Category Archives: Thought provoking

OMG the Futurama Suicide Booth has been invented!

Everyone, if you know me even a little, you know I am a SUPERfan of Futurama.  I adore that series so much.  So when I saw this article, I thought “That’s it, we’ve got Suicide Booths now.”

For anyone living under a rock since 1999, a morbidly-amusing bit in the Futurama series is the Suicide Booth, which looks exactly like an old telephone booth, only, ya know, it kills you.

SB1

Please understand, I would never want to make light of someone ending their life. I do fully support those who have lived in such pain that they can no longer bear it and their quality of life has become nil to make a clear and informed decision.

And Dr. Philip Nitschke has come up with a painless and – let’s be honest – pretty swanky way to leave this world behind:

Sarco

It looks like a space pod, and the short version is that the oxygen levels drop to 5%, making the person fall asleep, then passes away peacefully within a few minutes.

The doctor is aiming for the Sarco to be available by next year, and be available for 3D printing.

That Time I Met Ozzy Wearing a Bathrobe in his Hotel Room…

It never ceases to amaze me what people will say.

rita1I read a recap article about how Rita Ora wore a bathrobe to host some awards.

Silly commenter says:

Rita Ora has on a bathrobe in a public event where many were present and that makes her okay, and Harvey Weinstein had on a bathrobe in his hotel room where a woman was present and that makes him a creep. Females are inconsistent and dishonest and I have seen females at work sexually flirt and joke with good looking higher paid guys and laugh at return sexual banter, but complain and harshly label an unattractive guy as a creep for doing the exact same thing.

I…I cringe at the stupidity presented here.  I know, I can’t expect much from Yahoo comments, but seriously.  Almost as frightening was the amount of people supporting this guy’s comment.

So let me tell you a little story…

A long time ago in a high school I once attended, they had a radio station that broadcasted in a small radius – maybe a handful of towns received our signal.  I got my DJ license, and it being around 1990, I hosted a metal show on Tuesday evenings.

This allowed me the opportunity to meet some really cool musicians, doing interviews by phone or in person and whatnot.  I am particularly honored to have met Warren Haynes of Allman Brothers fame, and Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave fame.

ozandrandBut nothing will top my crowning achievement of interviewing the legendary Ozzy Osbourne.

We were coming up on the 10th anniversary of Randy Rhoads’ death.  Randy was his guitarist after Ozzy left Black Sabbath and tragically died in a plane crash.  I wanted to see if I could wrangle an interview with him to honor the anniversary of Randy’s passing.

I don’t think Mike Schnapp, his US manager at the time, ever knew that I was only 16 when I started calling him, nor did I divulge it in case he thought I was just a fan trying to get access – I wanted to be professional.  And after months of some back and forth, Mike set up the interview at the Helmsley Palace Hotel.

At the lobby of the hotel I am greeted by one of his team, who escorts me up the room.  The guy is friendly, asks if I’ve ever met him before and assures me he’s a great guy.

At the door…knock…door opens.

And there stands my musical idol, OZZY FRICKIN’ OSBOURNE, in his bathrobe.

I was more bemused that he was shorter than me, though I must admit him being in a bathrobe was a bit disarming.  I’m used to the black outfits, jewelry and crazy hair.  This guy looks like he just stepped out of the spa.

But here is the ENORMOUS DIFFERENCE between my experience being in a celebrity’s hotel room while they wore a bathrobe and the experiences of many other women lodging complaints about other celebrities in the news today…

Ozzy. Wasn’t. Inappropriate.  AT ALL.

He never flirted.  He never came on to me, he never made a suggestive remark, he never asked me to do anything for or to him.  He didn’t touch me (I think we perhaps shook hands at initially meeting), or try to hug me or massage me or anything like that.  I asked a handful of questions and he talked for 30 minutes.

Ozzy Osbourne was a perfect gentleman and a consummate professional.

The other celebrities in the news now?  Not so much.  I never felt uncomfortable, or threatened, or got any bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.  Trust me, I know the feeling, like the vast majority of women do at one time or another.

What is my point in all this?

The commentor above clearly has no frame of reference, and little capacity to accept the words of women.  Do women falsely accuse?  Yes.  But few are truly willing to be publicly scrutinized, picked apart, called horrible names and smeared like they are in this day and age just for a few minutes of pseudofame.

Weinstein wasn’t just sitting there in his bathrobe.  He was trying to coerce them into sexual favors based on his position of power in the industry.  He could make or break their careers, in an industry that can be extremely hard to make a living at.

The workplace scenario – men cannot sexually flirt with those in lower levels to them without the possibility of it being a power play ala Weinstein “give me a backrub, you know we have an opening at the head of the Whatever Department…”  Women are held to the same standard – they cannot coerce those in lower levels to do inappropriate and unwanted things with no fear of reprisal.

