Big Pharma and the Evening News

Cialis Tubs
Matching Bathtubs and ED?

What do chronic idiopathic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, painful menstruation, deep vein thrombosis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, neuropathic pain, partial seizures, erectile dysfunction, pulmonary arterial hypertension, and dyspareunia (painful intercourse) have in common?  All of these conditions can be cured if you buy into the claims of the medications advertised during your evening television newscast. The images are aesthetically pleasing, the background music is soothing, and the actors are good looking.  Spectacular vistas are interspersed with

Posted in Anthropology, Business & Finance, Politics, Science

Barbie, Sports Illustrated, & Slutty Capitalism

Barbie Logo
The Famous Barbie™ Logo

        The Barbie doll is one of the most popular toys ever created.  Today Barbie is sold in 150 countries at the rate of 3 dolls every second, and the manufacturer, Mattel, claims that over a billion have been sold worldwide. Barbie is a money-maker for Mattel, in no small part due to the plethora of sponsorship deals into which Mattel has entered with partners ranging from Nabisco and Oreo cookies, NASCAR, Major League Baseball, university football teams, and now,

Posted in Anthropology, Business & Finance, Politics

Armageddon, Advertising & TV Weather Forecasters

Radar Image of Katrina
NOAA Radar Image of Hurricane Rita at Landfall

Atlanta is closed today.  After the debacle two weeks ago during our three-inch snowfall, officials from the Georgia Governor to the Mayor of Atlanta were skewered by national media.  The criticism was certainly justified, since a coordinated emergency plan was not in place in the lead-up to the storm and even in the early hours after it began.  The effects of a weather emergency on a city the size of Atlanta are impressive.  Traffic on all major arteries leading in

Posted in Business & Finance, Science

Suntans, Cornflakes, Coco Chanel & Skin Cancer

Waikiki Beach
Waikiki Beach

The association between light skin color and high social status has a long and distinguished history in Western society.  In Victorian England, light skin was venerated and considerable effort was expended to keep women, particularly the upper class, out of the sun.  Women in the Victorian period went to great lengths to avoid sun exposure and thus preserve pallid skin, a mark of status.   Long sleeves, large hats, scarves, and parasols were employed as protective devices.  Women in the monarchy

Posted in Anthropology, Evolution, Politics, Science

Cold Hands and Warm Heart: It May Be in Your Genes

Ayers Rock
Ayers Rock, Northern Territory, Australia

The recent southerly shift of the polar vortex and the concomitant plunging temperatures prompted me to think about how we deal with cold weather.  We have all heard the expression “Cold hands, warm heart,” in reference to an individual’s disposition or personality, but what about response to cold weather? Recently much of the US experienced record cold temperatures and “shift in the polar vortex” was heard in daily weather forecasts and was the lede on evening news.  The cascade of cold,

Posted in Anthropology, Evolution, Science