Thursday, June 28, 2012

Today's Health Care Ruling: In Plain English

Hopefully you are aware that there was a ruling on the Health Care decision today.. maybe you've heard people calling it "ObamaCare" but the two things are the same and basically today's ruling says:

1- The requirement to have health insurance by 2014 remains in place

2- Insurance companies must cover people with pre-existing conditions

3- Small business owners and medical groups disagree over the impacts of the law

(( This post from should also clear up what everyone around the water cooler is most likely talking about.. aka the taxes that come with  Obamacare))

"The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn't comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding."


"Those subject to the individual mandate may lawfully forgo health insurance and pay higher taxes, or buy health insurance and pay lower taxes. The only thing that they may may not lawfully do is not buy health insurance and not pay the resulting tax."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday Tube: Dad Screams like a Girl

Below is video of a hysterical father having a 'Grand Ol' Time' on The Screaming Swing at the Dollywood amusement park in Tennessee. At one point he screams to his daughter, "NEVER AGAIN, GRACE ELIZABETH." - This should be used for one of those old Master Card commercials..

Amusement park ticket, $50... soda and popcorn $15... Father's face on screaming roller coaster....

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Not Your Average Bully

The story about the 68-year old bus monitor, Karen Klein, from upstate NY is beyond nauseatingIf you haven't heard about Karen's story yet, the brunt of it is she was horribly bullied, harassed and threatened by some no-good-middle school students.

Just to give you an idea, their taunts included telling her she was a “fat ass,” “old ass,” dumb, poor and sweaty. When Klein finally attempted to stick up for herself and told the students “unless you have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” a student replied: “How about you shut the f**k up?”

I remember being mean to my middle school teachers, actually just my chorus teachers really, but that consisted mostly of ignoring their instructions to stop talking in class.. and maybe one time we tossed gummy bears at him while his back was turned and insisted the gummy bears fell from the ceiling. But that is elementary to what these Greece Middle school kids did to this poor woman.

Bullying is bullying and I don't claim to be any kind of anti-bullying advocate but what the hell is going on with kids these days? Sure their is violence on TV and in the movies and not everyone is lucky enough to come from a happy family, but if society and parents aren't teaching kids how to behave like decent human beings with real principles and manners than who is? Enough with telling congress they need to make anti-bullying laws, a trouble-maker will always be a trouble-maker until he/she understands what ethics and standards mean. 

We get pissed when 'nanny-states' want to ban us from drinking too much soda because our kids are getting fat, but then we want laws installed to teach our kids how to behave well in school. It's not up to congress to raise our children to become honorable citizens who are courteous and nice.

Watch the horrific brats caught on tape below and if you have kids, siblings, cousins- whatever, it may not be a bad idea to have a conversation with them and remind them that bullying isn't just kid on kid violence, bullying is just a word someone made up ( it actually formed its negative meaning around 1700 when "bully" came to be similar to "pimp," giving us the connotation of a ruffian or harasser )... Bullies are basically criminals, they're hateful, malicious and have no remorse.

The video prompted an outpouring of support and a fundraiser by an international crowd funding site has been set up to send Karen on the vacation of her dreams.. As of 1:00p ET today they have raised $215, 631 .. feel free to donate if you feel so inclined. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

So Wait, We Don't Have to be Sober for 9 Months?

I'll be honest, I like my wine. It's not a shock to anyone who knows me, I was even that girl in college who brought her own bottle to house parties. It has always irked me that whenever I eventually decide to be"with child" I have to go cold-sober while the dad-to-be gets to frolic around sipping his favorite cocktails.

Sure there have been experts in the past that have said one drink here and there won't cause any problems, but a new study suggests that low to even moderate drinking during early pregnancy is not linked with developmental problems in children up to five years old.

1,600 pregnant women participated in the Denmark study. Once the babies turned five, researches studied their baby's IQ, attention span, executive functions, and self control and compared the results with their mother’s drinking habits.  What they found? That overall there was no significant difference in IQ between children whose mothers drank low to moderate levels of alcohol ( 1-8 drinks per week) compared with mothers who didn't touch a drop. 

Now of course there are always 2-sides to every story and as Thomas Donaldson, executive director of the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome told ABC News, "The study investigated just a few of the many possible outcomes of low to moderate alcohol use during pregnancy. Alcohol is known to cause birth defects such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) and there are other studies suggesting harm at low levels."

So are all the preggers out there supposed to remain thirsty for almost a year or can you sneak in a quenching glass of pino from time to time?