Does it happen?  Yes, all the time.  Which is why so many people are talking about it (both women and men who have been victimized).  It’s more common than Generic Man may have ever realized.  Perhaps they simply can’t wrap their heads around the enormity of the issue.  Perhaps they don’t want to believe that their mother was forced to smile while enduring slaps on the rear as a secretary at the law firm, or that their sister was consistently pinched or grabbed while waitressing by the truck driver who always stopped in for coffee during her shift.

Maybe they don’t want to think that their daughter could have been coerced into sexual favors by her boss for fear of losing her job when other jobs have become very slim where she lives now.  It’s pretty horrendous to think about and easy to say “no way that happens!” – but you might be surprised.

So we are left to be angry, and rather than tamping it down, trying to to forget about it, or attempting straight-up denial, more and more and finding their voice and expressing their anger.

The question is whether more will listen to them or more will try and squash it down.

(Featured image Frank May/DPA via ZUMA)

And it all began with a picture…

I absolutely love Humans of New York.  Brandon, an amazing photographer, has been taking photos of random people in New York for a while now, and most photos say volumes about the subject.  Sometimes it’s the uniqueness of their look, or their expressions, or the overall character that comes through.  When they say “a picture is worth a thousand words,” they aren’t kidding.  Some of his photos could have movie scripts created out of them.  And what I adore about the people who follow HONY are how fascinated they are by the people in the photos – so few comments are at all negative or critical, the overwhelming majority see the beauty in each subject.

The other day he posted a photograph of a young woman in her underwear.  This was not a photo he took himself, but of one she posted to her own blog, but he found the reason for her photograph to be so stirring that he preferred that one to the one he took of her in the street.  Here is the photo:

Stella’s words accompanying the photo are as follows:

“WARNING: Picture might be considered obscene because subject is not thin. And we all know that only skinny people can show their stomachs and celebrate themselves. Well I’m not going to stand for that. This is my body. Not yours. MINE. Meaning the choices I make about it, are none of your fucking business. Meaning my size, IS NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS.

If my big belly and fat arms and stretch marks and thick thighs offend you, then that’s okay. I’m not going to hide my body and my being to benefit your delicate sensitivities.

This picture is for the strange man at my nanny’s church who told me my belly was too big when I was five.

This picture is for my horseback riding trainer telling me I was too fat when I was nine.

This picture is for the girl from summer camp who told me I’d be really pretty if I just lost a few pounds

This picture is for all the fucking stupid advertising agents who are selling us cream to get rid of our stretch marks, a perfectly normal thing most people have (I got mine during puberty)

This picture is for the boy at the party who told me I looked like a beached whale.

This picture is for Emily from middle school, who bullied me incessantly, made mocking videos about me, sent me nasty emails, and called me “lard”. She made me feel like I didn’t deserve to exist. Just because I happened to be bigger than her. I was 12. And she continued to bully me via social media into high school.

MOST OF ALL, this picture is for me. For the girl who hated her body so much she took extreme measures to try to change it. Who cried for hours over the fact she would never be thin. Who was teased and tormented and hurt just for being who she was.

I’m so over that.

THIS IS MY BODY, DEAL WITH IT.”

As was typical for HONY followers, the response was overwhelmingly positive.  But as the photo went viral, Brandon described how the comments began turning nastier and more cruel.  The connection HONY fans have to the photos he posts does not equal that of other random internet people who prefer to hide behind the anonymity of their computer screens.  And Stella began to doubt her own resolve, writing this blog post “on getting exactly what I wanted and feeling terrified.

I applaud Stella’s bravery to show herself as she really is, and I hope you all will take a moment out of your day to visit the HONY facebook page or Stella’s blog and show some love.

Political debates on Facebook: The Template

Every political debate on Facebook can be boiled down to key elements, so someone decided to do it for us!

The unfortunate term “thinspo”

I was recently introduced to the term “Thinspo.” For those that have not yet heard about the Kate Upton controversy, thinspo is short for thin inspiration, where people who are aspiring to lose weight or maintain their current weight share photos or other reminders of why they want to be thin.

Thinspo has been connected to the pro-ana (promote anorexia) community, but what I found is that there appear to be factions even am0ng the thinspo community. Some fervently defend themselves as people who simply want to help themselves and others get to a healthier weight (and celebrate those who have achieved it), while others equate thinspo with pro-ana and are more than happy to claim membership to both.

There is nothing wrong with being naturally slim.  There is nothing wrong with working hard to lose extra, unnecessary weight.  There is nothing wrong with posting before and after pictures (or before and during pictures) to celebrate accomplishments.  Weight loss websites do it all the time in the hopes that someone will be inspired to join their program.

What I find unfortunate is that so many in the thinspo community are desperately claiming that they have nothing to do with the pro-ana community, when my admittedly brief research turned up nothing but sites that at best skated right inside the boundaries of pro-ana.  Some just accepted and embraced thinspo as part of the cycle that anyone with an eating disorder goes through.

One site’s mission statement blatantly pushed thinness “whatever it takes”.  Another posted photos of extremely slim models, entitling them “PERFECTION,” and failing to realize or acknowledge that the photos were so obviously photoshopped it wasn’t even funny.  Just a brief scroll through another turned up post after post of studying what a celebrity DRANK and how many calories it was likely going to add to her body.

