and women

When we think about objectification we normally think of women; however when it comes to the onscreen world, movies in particular, men are also objectified.

At the recent Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 press conference a reporter talked to Actor Chris Pratt and director James Gunn about objectification; more specifically the requirement, of Marvel hero’s, to bare their chest (men) or wear revealing clothes (women) in the movie.

“It hasn’t hurt my career!” said Chris “We are objects. It’s true, we are. We’re props. They shine a light on us, they paint us up with makeup, and they take a camera and point it at us. Half the time, what ruins it is us talking.
“I would say that objectification is good for me because when I turned my body into an object that people liked, I got paid a lot of money. My kids can go to college because I’m an object. As a man, I can say that.”

When Chris was asked whether he thought there was a double standard in how women compared to men were objectified he accepted that the sexes were treated differently: “I have to be careful because for generations — for millennia — women have been objectified in a way where there’s a pretty horrifying past. So that’s a little bit different, and there probably is what you’d call a double standard, but I think you have to deal with them separately because there’s a history of objectification [with women] that is a sensitive issue.”

James Gunn then added his own thoughts on the objectification of women and men in movies: “It’s not about being sexually attractive or thought of as a beautiful object,” said James. “It’s about the fact that many women in films today are reduced to being only that. When Chris Pratt looks beautiful onscreen, or Chris Evans looks beautiful onscreen … in all honesty, people take that in [stride] and then they still go, ‘But what’s that guy like? What’s his personality?’”

“Chris Pratt is great because he’s funny and he’s sexy and he’s got this vulnerable side — there’s all these different attributes about him,” the director continued. “Whereas men take these women and all that they’re [reduced to] is this one aspect of themselves, that they’re sexual beings. Everything else about their personalities is negated. That’s the really difficult thing, and why it isn’t exactly a one-to-one thing between men and women being objectified.”

James hopes that Guardians 2, which adds Nebula (Karen Gillan) to the titular team alongside her sister Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and introduces kooky telepath Mantis (Pom Klementieff) as well as imperious ruler Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), can prove that female characters are more than mere window dressing in comic-book movies.



Monday, March 13, 2017

How nice are you?

If I asked you this question, would you point to a list of actions e.g. giving up your seat on a train, giving directions to a stranger or opening a door for someone, as proof that you are a nice person? According to a recent study, you might not be as nice as you think you are.

Psychologists from Goldsmiths University of London (in partnership with Monarch Airlines) conducted the study in order to determine if there is a link between nice people and their levels of health, wealth and happiness.

Facereader, which monitors facial features such as furrowing of brows, how eyes appear and shape of mouth, was used in conjunction with questionnaires to validate participates responses.

The researchers found that:

- 98 % of British people believe that that they are in the top half of the population when it comes to niceness.

- most people happily did the actions detailed above such as giving up their seat on public transport but:-
       i) two thirds rarely if ever helped someone to carry heavy shopping bags,
      ii) five-sixths infrequently give money to strangers, and
     iii) only a quarter of people give blood or help elderly or regularly helped the elderly/infirm to cross the road.

- Those who rated themselves as “nice” were likely to be richer (nicer people earn £3,500 more than those who are ‘nasty’) and happier, but not necessarily more pleasant.

- 81 per cent of the “nice” participants reported being content in their lives – almost three times the number of “not very nice” participants (30 per cent).

“Our study shows that participants who report that they are ‘nice’ scored higher on emotional intelligence – which can help them deal better with stress and chaos in their lives,” said Professor Jonathan Freeman, who led the study.

“The results reveal that our opinions of our own niceness do not always stack up with the psychometric data.

“We observed a really interesting result in relation to people’s ratings of how nice they are, and how they scored on validated measures of individual differences.

“For example, more than half of participants who rated themselves as the second-highest level of nice scored below the sample average on agreeableness - so people think they’re nicer than they really may be.”



Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Overweight, inactive and consumes to much alcohol

It’s 2017 and many people have plans to lose weight or improve their overall health. A study from Public Health England suggests that middle age British people should be putting similar plans into action.

Researchers found that 80% of British adults between the ages of 40 - 60 are overweight, inactive and/or consume too much alcohol; all of which has a negative impact on their current and future health.

The study, which compared data from 20 years ago (1991-1993) with information collected in 2011 – 2013, concluded that the later group was less healthy than earlier study participants. This fact was largely blamed on modern sedentary lifestyles.

Continue reading



Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Peaceful or angry

It’s New Year; resolutions, life change and priorities are once again centre stage of our thoughts. Resolutions and the desire for change are often self-centre e.g. I'm going to lose weight, drink less and exercise or save more. This year, I have decided to concentrate my energy on changing my behavior or actions in order to benefit others. For example, what can I change to improve certain relationships or what can I do to help someone else.

Self introspection will be the starting point of this change. Am I peaceful or angry? Do I support and encourage or do I embarrass, hurt and criticize others? Am I a calming, self-controlled influence or is my presence akin to pouring petrol on a smoldering fire?