It seems that the "experts" will always tell you your better off safe than sorry and I guess (sigh) it isn't worth the risk anyways.. but if you do happen to slip, at least this new study has some encouraging findings. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The "30-Crisis"

Paul Cullen, an Australian psychotherapist is claiming there is a new midlife-crisis to worry about .. 

"Thirty-something singletons are increasingly seeking therapy after reaching a fork in the road and reassessing their lives".

Wait, wait..did he say 30?! Like the age I will be in two and a half years?!

The Melbourne counselor noticed the "30-crisis" in his clients ranging from 28 (gulp)- 32.

Women he says see 30 as a deadline to have a successful career and perfect family. 

As a woman in that age range I do agree with the career aspect, 'by the time I'm 30 I want to be making "this much" is what I've always told myself... the perfect family part.. not so much. Sure it sounds like a nice idea but the fact of the matter is your chances of having a perfect life by the time you hit 30 is.. well, pretty slim- But it all depends on what you consider perfect.

Other experts went on to say that many people take on "responsibility anxiety" when they hit their 30s. Saying that after living it up in your 20's people (especially men) start stressing about their career, mortgages and commitment. 

""People might live alone in a city studio, and live an isolated existence -- go to work, come home, watch DVDs. In the past, we knew our neighbors and may have had different generations of family around us," Cullen said. 

This I can also agree with, I've been living in my apartment for almost three years now and I couldn't tell you the name of one other tenant (excluding my roommate) .. Just a week or so ago I had a brief yet friendly conversation with one of my neighbors where we awkwardly exchanged names and 2 seconds later I couldn't recall it- great neighbor I am. 

Times are a' changing.. but let's just try not to stress over it too much so some Aussie know-it-all can say we ( the 28-32 year old box) are having a "midlife crisis". 

On Cullen's website he includes this youtube video with  "the voice and words of British Philosopher Alan Watts (who) perhaps sums up the mid-life crisis better than I ever could". His full blog post on the 30 crisis-thing can be found here

Beauty Alert! Make-up Testers that Give you More than Just a Pretty Face

In case you missed the segment on Good Morning Americas (GMA) today, I wanted to warn you about a special undercover investigation they did on make-up counters.

I know, I'm not sure visits to Sephora will be the same after this either.

GMA found that about 20% of samples they tested from 10 stores across 2 states showed significant growth of mold, yeast and even fecal matter!

Their tests were done on eye shadow, foundation and lipstick testers available for you right at store counters..most places offered disposable brushes, swabs etc.. their investigation even showed one store handing out a "communal brush".. ( I can remember a woman using a regular brush on me once when I was contemplating which blush to buy at a Mac store and at the time I didn't think anything of it!)...

Think your safe using those disposable make-up appliers?
WRONG- Those too can be risky because you never know how many people double-dip the samples, (some might use their fingers to test a new lip gloss our foundation and then go back for more)

The investigation also found zero difference in results between up-scale department stores and regular drug-stores.

Some of GMA's advice to beauty buyers?
-Don't apply the testers on your face or anywhere near your eyes or mouth, you can get the same sense of the color or texture of the product by applying it to the pad of your finger, neck or wrist.
-Ask the salesperson to sterilize lipstick tubes if you just HAVE to try them.
-Ask the salesperson to open a fresh tester and give you a disposable wand that you dip just ONCE.

My non-expert advice..if you have a make-up brand you like, frequently use and trust, stick to that brand and come into the store knowing exactly what you want so you don't have to try-out any germy alternatives.. and if you are really dying to try the newest make-up fad ( aqua eyeliner, hot pink lipsticks etc) just buy it or go to a drug store and buy the Wet N' Wild brand!

Monday, June 18, 2012

People say they Love their iPhones more than Sex?!

Every time you look around you see someone with an iphone. Whether they're texting, talking, googling or playing numerous dumb games, you can't escape Americas love for iPhones-( I even walked by a homeless guy the other day and I swear he was on one too). I personally don't own an iphone ( I started with a driod), but it seems people are taking their love for the shiny electronic a bit too far.

According to a survey released by, a high-end consumer electronic trade-in website, 65% of iphoners can't live without their precious device. In the techno-crazed era we live in, this statistic didn't surprise me, what surprised me was that nearly 15% of respondents said they'd rather give up sex than go a weekend without their iPhone.

Perhaps I shouldn't be so surprised by that since more than 25% said they "almost always" use their iPhones in social settings like during dinner or at a party- No wonder why iPhoners aren't getting lucky they're too busy doting over their phones!

