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January 25, 2007

The hypocrisy of the New York Times — When it comes to anorexic fashion models, the Gray Lady turns a blind eye


Look at the picture above.

What do you see?

I see an ad from page 3 of today's New York Times.

I see two models whose weight combined might pass muster with the new body mass guidelines recently promulgated by fashion weeks in Madrid and Milan, which now bar stick-thin models in response to a spate of deaths by anorexia of models worldwide.

The New York Times, in a September 22, 2006 editorial, chastized the U.S. fashion industry for not adopting similar binding rules but instead making its guidelines voluntary.

Yet the paper's advertising department is happy to cash checks from Dennis Basso and any other company offering über-thin mannequins as hangers for their clothes.

The Times editorial follows.

    Where Size 0 Doesn't Make the Cut

    If fashion models were purebred dogs instead of underfed women, there would be an outcry over the abusive standards for appearing in shows and photo shoots. The prize for women who aspire to the catwalk is a ridiculous size 0, though overachieving undereaters seem to be reaching for size 00, which invites further starvation, serious illness and worse.

    If the industry needed a wake-up call, it got one last month, when Luisel Ramos, an Uruguayan model who had been advised to lose weight, died of heart failure after taking her turn on the catwalk. She reportedly had gone days without eating, and for months consumed only lettuce and diet soda.

    Nevertheless, organizers of Madrid's Fashion Week caught designer and fashionista scorn for banning the unreasonably thin from their show. The Madrid standard: a minimum body mass index of at least 18 — a measure of body fat based on weight and height. A reading of 18 is still underweight (18.5 to just under 25 is considered normal), but it is outsized among the ranks of supermodels, many of whom hover between 14 and 16.

    While the just-completed New York Fashion Week carried on as usual, Milan Fashion Week officials were considering applying their own healthy standard for models.

    It's doubtful that models will be in dressing rooms bulking up with cheeseburgers or anything more caloric than watercress to ''make weight,'' like prizefighters and amateur wrestlers. But ending the parade of the starved and sickly seems like a fashion trend worth following.

January 25, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

bookofjoe welcomes Russian Federation and Estonia


Just now I had a look at who's here and lo and behold, for the very first time ever, readers from the Russian Federation and Estonia number enough to appear on my hit parade (above).





January 25, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Nancy Pelosi — Two heartbeats away from the presidency


Watching the State of the Union address this past Tuesday night, I was struck by the fact that only Dick Cheney's ageing, pacemaker-wired, damaged heart keeps Representative Pelosi from being one heartbeat away from the Oval Office.

She is the most powerful woman in the history of the United States.

Amazing and profound.

Note: Several readers have pointed out that if Cheney were incapacitated, Bush would then appoint a new Vice-President.

True enough.

But that individual would have to be confirmed by the Democratic-majority Senate.

Until that happened, Pelosi would be one heartbeat away.

And who knows what the Democrats might — or might not — do, given that eventuality.

January 25, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Ray Earhart's Floor Desk: Way cool — and you can make it yourself


My readers are so smart.

Ray Earhart sent me the email below, complete with instructions and pictures, about his design and fabrication of a custom floor desk (above) to ease his back pain.

Yes — he's decided he is going to take it lying down.

Here's the email:

    Hi Joe,

    It's been a little while since I bothered you so here goes....

    My wife and I have a little web site that is fortunately big enough to be our full time jobs. Unfortunately, it means sitting in front of computer most of the day (and evening).

    One of my biggest issues is that I have been suffering from a bad back for a while and sitting for any length of time worsens the condition. When I saw your December 15, 2006 article about not sitting up straight it gave me some hope.


    A great idea but I really didn't have enough room to build a desk like this. So....

    My second thought went like this....


    That's because it's usually where you'll find me soon after I get home — Flat On My Back. So after a little sketching, laying on the floor with miscellaneous pieces of wood, a protractor and the damned dog staring at me, off to the garage I went.


    That's Version 1 above. Made out of spare 3/4" plywood and big enough for my laptop. It's a really big laptop.

    Then while surfin' around last week I come across an article on BoingBoing. Damn, it's cool. Too big (below) and undoubtedly a little more expensive than mine.


    "The Ergopod 500 is a clever system for supporting a PC, mouse, keyboard and work-areas, intended for use by heavy computer users, particularly those with special physical needs. One of its many adjustable modes is a 'work supine' and 'work in bed' version that gives you everything you need in easy reach from the comfort of your own bed. I'm able-bodied, but holy moley, this is the lazy Sunday computing solution I've always dreamt of! Add a bar-fridge and you'd have a perfect morning." [via Neatorama and boingboing]

    But you have to admit, my wife [top] makes this thing look good!

    Me and my back thank you for the inspiration.

    And, in keeping with the joehead tradition... I hope someone will take this idea and start producing them for us. Cheaply.

    Keep up the great work,


January 25, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: Lunch Break Nose Job


It's here.

If you don't have lunch plans, you might want to consider something other than the old PB&J — like a 15-minute long procedure involving only local anesthesia and an injection of Radiesse.

