Archive for October, 2010
Totally blind people—those who cannot perceive light—often suffer from chronic sleep disorders. They report difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, as well as fatigue, poor concentration, and irritability while awake.
Your body has its own internal clock, called the circadian rhythym, that controls your natural cycle of sleeping and waking hours. In fact, the high prevalence of sleep problems in the blind underscores the importance of light in regulating circadian rhythms in the sighted. Luckily, more than half of these individuals-an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 people in the United States alone-may have a potentially correctable circadian-rhythm sleep disorder that can be effectively managed with Melatonin supplements.
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps control your sleep and wake cycles. In part, your body clock controls how much melatonin your body makes. Very small amounts of it are found in foods such as meats, grains, fruits, and vegetables, so most people take it in supplement form.
In sighted people, sunlight signals travel from the eyes to the body’s master biological clock in the hypothalamus over a pathway distinct from that for vision. Shifting levels of light across the day entrain, or synchronize, the sleep-wake cycle, endogenous melatonin release, and other biological rhythms with the earth’s day/night cycle. Thus, daily exposure to sunlight automatically resets cycle length to the world’s 24-hour day.
As if being blind wasn’t bad enough, it turns out that more than half of totally blind people have a 24.5-hour circadian cycle.In effect, they commonly drift later and later around the real time clock, a phenomenon known as“ free-running.” Even if they try to sleep at regular times, they typically sleep well only a few days a month, when their internal clocks fall in sync with preferred schedules. At other times, they sleep poorly and feel drowsy while awake. Some experience depressive symptoms.
Luckily, daily oral doses of melatonin from the local GNC can entrain these blind free-runners and help improve their quality of life.
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Madeleines are very small sponge cakes with a distinctive shell-like shape acquired from being baked in pans with shell-shaped depressions. Aside from the traditional scalloped pan, commonly found in stores specializing in kitchen equipment and even hardware stores, no special tools are required to make madeleines. They are perhaps most famous outside France for their association with involuntary memory in the Marcel Proust novel “In Search of Lost Time,” in which the narrator experiences an awakening upon tasting a madeleine dipped in tea:
“She sent out for one of those short, plump little cakes called petites madeleines, which look as though they had been molded in the fluted scallop of a pilgrim’s shell. And soon, mechanically, weary after a dull day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid, and the crumbs with it, touched my palate than a shudder ran through my whole body, and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place…at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory…”
— “Remembrance of Things Past,” Volume 1: “Swann’s Way.”
There are several different versions regarding the history of the madeleine. In one version, ‘Madeleine’ was a young servant girl who had been requested to create a special treat for Stanislas Leczinski, the deposed king of Poland who had sought refuge in France in the 17th century. Thus, the Madeleine was invented for the purpose of soothing the spirits of the poor unwanted king. In another version, a different Madeleine created the special cakes in the shape of a scallop to feed to pilgrims making their way to Saint Jacques’ burial site. The scallop shell was a sign of protection which has long been associated with Saint Jacques in France, and indeed scallops are called coquilles Saint Jacques.
In any case, whoever first made the scalloped shaped madeleines had a very good idea, for their popularity has only increased over the centuries. At first they were made on a small scale, but with the industrial revolution underway, the road was paved for more large scale production.
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Each year in the United States, it is estimated that more than 750,000 women experience an episode of acute PID. More than 75,000 women may become infertile each year as a result of PID, and a large proportion of the ectopic pregnancies occurring every year are due to the consequences of PID.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (or disorder) (PID) is a generic term for inflammation of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and/or ovaries as it progresses to scar formation with adhesions to nearby tissues and organs. This may lead to infections. PID is a vague term and can refer to viral, fungal, parasitic, though most often bacterial infections. PID should be classified by affected organs, the stage of the infection, and the organism(s) causing it. Although HI an STI is often the cause, many other routes are possible, including lymphatic, postpartum, postabortal (either miscarriage or abortion) or intrauterine device (IUD) related, and hematogenous spread. Two thirds of patients with laparoscopic evidence of previous PID were not aware they had PID.
The most common symptoms of PID include:
• Fever (not always present; may come and go)
• Pain or tenderness in the pelvis, lower abdomen, or sometimes the lower back
• Vaginal discharge with abnormal color, texture, or smell
Other symptoms that may occur with PID:
• Bleeding after intercourse
• Frequent or painful urination
• Increased menstrual cramping
• Irregular menstrual bleeding or spotting
• Lack of appetite
• Nausea, with or without vomiting
• No menstruation
• Painful sexual intercourse
PID occurs when bacteria move upward from a woman’s vagina or cervix (opening to the uterus) into her reproductive organs. Many different organisms can cause PID, but many cases are associated with gonorrhea and chlamydia, two very common bacterial STDs. A prior episode of PID increases the risk of another episode because the reproductive organs may be damaged during the initial bout of infection.
Sexually active women in their childbearing years are most at risk, and those under age 25 are more likely to develop PID than those older than 25. This is partly because the cervix of teenage girls and young women is not fully matured, increasing their susceptibility to the STDs that are linked to PID.