The reason I find thinspo an unfortunate term is because it had the hints of being helpful, but instead it seems to be swirling deeper into hurtful.  Granted, it should more accurately have started as “healthy inspiration” in order to promote and inspire people to be healthier, but “healthspo” doesn’t really have the same ring to it.  As someone who has struggled with weight and health issues, I would have liked to have found a community that encourages better health (without asking for monthly membership fees), but I found that barely scratching the surface turned up way too much photoshop envy, obsessiveness, and clearly starving (as in their bodies are screaming for nourishment) people.

And for the record, Kate Upton is smoking hot.

Aishwarya Rai is a fat elephant!

No, of course she isn’t.

She is, arguably, one of the most stunningly beautiful women in the world (in the classic sense of the word).  Her creamy, evenly-toned skin, her flowing hair, her entrancing eyes…  she’s drop dead gorgeous.  I mean, look at this woman!

Seriously. This woman exists.

And then she had the audacity, the BRASS ONES, to go and have a baby. But not JUST have a baby, have a baby and NOT LOSE THE BABY WEIGHT WITHIN FIVE MINUTES OF GIVING BIRTH. Because that is obviously imperative nowadays. If you don’t, you’re a fat elephant, like someone on youtube decided. I won’t link to the stupid video, but you can find it yourself easily enough. The comments, of course, are priceless. One person says “The woman is in the PUBLIC eye! Her baby is 7 months old and she looks like she gave birth yesterday! Not to mention she has a double chin! Sorry, many of us have had kids and WORKED hard to lose it. Motherhood doesn’t give you license to be overweight.” That right there is an awesome person.

Rai’s response? She’s “enjoying motherhood”. Hells yeah.

Want to see what she looks like “fat”?

Yep, this is her, “fat”.

I hope she takes all the time in the world to get to whatever weight she feels comfortable with. And anyone who says otherwise obviously has nothing better in their lives to do.

Perspective

In the past couple of weeks I’ve cut down quite a bit on my soda intake (even diet and “zero” versions) and tried increasing my water intake.  This picture helps remind me why I should!

Former NJ Gov Codey becomes homeless for a night

I liked Gov. Codey.  He took over for Gov. Jim McGreevey after he resigned amid a sex scandal, and for two years took care of New Jersey pretty well.  He and his wife have been outspoken advocates for the mentally ill, and he recently transformed into a homeless man to experience what it was like.  Here’s the full article.

Bully, the official trailer

As a mother, it’s very difficult for me to sit back and not become a helicopter parent when I hear that my child was picked at or made fun of by another child in school.  I do not want to become overly sensitive, particularly when I know my daughter is very strong and has been able to deal with these situations well on her own.  She is very lucky in that her circle of friends seem to only occasionally “hurt each other’s feelings” and her school is very proactive in quelling more serious behavior.

I am posting this in honor of the children who endure torturous bullying on a daily basis, and those who receive no support from authority figures who should know better, and especially for those who could no longer take the agony.  There is a push to try and get the R rating for this movie reduced to PG-13 to make it more accessible to the very children who should be required to watch this – I hope you will join me in the effort to spread the word. Here is a link to the HRC’s e-letters asking the MPAA to reconsider it’s rating.  I hope the link works.

Mom Defends Her “Slut” Daughter…

…and I’ve got NO problem with her.  In fact, I wish I could help, so here’s my contribution – getting the story out there.  When a friend posted this on Facebook, I was absolutely disgusted.

Here’s the short version – daughter takes birth control pills.  The reason is actually irrelevant, but if you’re curious it’s because she has severe medical and emotional issues during her cycle that the pills help regulate.  This would be completely her own business, except that during a recent school trip she was required to have a specified person dispense medication to kids on prescriptions.  That person happened to be a parent who is also a doctor.

Shortly after the trip, she began getting harassed by a few Queen Bees, being told in a note left in her locker:

Little miss innocent, huh? Whatever slut- you take birth control pills so you can f*&# every guy in school! What a joke- u are nothin but a whore! Pretty bad when some guy on the radio who isn’t afraid to tell the truth has to break it down for everybody- if u on the Pill u are nothing but a skank ass ho! My mom said girls on the pill are tramps who just wanna get laid and don’t care about nothin- is that how u are?

I don’t even know the people personally in this situation but it’s taking some effort not to go all investigative blogger on EVERYONE.  The school, the parent-doctor, the Queen Bees.  This is horrifying, and while I didn’t feel the need to make mention of that moron on the radio because I don’t want to give him any of my time, I would like to personally thank him for helping to perpetuate this situation, and being a by-proxy bully to this child.

Here’s the link to the whole story:

I’ve spent the past 2 days trying to convince my 16 y/o she is not a.

UPDATE, 4:45pm:  Beantown Mom updated regarding her meeting with an attorney and school officials.  For those interested, here’s a direct link.

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