The survey goes on to say that 4% of respondents said they've even used their iPhones while having sex. (This part of the report I am still skeptical on- how is that even possible.. either your unbelievably desperate and don't mind your partner texting while your doing the deed or.. or I don't know, maybe the tech obsessive iphoners are paring up and texting each other during sex... i.e  "that's the spot :)"... "say my name : p".

The iPhone turns 5 on June 29th.. If this is how much our society is addicted to the flashy apple symbol now, what can we expect to happen in the next 5 years?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Soda Ban in NY, this Kid will Not be Happy!

This kid in the viral video below is going to be real pissed-off when he hears about Mayor Bloomberg's call for a ban on jumbo-sized sodas....

And now city officials are even considering the ban of other beloved treats like popcorn and milkshakes!

Maybe if the Swiss researchers that are testing some new diet pill that's suppose to "motivate people to exercise" rushed their findings they could whip obese people back into shape so we all can regain our junk food freedom!

                      Little Noah's Very First Taste of Soda- Watch Here

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Consumer Warning: Spray-On Tan Not as Safe as we Thought

Every summer new sun scary studies come out and we all cringe when we read the new warnings and details, but every summer thousands upon thousands of Americans still flock to the beaches to bask in those stimulating sum-rays- and I'm just as guilty.. 

ABC News released new scientific studies on a potential harmful chemical found in spray-on tans. The chemical known as DHA ( dihydroxyacetone ) allegedly has the potential to cause genetic alterations and DNA damage. A panel of medical experts looked at the studies (which I have to point out were not done on any human subjects) and voiced their concerns about consumers inhaling or ingesting the DHA chemical that can get into their bloodstream. 

Dr. Rey Panettieri, a toxicologist and lung specialist at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine told ABC News, "These compounds in some cells could actually promote the development of cancers or malignancies, and if that's the case then we need to be wary of them."

But before we send the tanning-mom and cast of Jersey Shore into a frenzy, it's worth noting that not all doctors agree with these studies. 

Dr. Doris Day, a NY certified dermatologist that I happen to book interviews with quite frequently told me, " This is not a time to panic.  These have already been used for 10-15 years, and we really don't see a lot of data saying that young people have been damaged by this; we don't see an increased rise in genetic abnormalities in babies.  In other words, this is not new; it is done everyday."

She did add that if you want to be extra cautious you should not use spray-on tans on your face where it's easier to inhale the DHA chemical and of course if you are one of those people who can't resist the real thing (aka baking outside in the sun).. to use sun tanning lotion with a strong SPF (30+) and to reapply every 2 hours.

The full ABC News report can be read here:

Why Smart Kids Eventually Drink More

I came across this article that sums up these two new drinking studies.. its states that;
"According to two long-term studies — one American, one British —  there's a correlation between smarts and a thirst for alcohol. The "more intelligent children in both studies grew up to drink alcohol more frequently and in greater quantities than less intelligent children," says Liz Day at Discover. Why might this be the case? "

Now before reading on, what is one thing, the one variable that pops into your head when you think of why smart kids grow up to drink more alcohol than other less intelligent kids?

Ok and here is what opinions the article gathered..( summed up);

Satoshi Kanazawaat at Psychology Today says- "Smart people are generally early adopters and, in the context of human history, "the substance [alcohol] and the method of consumption are both evolutionarily novel." ( What the Hell did she just say?)

Joanne Hinkel at The Frisky says "here’s my pop-psychology theory- All that studying in childhood repressed kids so much that they’re still trying to compensate well into adulthood for all that fun they missed". ( Not sure I agree with that one- even kids who study drink).

And just one more;

Greg at Food & Wine Blog says Smart people "booze so we can tolerate everyone else, when sober, we tend to "take people’s responses at literal face value." ( Good try but- Inaccurate)

And my personal opinion;

People who are smart/ smarter are more likely successful. Successful people usually have good social skills and thus are more likely to engage in social outings earlier in life (and continued throughout their adult life)- After a certain age those 'social outings' will most likely in some shape or form be around alcohol =  "A correlation between smarts and a thirst for alcohol."

..At least that's my 2 cents on it..what's yours?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

New Summer Jam? Ciara's New Single "Sweat"

 We all probably remember Ciara from her hits like "Goodies" and "1, 2 step"..

But now two years since her last and less profitable album Basic Instinct she’s back with her latest single “Sweat”  featuring rappers 2 Chainz.

She is still working on her forthcoming album One Woman Army and tells MTV it's coming out "soon". 

Listen to her new single here.. think it will be the next hot summer song?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Is Sharing a Bed Good or Bad for You?