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Le déjeuner sur l’herbe (“The Luncheon on the Grass”) — originally titled Le Bain (The Bath) — is a major early work by the artist Édouard Manet. Created in 1862 and 1863, the Paris Salon rejected it for biennial exhibition in 1863, but he was able to show it at the Salon des Refusés (Salon of the Rejected) later that year. Emperor Napoleon III had initiated The Salon des Refusés after the Paris Salon rejected more than 4,000 paintings in 1863, over half of the works that were submitted to the committee that year.
The painting’s depiction of a female nude sitting in a park with two fully dressed men sparked controversy and intense debate at the exhibition. It was not the first time a female nude had been juxtaposed with clothed men, although the woman’s pose, which reveals little to the viewer except that she is naked, and he direct gaze, which conveys an immodest lack of shame, subverted the Salon’s traditional image of the female nude.
Nevertheless, the real controversy in the 1860’s was the painting’s size in relation to its subject matter. Manet’s Déjeuner posed problems of classification: it was too big to be a genre piece, too modern to be pastoral, too inscrutable to be a conversation piece. Manet’s canvas, measuring 7 by 8½ feet, was the largest that he had used at that point in his career. Canvasses this large were traditionally employed for the re-creation of noble events: historical, religious, and mythological ones: Manet’s depiction of an everyday scene on a large scale blatantly undermined this convention.
Earlier that year, the artist’s first champion, Émile Zola, had published a lengthy and glowing article about Manet. “The future is his,” Zola proclaimed. He insisted that the much-maligned Déjeuner sur l’herbe (which was included in Manet’s 1867 exhibition) would one day hang in the Louvre. Zola proved prophetic; it took almost seventy years, but the painting entered the collection of the Louvre (now Musée d’Orsay) in 1934.
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Even casual fans of Alfred Hitchcock are familiar with the director’s cameo appearances in his films, a quirk that began in 1927 with Hitch’s fifth film “The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog” and quickly became a defining trademark in his films. Hitchcock made cameo appearances in 39 of his 52 surviving major films over a 50 year period (from 1927-1976). For a brief moment, he would be seen for example boarding a bus, crossing in front of a building, standing in an apartment across the courtyard, or even appearing in a newspaper photograph (required for the film “Lifeboat,” which otherwise provided no other opportunity for him to appear).
With time, Hitchcock’s cameos became increasingly bold and inventive, and fans of the thriller filmmaker would often make a game out of trying to spot the rotund extra, eventually forcing Hitchcock to make his appearance early to avoid any superfluous distractions to the film. His most ingenious cameo appearances were in films with limited sets, as in “Lifeboat” (1944), “Rope” (1948), and “Dial M for Murder” (1954).
In “Lifeboat,” filmed entirely on a boat (thus making an in-person cameo a bit awkward, to say the least), it’s Hitchcock that appears in a weight loss ad in a newspaper. The director can also be seen in photographic form in a class reunion photo in 1954′s “Dial M For Murder.”
A list of all of Hitchcock’s cameos by film:
THE LODGER (1926): At a desk in a newsroom and later in the crowd watching an arrest.
EASY VIRTUE (1927): Walking past a tennis court, carrying a walking stick.
BLACKMAIL (1929): Being bothered by a small boy as he reads a book in the subway.
MURDER (1930): Walking past the house where the murder was committed, about an hour into the movie.
THE 39 STEPS (1935): Tossing some litter while Robert Donat and Lucie Mannheim run from the theater, seven minutes into the movie.
YOUNG AND INNOCENT (1938): Outside the courthouse, holding a camera.
THE LADY VANISHES (1938): Very near the end of the movie, in Victoria Station, wearing a black coat and smoking a cigarette.
REBECCA (1940): Walking near the phone booth in the final part of the film just after George Sanders makes a call.
FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (1940): Early in the movie, after Joel McCrea leaves his hotel, wearing a coat and hat and reading a newspaper.
MR. AND MRS. SMITH (1941): Midway through, passing Robert Montgomery in front of his building.
SUSPICION (1941): mailing a letter at the village postbox about 45 minutes in.
SABOTEUR (1942): Standing in front of Cut Rate Drugs in New York as the saboteur’s car stops, an hour in.
SHADOW OF A DOUBT (1943): On the train to Santa Rosa, playing cards.
LIFEBOAT (1944): In the “before” and “after” pictures in the newspaper ad for Reduco Obesity Slayer.
SPELLBOUND (1945): Coming out of an elevator at the Empire Hotel, carrying a violin case and smoking a cigarette, 43 minutes in.
NOTORIOUS (1946): At a big party in Claude Rains’s mansion, drinking champagne and then quickly departing, an hour after the film begins.
THE PARADINE CASE (1947): Leaving the train and Cumberland Station, carrying a cello.
ROPE (1948): His trademark can be seen briefly on a neon sign in the view from the apartment window.
UNDER CAPRICORN (1949): In the town square during a parade, wearing a blue coat and brown hat, in the first five minutes. Ten minutes later, he is one of three men on the steps of Government House.
