Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Will you be "chipped" in the future?

A Wisconsin company called Three Square Market is offering employees rice-sized under-the-skin microchips to scan them into the building and pay for food.

So far--these are voluntary.

They slide them under the skin between thumb and forefinger.

The company says "this is the next thing that's going to happen" and they want to be part of it. They  insert the $300 chips in those who want them at "chip parties."

The company,  which provides technology for break rooms and other small markets, foresees Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to gradually be used for many purposes--copying machines, unlocking phones, business cards, storing health info, and other uses.

Of course, this technology is already used on pets. And some have suggested it for tracking wandering dementia patients.

This company swears no tracking will be involved. But who knows?

One question (among many) I had was what if you go from company to company with this stuff under your skin...What reacts to what?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Are we ready for plumper mannequins?

Clothes hang on hangers and I always think models are chosen because they show the clothes as if the garments were on a hanger. In other words--the models are crazy skinny. Some of their insect-like legs hardly even look human. (By the way, the male mannequins tend to be freakishly brawny.)

Some designers have defended this, but there is a growing trend (I learned) toward more realistic mannequins--even some depicting disabled people.

Lorynn Divita, PhD, co-author of Fashion Forecasting and associate professor at Baylor's Robbins Colleges of Health and Human Sciences. She answered some questions recently. Paraphrasing...

Why are mannequins so skinny--doesn't this discourage average size or larger women?
Mannequins are expensive--more plastic more cost. The average mannequin costs $500 to $900--and repairs can also run high. Also smaller mannquins are easier to "dress."

Wouldn't it still be worth it to create more realistic ones?
Sixty-five percent of American women are Size 14 or larger. Yet they only buy 17% of the apparel. As the plus-size market grows, the mannequin situation should change.

Who do the mannequins resemble?
Sometimes a celebrity with a popular shape. There are no standards, just as women's sizes also do not conform to a set of standards.

What other ways will mannequins evolve?
With active wear being more popular, mannequins will have to be doing more than standing or sitting--running, doing a yoga pose. Some swimwear has diving mannequins. Some mannequins may be suspended from the ceiling.

Also available--stickers to change facial expressions, fake eyelashes, and stick-on makeup changes.

Have you seen any of these new mannequins? Let me see if I can find a picture.

Monday, July 24, 2017

What makes sensitive teeth sensitive?

Do you fear an ice cream cone on a hot day or a steaming cup of java in winter? You may have sensitive teeth.

Jane Cotter, RDH, MS, assistant professor, Texas A&M College of Dentistry, says over time, enamel may wear away, exposing the dentin layer of the tooth and the dentin tubules--the fluid moving in the tubules triggers a pain response. Yow.

The biggest cause is gum recession. Other causes included toothbrush abrasion (brushing too hard or with too hard a brush), periodontal therapy, tooth decay, fault restorations, or excessive bleaching.

Foods that heighten sensitivity:

--Sodas (diet and regular)
--Energy drinks
--Fruit juice

When it's cold out, the temperature actually affects the sinuses and then the teeth underneath respond.

Cotter says having sensitive teeth makes life dull. No ice-cream, cold weather running...


She recommends over-the-counter toothpaste containing potassium nitrate or calcium phosphate. Fluoride gels or rinses can also help.

If this doesn't do the trick, talk to your dentist. This goes especially if you are changing your life over the pain in your teeth.

Ice-cream is just too important.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Hiphop community embracing health as the new wealth

The late Pfife Dawg--dead of
Story in Healthy Living. Malik (Pfife Dawg) Taylor of A Tribe Called Quest died of complications from Diabetes 2.  Not crack, not heroin, not oxy, not "lead poisoning"--diabetes.

--Heavy D, Big Pun, and the Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch, Prodigy of Mobb Deep, and 2 Live Crew's Fresh Kid Ice--all died of things like sickle cell or stroke...What people could call natural causes, but which need not be so natural at young ages.

Quincy Jones III and Shawn Ullman have made a hiphop documentary called: Feel Rich: Health is the New Wealth."

There seems to be a new trend toward healthy living in the hiphop community. Styles O is opening juice bars in the Bronx, Other rappers are opening health clubs and gyms.

The organization Feel Rich, founded in 2011, which is connected to the film, collaborates with the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, and various corporations and brands. Among other things, the organization has funded urban gardens. In the film, the weight loss journeys of Fat Joe and Crystal Wall are outlined.

The idea was to make health fun and aspirational.

But--the founders point out--hiphop has been around a while now--the rappers are getting older and health is more of an issue.

Boy is that true.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

How much healthy choices prolong life

I read a study this morning done by the Lancet that said worldwide Alzheimer's cases could be cut by one-third if people controlled weight, exercise, blood pressure, hearing loss and some other factors.

I think they sort of confused cause with association, but even then, it still left two-thirds of cases unexplained...not to mention sliding over whether all cases were Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia.

A study done by Health Affairs, on the other hand, took a different approach. They said 80% of those who smoked or were fat reach their fifties alive. BUT if you had not smoked or been fat, how long will you live from then on without disability?

The researchers looked at nationwide data from 1998-2012, among Americans 50 to 89.

They found the impact of a health lifestyle was large.

The average American who was not fat or did not smoke lived an additional seven years free of disability. This was better than Japan, even, where people are thought to be healthy longer.

I looked at the bar chart by risk factor...Seems the women lived longer (which we knew) but disabled was the category at the end of life, even though the disabled part may have commenced a little later than for men.

Oh, and "moderate drinker" seemed to confer a few more good yrs for both genders.