We are often advised to tell others about resolutions or aspirational life changes in order to help us maintain our resolve. In this instance I intend to do the opposite; I am not going to mention it to anyone. Improving relationships or the circumstances of others will be all the motivation I need.

I am not saying that am not going to make any self focused changes; what I am saying that my main emphasis will be on others. Please join me if you agree with the sentiments expressed above.

Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Technology and social interaction


Technology has and is changing our society; revolutionizing how we live, work and relate to each other.

At this year’s World Economic Forum Anand Mahindra (Chairman and MD of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd) voiced his concern about technologies effects on social interaction:

“You know I used to always be puzzled when people would talk about fear of technology and change, because the evidence is quite on the contrary. Technology has only helped humanity, quality of life.

“But a couple of images come to my mind which truly does scare me … scare me for human kind if you will. One was very recently, I was in New York and I was at dinner with my family. Next to us were four young girls having some kind of teen get together and the moment they sat down they pulled out their iPhones and we timed them. For 15 minutes they didn't say a word to each other they were just looking at their phones. And my daughter said, “do you know what the doing dad, their Instagramming their friends saying ‘girls night out, having a great time’ “.

“And I thought about that and I thought, ‘you know this will be recorded, so it will go out to multiple phones and everywhere around the world, maybe someone will pick it up in India, there would be people saying there was a girls night out. I know there never was a girls night out; it eluded them, the essence of the human interaction is being recorded, but it never existed. It's some kind of ghost world that people are talking about”.

Click here to listen.

I think we can all appreciate what Mr Mahindra is saying. Many of us have seen and even been part of a group where everyone’s attention is on their phone rather than on their companions. Lets hope technology is never allowed to take over personal face-to-face relationships; it would be a tragedy if we lost the most important and meaningful aspect of being human.



Monday, December 12, 2016

Changing our perception of people with disabilities

Recently Megan Nash submitted photos of her 15-month-old son Asher who has downs syndrome, in response to an online casting call by the retailer Oshkosh, who were looking to cast a child model.

When she did not receive a reply, Megan contacted the advertising company and learnt that they had not forwarded her photos to Carters, Oshkosh’s parent company, because Carters had not specified that they were looking for “a baby with special needs”.

“I felt angry and I felt hurt”, Megan explained, “and I thought you know this is a form of discrimination. I wondered how many other babies and children and adults are getting turned down or not being submitted because they have a disability”.

Frustrated Megan posted her story and some pictures of her son online. The post with viral, eventually catching the attention of Carters, who decided to cast Asher in one of their upcoming campaigns.

“I see the way the world looks at my daughter”, said Megan, “and I see the way the world looks at my son [Asher]. I feel like it would change the world’s perception of people with disabilities.

“Our children are the future, just like anybody else's child. We all have to come together and we have to except people with disabilities, so that they can live amongst their peers and have a normal and happy life”.

We think Asher has lovely face; he will make a great model.




Friday, December 09, 2016

Obituary- a chance to say thank you

You have probably heard words to the effect that when people are on their death bed, they don’t wish that they were more beautiful or successful, but that they were more loving, generous and forgiving.

Before Sonia Todd (38) of Moscow, Idaho died from terminal cancer; she wrote her own obituary. It was published in the Idaho Statesman Newspaper on October 19, 2012. Today, years later, it is still discussed and shared world wide:


“My name is Sonia Todd, and I died of cancer at the age of 38. I decided to write my own obituary because they are usually written in a couple of different ways that I just don’t care for….

“Other than giving birth to my two wonderful, lovable, witty and amazing sons (James and Jason), marrying my gracious, understanding and precious husband (Brian), and accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal savior – I have done very little….

“The truth, or my version of it, is this: I just tried to do the best I could. Sometimes I succeeded, most of the time I failed, but I tried. For all of my crazy comments, jokes and complaints, I really did love people. The only thing that separates me from anyone else is the type of sin each of us participated in. I didn’t always do the right thing or say the right thing and when you come to the end of your life those are the things you really regret, the small simple things that hurt other people.

“My life was not perfect and I encountered many, many bumps in the road. I would totally scrap the years of my life from age 16 to 20 … OK, maybe 14 to 22. I think that would eradicate most of my fashion disasters and hair missteps from the ’80s. But mostly, I enjoyed life. Some parts of it were harder than others, but I learned something from every bad situation and I couldn’t do any more than that…

“Some folks told me that writing my own obituary was morbid, but I think it is great because I get a chance to say thank you to all the people who helped me along the way. Those who loved me, assisted me, cared for me, laughed with me and taught me things so that I could have a wonderful, happy life. I was blessed beyond measure by knowing all of you. That is what made my life worthwhile”.

As you live your life and interact with others, family, friends, work colleagues and even casual acquaintances, remember that you have the ability to affect and perhaps leave a lasting mark (good or bad) on their life.


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