People will always argue with what they know.. either you sleep better when you have your partner next to you in bed or you don't.. or at least you think you don't.

The bed-sharing haters will cry that sheet-stealing, differing bedtimes and even room-temperature preferences make for a poor nights sleep but new studies counter their complaints showing how couples who sleep in the same bed can actually gain significant health benefits. 

One theory suggests that shared sleep helps promote feelings of safety and security in healthy relationships thus lowering levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.

I personally sleep better with my boyfriend versus sleeping alone. Maybe if he snored it would be different, but most women like to cuddle and I agree with the security part of  that theory too. With all the home invasion stories reported in the news its nice to know you aren't completely alone at night. 

In a 2009 study, women in long-term stable relationships fell asleep more quickly and woke up less during the night than single women. And when researchers simply asked participants about their sleep the night before, men said they slept better with their partners.

But of course not all men are alike, when I asked my boyfriend what he thought of the study he replied, "I think I sleep better when I am by myself… I don’t wake up as much and I can spread out instead of being cramped to one side of the bed!"

How nice... 

Do you sleep better alone?

Monday, June 4, 2012

First comes a Relationship Contract.. then comes Prenup?!

Sure everyone knows what a prenup is.. another legally binding contract for married couples (aka a contract to protect marital assets in case of a death or divorce).. but have you heard about 'Relationship Contracts' ?

The New York Times says many couples make such contracts either written or oral that outline the needs, wants and stipulations of their relationship. Some agreements may decide on how much time the couple needs to spend together, how chores are divided up or who takes the dog out in the morning.

Newly weds, Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan was said to have had such an agreement before she moved to be closer to Zuckerberg. In their arrangement it was reported that she insisted on at least one date night and 100 minutes together a week which had to be outside of his apartment and his Facebook offices. 

With a guy like that I don't blame her for drawing up a few terms, if I was moving my whole life for some gazillionaire who's known to work crazy hours I would be a little reluctant to trust his word too.

And let's not forget the fictional character from Fifty Shades of Grey who had a whole sex-contract drawn up. ( I know its fiction but in BDSM most dominant and submissive partners draw up contracts to detail exactly what is expected out of one another).

But are these so-called 'relationship contracts' really necessary? Whatever happened to asking a girl to go steady and then buying her a promise ring?

Some lawyers say that these contrasts are fluffy versions of cohabitation agreements that same sex couples started writing up years ago and that some heterosexual couples who don't ever plan on getting married write-up.. look at celebrity couple Joshua Jackson and Diane Kruger who have been dating for years, the former Dawson's Creek star recently told Life & Style, " We're together for six years now, so for all intents and purposes, we are [married]" he added. "I have no need for a priest to tell me that!" 

Now although most lawyers will tell you that these agreements are legally unenforceable, such discussions at least make it clear what each partner wants in the relationship. And in this day and age you can't assume all the same rules and regulations of a regular/normal relationship apply.. maybe some couples want to write down that they are free to sleep with other people or that when you move in together the kegerator gets retired?

For some it might sound like a business plan for a romantic relationship while for others it could sound like a relationship wish-list.. But if you look at it in a playful way, maybe it could be fun to draw one up, what would be on your list?

Here is a clip from CBS comedy "The Big Bang Theory" when Sheldon, "the boyfriend" presents his 'Relationship agreement' to his girlfriend, Amy.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Another Reason to Believe in Matrimony?

Ever wonder what people like George Clooney (51) and Cameron Diaz (39) know that we don't know?

How come two famously good looking people with a laundry list of ex-girlfriends and boyfriends aren't married? Is it the money? There are prenups for that. Is it the fear of being monogamous or do they just think they will be happier without this social union and legal contract?

A new study from the Journal of Research in Personality found that although matrimony doesn't make people happier than they were living a care-free single life, it does suggest that married people are happier in the long run than those who aren't married.

The study was set up to find whether personality traits help people adapt to major life events like loosing a job or having a baby.. although their answer for that inquiry was basically no your personality won't help you more than the next Joe Schmo, they did conclude that those who were married stayed at a consistent level of happiness throughout their lives and that people who did not get married showed a gradual decline in happiness during adulthood.

The Michigan State University scientists who conducted the study were quick to note that their findings don't prove that marriage will make your life more joyous, it just won't make you any less happy down the line.

Basically proving that once you get older and realize you don't have someone to help you through the tough times your bound to be a little more unhappy with your life than if you had a partner to console you.

Don't get me wrong, single life is a lot of fun, but in the end don't we all just want to grow old with someone?