Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Are High Heels Really Worth It?

I think we need to draw a line between cosmetic surgery and ridiculous nonsense that puts people in danger without any real benefits. It looks like The American Orthopaedic Food and Ankle Society agrees with me. They think that you should avoid cosmetic foot surgery.

I think it's worth noting, that of the three surgeries given as examples of unnecessary "foot facelifts," two of them had to do with wearing high heels (making feet narrower and changing the shape of the little toe, if you were curious). Is a fashion accessory really something worth risking permanent physical damage over?

Note that I said fashion accessory. This is about changing the look of your feet to fit into shoes. Getting a nip, tuck, or liposuction for a bathing suit is about an article of clothing, and the subject of a completely separate post. Still, when you are risking (and here we'll quote Dr. Michael Pinzur of Loyola University Health System) "infections, pain, scarring and nerve damage," you might want to ask yourself if the surgery is really necessary.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Pinheads Multitasking

I hate mosquitoes. I don't know why, but I always have the worst reaction to their bites, and I never notice them landing on me. They always manage to dodge me at the last second when I try to swat them, too.

I just don't get how something so small can be so crafty. I mean, I've got fingernail trimmings that are bigger than their brains, and yet they still get the job done, sneaking in, drinking up, and getting away clear. (I wish I could pull that trick at bars!)

University of Adelaide is thinking about bug brains, too. Professor David O'Carroll has been looking at the way that insects are able to judge motion and speed. It turns out that some parts of their brain pull double duty--their vision center also takes into account different light patterns and uses that to judge speed. O'Carroll points out that insects can have as much as 30% of their brain devoted to the visual system, which is more than other animals, so it makes sense that they'd apply it to different tasks in order to get the most efficient usage of space.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Beating Dead Horses and What People Want

So I guess that Indiana University got the rights to some video clips of speed dating in Germany, and they are mining that data just as hard as they possibly can.

As previously reported, Indiana University combed through the footage trying to figure out if speed daters who appeared interested in their partner would indicate genuine interest when they filled out the card at the end of the date. The findings announced that women were tricky and men were easy to read, (but this may only apply in Germany). Building on that dramatic breakthrough, Indiana University looked at the footage again.

Their shocking new finding? You will look to the opinions of others to determine whether or not someone is hot. I'll give you a moment to collect yourself. After all, who would have thought that things are more attractive when it looks like someone else wants them?

To summarize: research subjects found people more attractive if they watched a video of someone else finding them attractive first. That, and Indiana University needs to do something besides watching old clips of German speed-dating sessions.

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The header image is adapted from a photo taken by Bill McChesney and used under a creative commons license.
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