Marie Puente's front-page story in today's USA Today Life section has the scoop; it follows.

    Non-surgical wrinkle filler wins by nose

    Radiesse costs less, but it's only a temporary fix

    America's search for cheap, no-knife cosmetic procedures has turned up another contender: the non-surgical nose job, touted as the proboscis equivalent of a lunchtime Botox injection.

    To avoid the hassle of general anesthesia, surgical incisions and long recovery periods, a patient who wants to straighten his nose or smooth out a bump can get an injection of Radiesse.

    The wrinkle filler has been around for several years but just received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for use in reshaping the nose and augmenting the chin.

    New York cosmetic dermatologist Cameron Rokhsar, one of a handful of doctors around the country who have been using the filler on the nose, says the procedure is risk-free, costs about $1,500, requires only local numbing cream and takes about 15 minutes. The patient can return to normal activity immediately, and the fix lasts at least a year.

    Rhinoplasty is the second-most-popular cosmetic surgery, after liposuction, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

    Rokhsar predicts the non-surgical procedure will gain in popularity, because people fear the knife or don't want to pay $10,000 for a rhinoplasty. "The worst case is that you won't like it, and the nose will go back to the way it was."

    Betty Cruz, 40, a TV station administrator whose sister works for Rokhsar, got her new nose two weeks ago and loves it. The bump she had since birth is gone. "It was amazing. I noticed the difference immediately," she says.

    Michelle Alvarez, 35, who works in real estate marketing, wanted to get rid of her nose bump before she got married. Last March, she went to Rokhsar. "I felt like a new person. My wedding day came, and I didn't feel self-conscious about which way the camera captured me."

    Not everyone is convinced Radiesse is the next Botox. Minneapolis-area plastic surgeon Peter Hilger, president of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, says he has used Radiesse to correct minor imperfections after a surgical rhinoplasty.

    But adding volume could be counterproductive if the patient has a generous nose. "Most people want a smaller and more delicate nose rather than a larger one," he says. They "want it to be permanent. And two-thirds of rhinoplasties are done without general anesthesia."

    In any case, Cruz and Alvarez say, they intend to get annual injections. The cost is nothing, Cruz says: "I spend that much on my nails."


No sooner did I finish reading about Radiesse nose jobs than I saw the breaking news about Jennifer Aniston's "medically necessary — not cosmetic" nose job performed last Saturday in Beverly Hills.

She should've asked for Radiesse — no bruises, in and out in 15 minutes.

Oh, well, that's V.I.P. medicine for you: getting the wrong thing done by the wrong doctor.

FunFact: Plastic surgeons routinely put down "deviated septum" as the preoperative diagnosis before performing a nose job — what, you think they don't want to get paid?

Insurance doesn't cover cosmetic work, booboo.

January 25, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Enough already with the shower posts


Okay, okay, I hear you.

Two in one day yesterday — five hours apart — is overkill.


In fact, I've already given my entire scheduling team their pink slips.

But I digress.

Who needs inverted showers and fiber-optic chromatherapy?

After the trickle-down streams from hotels and motels, when you're home you just wanna stand there and have a hot shower that beats on your neck and back.

Okay, understood.

Speakman builds the best — in terms of function, appearance, value and durability — widely-available consumer-version showerheads in the U.S.

But you have to be careful: as with Calphalon, which sells different weights of their pots and pans that all look alike, Speakman sells both plastic and solid metal versions of its showerheads.

Don't be fooled: you want solid metal.

The best price I've found is $59.99 for their solid brass 2.75"-diameter six-nozzle version with 48 spray channels total.

I've had that very Speakman showerhead in my showers for so many years now, I can't even remember how long; the current ones have been up for at least 10 years without malfunctioning and the water spray seems as intense as the day I bought them.

Full disclosure: I've never yet removed them to clean them as there's been no apparent need.

That water stream comes out with so much power even now, it pins me to the shower wall.

Now that's what I'm talkin' about.

You will note that another website offers the polished chrome version for $49.02.

You will also note, if you read the description carefully, that nowhere does it say that the showerhead is solid metal.

Caveat emptor.

January 25, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ad Generator — 'Fake advertisements on the fly'


"The Ad Generator was created by Alexis Lloyd as a component of an MFA thesis project in the Design and Technology department at Parsons The New School for Design."


Tell you what: many of the mashup ads are better than the dreck and dross on TV and in print.

[via Dave Donohue and davedonohue.com]

January 25, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Chalkboard Placemats


From the website:

    Chalkboard Placemats

    Now waiting for dinner can be fun!

    These bright chalkboard placemats can be doodled on over and over again.

    Just draw, wipe off and draw again.

    You can also play tic-tac-toe, and parents can leave messages for their kids in the morning wishing them luck on the test — or reminding them to eat their veggies.

    Includes four mats, 12 pieces of chalk and a sponge eraser.

    Recommended for ages 3 years and up.

    Wash with warm soapy water.

    12"L x 18"W.


Veggies in the morning?


On a brighter note, the age recommendation appears to allow nearly all bookofjoe readers to safely employ these mats.

Four for $30.

January 25, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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