Tuesday, July 20, 2010

flying just gets harder.

Here's the real reason why I didn't fly home. Airport full body scanners.

There are currently a little more than a hundred scanners in place, and about a thousand to be installed. You can refuse to walk through a body scanner, but you'll have to go through a metal detector plus a pat-down. You might even be accused of being "unpatriotic". Wall Street Journal

Last month, a TSA employee walked through the scanner during a training which prompted a teasing from his co-workers about the size of his manly parts. He attacked his colleague who consequently suffered bruises and cuts, and was arrested with assault charges. Huffington Post

At London's Heathrow Airport, a month after full body scanner was put in place, the first sexual harassment complaint was filed. After a woman walked through the scanner, an employee supposedly said "love those gigantic _". Gulp.  There are now "Flying Pasties" for sale, where you put orange stickers over your private parts.

There's also concerns about harmful effects of radiation. A study by Dr. David Brenner at Columbia University found that the scanners may cause an increase in basal cell carcinoma (a sort of a skin cancer), especially in individuals who are genetically susceptible to DNA damange.

Here's a fun quote by Jon Andler, head of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, in response to concerns regarding invasion of privacy: "I think a bomb detonating on a plane is the biggest invasion of privacy a person can experience."

bigger. taller. richer?

On the radio #1.

In the states, women who are 5'7 make about 5k more a year than someone who is 5'2. Forbes article. A study in London (done by clothing line Long Tall Sally) with 1,461 women found that those who are 5'8 and taller earn up to 5,000 pounds more than those who are shorter.

The same study suggested body confidence as a reason. A quarter of the taller women did not want to change anything about themselves compared to 90% of the shorter women. Arianne Cohen, author of "The Tall Book" says this might be because a tall person might grow up naturally assuming the role of a leader since to their peers, they look older.

Hmmm. At 5'8, I feel that being tall is a big part of my identity. I don't feel dwarfed by much taller people, I can eat a lot more, and I can reach for stuff without asking for help.

Here's the 5'10  Nicole Kidman at premier of "Nine" with fellow co-stars Penelope Cruz and Fergie.
photo by axelle from bauergriffinonline.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

froyo deliciousness

Confession: I drove with my knees today. I know! But how could I keep two hands on the wheel, when I had chocolate frozen yogurt sitting next to me, like this:

While I'm not so crazy about ice cream, I love frozen yogurt. I like the tanginess of that yogurt taste and the place right off campus has all these delicious toppings you can add, including mangos, berries, crushed chocolates, and gummy bears.

However, frozen yogurt is sadly not completely a guilt-free treat. While frozen yogurt often contains less calories than ice cream, it's smarter to stick to real yogurt. True, there is yogurt in frozen yogurt, but the major ingredients remain various forms of sugar. For comparison purposes, regular ice creams are usually about 16% fat. Compare to frozen yogurt from whole milk, 3-4%, and of course skim milk, 0% fat.

Verdict is: if you're craving ice cream, go for frozen yogurt instead. If not, try throwing the regular yogurts in the freezer. They remain tangy (don't freeze plain yogurt), but they are delicious and oh-so-good for you.

bored? there's a solution.

If you're in Houston and bored, check out: artshound.com. This website hosts the ultimate events calendar. There's different categories such as theater&comedy, music, kids&families. You can search by categories, dates, or key words. It's hosted by the Houston Arts Alliance, and it's a great resource. Favorite it!

Friday, July 2, 2010

daily vitacraves gummies.

So, I've been taking Centrum for as long as I remember and lately, I haven't been able to stand them. They taste too vanilla-ey, melt too fast in my mouth, become slippery, &etc etc. Anyway, taking vitamins every day became something I dreaded and I'd often skip out.

Couple of weeks ago when I went home, Umma(my mom) and I went shopping for new vitamins, and since we decided Flintstones are kind of ridiculous, I went for these gummy vitamins babies instead.

Let me tell you, these are delicious. You're supposed to take 2 a day, but I want to down the whole bottle! They're the right amount of gumminess, they taste like all sorts of fruits, and are somewhat nutritious.

These contain:
Vitamin A - 80%
Vitamin C - 100%
Vitamin D - 100%
Vitamin E - 133%
Vitamin B6 - 100%
Folic Acid - 100%
Vitamin B12 - 167%
Biotin - 50%
Pantothenic Acid - 100%
Iodine - 53%
Zinc - 33%

However, these get a big C as far as comparison with other supplements goes. First of all, 2 gummies amount to 10 calories (which come from glucose syrup-sucrose-gelatin), and second, Vitacraves simply don't have some of the components Centrum has such as Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Selenium, Copper, Manganese, Chromium, Molybdenum, Chloride, Potassium. 

As for me, I think it's better to take them daily though they may have less nutrients than not to take them at all. Besides, they're really delicious and I actually find myself looking forward to waking up and taking them!