STAGE FRIGHT (1950): Turning to look at Jane Wyman in her disguise as Marlene Dietrich’s maid.
STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (1951): Boarding a train with a double bass fiddle as Farley Granger gets off in his hometown, early in the film.
I CONFESS (1953): Crossing the top of a staircase after the opening credits.
DIAL M FOR MURDER (1954): On the left side of the class-reunion photo, thirteen minutes into the film.
REAR WINDOW (1954): Winding the clock in the songwriter’s apartment, a half hour into the movie.
TO CATCH A THIEF (1955): Ten minutes in, sitting to the left of Cary Grant on a bus.
THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY (1955): Walking past the parked limousine of an old man who is looking at paintings, twenty minutes into the film.
THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (1956): Watching acrobats in the Moroccan marketplace (his back to the camera) just before the murder.
THE WRONG MAN (1956): Narrating the film’s prologue.
VERTIGO (1958): In a gray suit walking in the street, eleven minutes in.
NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959): Missing a bus during the opening credits.
PSYCHO (1960): Four minutes in, through Janet Leigh’s window as she returns to her office. He is wearing a cowboy hat.
THE BIRDS (1963): Leaving the pet shop with two white terriers as Tippi Hedren enters.
MARNIE (1964): Entering from the left of the hotel corridor after Tippi Hedren passes by, five minutes in.
TORN CURTAIN (1966): Early in the film, sitting in the Hotel d’Angleterre lobby with a blond baby.
TOPAZ (1969): Being pushed in a wheelchair in an airport, half an hour in. Hitchcock gets up from the chair, shakes hands with a man, and walks off to the right.
FRENZY (1972): In the center of a crowd, wearing a bowler hat, three minutes into the film; he is the only one not applauding the speaker.
FAMILY PLOT (1976): In silhouette through the door of the Registrar of Births and Deaths, 41 minutes into the movie.
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A macrobiotic diet (or macrobiotics), from “macro” (large) and “bios” (life), is a dietary regimen that involves eating grains as a staple food supplemented with other foodstuffs such as vegetables and beans, and avoiding the use of highly processed or refined foods. The word “macrobiotic” comes from Greek roots and means “long life”.
The macrobiotic diet and philosophy were developed in the 1920s by a Japanese educator named George Ohsawa, who believed that simplicity was the key to optimal health. Ohsawa is said to have cured himself of a serious illness by changing to a simple diet of brown rice, miso soup, and sea vegetables. Some of its guidelines include:
- 50 to 60% of your diet should be whole grains, 25 to 30% vegetables, 5 to 10% miso and bean soups, and 5 to 10% beans and sea vegetables.
- eat only when hungry, chew food completely, and keep your kitchen tidy.
The diet Ohsawa recommended included ten progressively restrictive stages. The last stage of Ohsawa’s macrobiotic diet consisted only of brown rice and water. Due to its extreme restriction, Ohsawa’s version of the macrobiotic diet is no longer recommended by macrobiotic diet counselors. However, despite the modifications that have been made to the macrobiotic diet, some nutritionists still claim that it is too restrictive and lacking in certain nutrients, such as protein, vitamin B12, iron, magnesium, and calcium.
Lack of energy (and/or self-righteous bitchiness) may result from following the macrobiotic diet too closely. One look at Gwyneth Paltrow’s self-satisfied blog “Goop” is all the evidence you really need to see….
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Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, need for admiration, extreme self-involvement, and lack of empathy for others. Individuals with this disorder are usually arrogantly self-assured and confident. They expect to be noticed as superior. Many highly successful individuals might be considered narcissistic. However, this disorder is only diagnosed when these behaviors become persistent and very disabling or distressing.
The narcissist is described as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, and prestige. Narcissistic personality disorder is closely linked to self-centeredness. Psychologist Theodore Millon identified five subtypes of narcissist. Any individual narcissist may exhibit none or one of the following:
• unprincipled narcissist – including antisocial features. A charlatan – is a fraudulent, exploitative, deceptive and unscrupulous individual.
• amorous narcissist – including histrionic features. The Don Juan of our times – is erotic, exhibitionist.
• compensatory narcissist – including negativistic (passive-aggressive), avoidant features.
• elitist narcissist – variant of pure pattern. Corresponds to Wilhelm Reich’s “phallic narcissistic” personality type.
• fanatic type – including paranoid features. A severely narcissistically wounded individual, usually with major paranoid tendencies who holds onto an illusion of omnipotence.
Moreover, a person with narcissistic personality disorder tends to:
• Reacts to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation
• Takes advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals
• Has feelings of self-importance
• Exaggerates achievements and talents
• Is preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love
• Has unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment
• Requires constant attention and admiration
• Disregards the feelings of others, lacks empathy
• Has obsessive self-interest
• Pursues mainly selfish goals
The cause of this disorder is unknown. Narcissistic personality disorder usually begins by early adulthood. Psychotherapy may help the affected person relate to others in a more positive and compassionate manner.
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