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December, 2010 | Geeta Menon

Archive for December, 2010

Author of how-to book for Pedophiles arrested!

This is an update to my post http://www.geetamenon.com/news/free-press-or-devolution/

As many of you know, a book called “The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure” was released last month on Amazon. Amazon yanked the book from it’s website soon after the release. Now the author, Philip Greaves, has been arrested.

There’s hope for society yet!

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Online or In-store?

I went to the mall today to pick up a pair of those cool new denim leggings. It was a NIGHTMARE: long parking lines , exhausted & unhelpful sales clerks, two respectable-looking matrons nearly coming to blows over a marked-down coat.

I left legging-less. I’ll just get them online.

What about you? Online or In-Store shopping this Holiday season?

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Th New “Thrifty” Gene and Obesity

Article first published as The New “Thrifty” Gene And Obesity on Technorati.

thriftygene Th New Thrifty Gene and Obesity

Scientists recently discovered another “thrifty” gene called CRTC3 that affects obesity.  The concept of thrifty genes was first explored in the 60s. These genes are believed to slow down the body’s fat-burning process, and once helped our ancestors survive famines.

Mice bred without CRTC3 stayed lean irrespective of diet. Studies also showed that some humans have more potent variants of CRTC3 which makes it extra hard to lose weight, but only among certain ethnic groups. For example, Mexican-Americans with the variant-gene have greater rates of obesity, but non-Hispanic whites with the variant-gene do not.

While “thrifty” genes were once useful, they haven’t evolved at the same pace as society; they persist in making us retain excess fat though famines are unlikely in our current world.

So what can we do about these pesky genes?

Since “breeding” humans without them isn’t a viable option, and pharmaceutical companies will take time to develop a drug that turns CRTC3 and other similar genes “off”, we currently have only one choice. Consume fewer calories than we expend.

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Women’s fiction versus Chick Lit and Romance

When I tell people that my novel, “Speechless”,  falls within the genre  “Women’s fiction”, I’m often asked one of two questions:  “Is it a romance novel?” or  “Is it a Sex and the City kind of book?”

Women’s fiction, usually grouped with mainstream fiction in book stores, is neither. It is serious fiction written by women for women. It  can be commercial or literary and deals with the empowerment of women, the issues they face, the relationships that change them for better or worse. Think “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett or  “Sarah’s Key” by Tatiana De Rosnay.

While Women’s Fiction often has elements of romance, the plot focuses on the female protagonist rather than the chemistry between lovers.  There is also deeper characterization, and more intricate sub-plotting than in a romance novel. The ending may not be happily-ever-after. And yes, the cover will not have Fabio holding a swooning  woman in his Photoshop enhanced arms.

Women’s Fiction is also different from the fun, frothy “Sex and the City kind of novel” known as Chick lit.  While both  genres are usually about women’s issues (relationships, motherhood, coming-of-age), Women’s fiction usually has a serious, strong plot requiring emotional investment from the reader, and so tends to be more memorable than Chick lit.

Lastly, the three  genres are  unique in terms of target audience. Though Women’s fiction, Romance and Chick lit are all read primarily by women, a woman who reads Romance is unlikely to read Women’s fiction or Chick lit and vice-versa.

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The Grace of Elizabeth Edwards

I was saddened to read about Elizabeth Edwards’ death yesterday. But only momentarily.

For this remarkable woman epitomized resilience and strength. Life dealt her blow after crippling blow. The death of a child. Stage Four cancer. The revelation that her husband was a philanderer. Public humiliation as he first lied about his affair with Ms. Man Hunter…oops…Rielle Hunter, then admitted he had fathered her child.

Yet Elizabeth accepted it with equanimity and grace. Refused to be a victim. Smiled for the cameras. Kicked out her cheating husband instead of being a doormat. Wrote a book. Moved on with life, her head held high.

You don’t mourn the passing of a woman like that. You applaud as the curtain comes down.

Bravo, Elizabeth Edwards.

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TSA scanners – Yay or Nay?

animals tsa nude airlines security body scanners rman11882 low TSA scanners   Yay or Nay?

Despite all the outrage about TSA security measures violating the Fourth Amendment (which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures), airline travel over the Thansgiving weekend went pretty smoothly with 99% of travellers choosing to use the Advanced Imaging Technology machines. Of course, there was the occasional hiccup – the  kid who was strip-searched  (what was the agent thinking??), the guy who opted out and got so thorough a pat-down that he threatened to have the TSA agent arrested if his”junk” was touched.

So should we accept body-scanning as another necessary annoyance during travel? Personally, I’m okay with it (those TSA dudes do have some basic policies in place: for example, the scanning-agent never gets to see the “real” passenger and images are immediately deleted) IF it ensures my safety. But does it really do that, given the apparent innovativeness of the modern terrorist?

What do you think? Yay or nay to these imaging devices?

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