Wii Fit – A Major League Fitness Tool?

San Diego Padres reliever Heath Bell went through something this offseason that tons of armchair managers have also experienced. He stepped on the Wii Fit board and the game labelled him “obese” (which, in turn, makes your character look like David Wells).

And, like many of the Wii Fit’s biggest – and less famous – fans, he did something about it. Bell lost 25lbs this offseason in a workout regimen that included playing games on the Wii Fit. It’s now being reported that he looks “svelte” and better than ever, with his coaches even asking him not to lose more weight in order to keep his velocity up.

Heath Bell may be the first athlete to unofficially endorse the Wii Fit. How about the rest of us? Have you lost weight using the Wii Fit, or did you throw the balance board back into the box when the game called you fat?

Plastic surgery revisions rising?

FOXNews published a health article in January titled “Plastic Surgery Regret on the Rise, Fueling ‘Revision’ Practices”. In typical Fox fashion, the article was rather alarmist. The blurb featured one plastic surgery horror story from a woman who was unhappy after two nose jobs, followed by a quote from respected surgeon Andrew Jacono stating that 1 in 3 surgical procedures is a revision.

Can this be right? Or is there a better explanation for all the revisions going on in American operating rooms?

Here are three practical reasons we propose that may explain the “1 in 3” statistic – and only one of them is a fear mongering idea: Continue reading

NewsWatch: New Mnemonic for the 11 planets

A fourth grader from Montana has coined a mnemonic for the 11 planets of the solar system. If you thought there were 9 – or 8, or 12, or whatever it was last week – this memory trick may help you remember all of the planet’s names.

The student, Maryn Smith, won a National Geographic Society contest for her mnemonic, which will now be featured in a book and turned into a song by Lisa Loeb (of 1990s “Stay” fame).

The winning phrase? “My Very Exciting Magic Carpet Just Sailed Under Nine Palace Elephants” for Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Eris.

The only downside is that Smith’s mnemonic invention will in all likelihood be rendered useless sometime in the near future, as the planetary shuffle and disagreements about what makes a planet continue.

At least we can revel in the fact that 10-year-olds aren’t nearly as cynical as adults… yet.

NewsWatch: Life Cycle of a Blog Post

I clicked “Publish.” Now what?

Wired magazine has deconstructed the blogging process in their latest issue, following your blog post from the moment you publish it, all the way around the world as aggregators (feed readers like RSS), scrapers (spam blogs) and spiders (search engines) all chew on your information.

What’s darkly funny about the process – and anyone who has ever tried to run a commercially successful blog, rather than just a personal journal, will tell you this – is that the reader is the absolute last person considered in this process. Marketing a blog is not about how many hits you get or how many people are commenting, but rather who is linking to you (and in what way) and how important Google’s algorithms perceive you to be. Continue reading

NEWSWATCH: ABC disoriented by bisexuals

This article from ABC News highlights an important study that came out this week, which found that bisexuality is neither a phase nor a myth, but rather a distinct sexual orientation. But look closer at the link provided and see if you can’t spot the problem.

ABC News’ title line for the article reads, “‘Lesbian Until Graduation?’ It’s a Myth”; meanwhile, the title within the article says, “Study Shatters ‘Bisexual Until Graduation’ Myth”.

So what exactly is the myth here? That ABC News will report a landmark study on the validity of bisexuality, whilst simultaneously confusing it with what the study confirms is a completely different sexuality (homosexuality)?

Clearly all the reporting in the world still won’t allow stereotypes and misconceptions to die that easily.