Category Archives: Health

“Don’t be a slave to tobacco”

These advertisements recently debuted in France courtesy of the Non-Smokers' Rights Association. The caption below each picture reads: "Smoking means being a slave to tobacco."

Controversy has erupted in France after these anti-smoking ads began appearing in bars, cafes, and tobacco shops.  Anti-smoking ads have historically used images to shock the public – whether meant to deter people from starting to smoke or encourage others to quit – but does this ad campaign take the shock factor too far?

The images used in these ads depict oral sex between what appears to be an older man and younger boys and girls.  What does this have to do with smoking? Well, the Non-Smokers’ Rights Association says the campaign seeks to show young adults “that smoking isn’t a defiance of authority, but instead a sign of submission and naivete – a behavioral, psychological and physical submission to an addictive drug that will control their acts, dirty their bodies and cost them dearly.”

What do you think? Effective? Offensive? People are certainly paying attention to the ads. But is the message getting lost in the controversy?

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Et Cetera: No free passes for H1N1 illness

A few staples of flu season.

My second article in the Humber Et Cetera on Thurs. Feb. 11.

Melissa Greer
News Reporter

Students should know absence from H1N1 does not give them an automatic pass in their courses, said associate vice-president of academics, Pamela Hanft.
“Teachers will do the best they can to accommodate and perhaps provide extensions, but students are still responsible for all their work,” said Hanft.
School policy regarding H1N1 is no different from any other major illness, she said.
“If students were absent for 10 days or less they simply had to report through their program co-ordinator or record on our website,” said Hanft.
According to school records, there have been between 20 to 25 students absent due to H1N1 each week across all three campuses, with most  for periods of less than five days, said Hanft.
“They were actually predicting a flu pandemic this year where there would have been far more absences and much more widespread illnesses,” she said.
Despite the milder than predicted flu season several students have had to interrupt their studies because of H1N1, with some even delaying their graduation date.
Second-year police foundations student, Jonathan Nalliah, 19, missed about three weeks in the fall term and said he wasn’t able to catch up.
As a result, he said he dropped one class and failed another.
Nalliah said he thought his teachers would be more lenient since the school was encouraging students with flu symptoms to stay home.
“I went to one of my classes, but I was coughing and was so sick that my teacher asked me to leave,” said Nalliah.
First-year post-graduate journalism student, Janine John, 27, became sick with H1N1 in November, but is still unable to attend classes due to side effects from the virus.
“When the flu-like symptoms stopped I had this loss of balance and dizziness – it’s called vertigo and can last anywhere from six weeks to three months,” said John.
Though John will graduate a year after her class in the two-year program, she said her instructors and program co-ordinator have been understanding about her condition.
Hamft said students should consider different options if they do miss school due to H1N1 because it is  difficult to catch up on work for all   missed courses.
“Sometimes dropping a course is a good strategy so they can concentrate on the remaining courses and try to salvage as much of the semester as possible.”

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Romance on the Menu

Cupid serves at Mildred's Temple Kitchen.

A Toronto restaurant is taking Valentine’s Day dining to a whole new level. The Toronto Star reports that Mildred’s Temple Kitchen invites customers to have sex in its bathrooms.

This time the invitation is explicit. On its website, Mildred’s asks: ‘Have you given any thought to moving beyond the bedroom.’

‘Check out Mildred’s Sexy Bathrooms throughout the weekend of Big Love. You get the picture.’

While I couldn’t find where on its website Mildred’s actually said to check out their “sexy bathrooms,” there are certainly sexual implications.  From Feb.12 to Feb.15, Mildred’s Temple Kitchen offers three extra “treats” for “Mildred’s Weekend of BIG LOVE.”  Among these treats is a $55 “love hamper,” which includes “Mildred’s Out to Brunch cookbook, and a pair of furry handcuffs,” among other edible treats.

I have to wonder, how romantic is it when one couple after another shows their love in likely the same restaurant bathroom while dozens of other couples are enjoying a meal on just the other side of the door?

Which brings me to my next point: Is this sanitary and clean in a place where food is prepared and served?

Isn’t this why we have hotel rooms with room service??

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Back to Sleep(deprivation)

Ahhh sleep.

My winter break is officially over. This week it’s back to class, back to work and back to an 8 p.m. bedtime. I’m only joking about the 8 p.m. bedtime- not because I don’t wish I could go to bed at that time, but rather, because there is always so much to get done. There are not-enough-hours-in-the-day it seems, which leads to sleep deprivation felt by students (like myself), single professionals, stay-at-home moms, etc. At its worst sleep deprivation can cause or contribute to depression, a weakened immune system, high blood pressure, an impaired ability to think clearly, memory loss, emotional instability, and physical impairment.

In light of this threat to our health (and sanity), Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive and co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington, have teamed up for Sleep Challenge 2010. Leive and Huffington have each resolved to get a full nights sleep (about 7.5 to 8 hours) every night for the month of January and will blog about their experiences twice a week on and the Huffington Post.

Check out HuffPost’s Living section for more on how to sleep better in the new year.

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