Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Why Obese People Should Be Terrified of Snowballs

By 2050, 50% of Brits will be obese.

Studies suggest while smoking generally reduces life expectancy by about 10 years, obesity can cut it by 13. And related health issues will cost the NHS an extra £45.5 billion a year.

Obviously, obesity isn't funny. It’s a widespread crisis that requires support and action at the national, local and family level.

However, the psychology behind it is, because several of these issues wouldn't exist if a lot of overweight people didn't think they were snowballs. Let me explain.

Have you ever thought about how snow becomes a really big snowball?

Snowballs don't make themselves. You have to put a lot of time and effort into adding clumps of snow together and molding it into the shape you want. Every step of the way, you are very aware your snowball is gradually getting bigger and bigger and bigger.

You're not too worried about this because you know when you're done with your giant snowball, as long as you hit it hard enough, it will instantly return to being clumps of snow. Or you can leave it to melt.

Now, let's be honest. You don't become overweight overnight. But, have you ever seen a poster child for weight loss that was just a little overweight? It seems these people don't exist. Often, they look like this guy.

Like they've been happy to let things progress up to a certain point believing that when the time comes, they can lose all that weight in a heart beat.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that. And although I've never tried, I'm pretty sure if you were to hit an overweight person, like you smash a snowball to make it lose form, said person would still remain overweight.

Let's look at an example, Jennifer Hudson.

In 2010 she became the spokesperson for Weight Watchers. In 2011, she appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and revealed she had lost a total of 80 pounds (36kg).

Looking at the before and after pictures, it's clear it must have taken a great deal time, dedication and effort to make the change. She looks amazing. Kudos.

But why make it so hard on yourself?

Why let yourself become so big before you decide get rid of it all? Or any of it.

You're not a snowball.

Reversing the process won't be easy.

But maybe it's not our fault. According to The Daily Mail, due to our contemporary lifestyle, 'it's impossible for many to avoid putting on weight', and we are 'destined' to pile on pounds.'

What do you think?

Do you agree overweight people should address the issue much sooner than they often do?

Do you agree with The Daily Mail?

Do you feel destined to become obese?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Here's Why Miley Cyrus Is NOT The Queen Of Twerking

Yesterday, 21st November 2013 marked the day of the first UK twerking championships, inspired by Miley Cyrus.

Wait a minute. Miley Cyrus?

After Miley's dance antics during the 2013 MTV VMAs, the world went crazy. 3 days later, twerking was officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary. The UK caught the bootyshaking bug and hosted a twerking competition in her honor. Miley became the queen of twerking. This is ridiculous. There are 2 main reasons why:

1. Twerking Isn't New:

As the daily mail correctly says, twerking is ancient not hip! Defined as "dancing to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low squatting stance", twerking can be traced back to hip-hop culture and bounce music in New Orleans in the 90's. Or to traditional African dances even before that. 

However, I'll accept Miley's the first to twerk while performing with Robin Thicke, while wearing a skin-colored, latex two-piece outfit, while playing with a giant foam finger, while revealing she has a similar tongue disorder to Barty Crouch in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. That's new. 

2. Miley Can't Twerk To Save Her Life:

Muhammad Ali, Tiger Woods, Lionel Messi, Usain Bolt, Michael Jackson, Lil Wayne, Elvis Presley, these people inspire others to follow in their footsteps. They're the best of the best. They've earned their titles. So when I hear Miley's 'signature dance move' is inspiring people worldwide to try new booty shaking workouts, I'm left with only one feeling; utter disbelief. Why? Because Miley can't twerk.

I'm not sure what Miley did at the VMAs can even be called twerking. I don't claim to be a twerking expert, but I can tell the difference between twerking and standard provocative dance moves like how I know the difference between jam and marmalade. I'd be more inclined to believe Miley helped skyrocket the sales of giant foam fingers. I'd put her twerking skills in the same league as this epic dog.

Obviously, the real question is why was Miley Cyrus' twerking such a big deal?

Is it because she's a young, popular, celebrity? 

No. Take a look at this video of Rihanna twerking. No one cares.

And click here to watch Rihanna's Pour It Up music video, which has 71 million views, before you argue it's because of the provocative way Miley was dancing.

Therefore, the question remains, why was Miley Cyrus' twerking such a big deal?

Although I don't like people who play the race card every chance they get, I do think this article - Rihanna twerks and all black women are 'whores'. Miley does it and it's just her who's judged - holds some truth. Why else would there suddenly be a twerking phenomenon when Miley does it considering the dance move's been around for decades? The change in perception and the level of the response depending on the race is interesting, to say the least.

It'd be even more interesting to know if the same would apply if the situation was reversed. If a black female celebrity suddenly did something only white women are 'expected to do', and I say that in the loosest sense possible, would the world go crazy all over again?

With the help of this hilarious post from Thought Catalog about what stereotypical white girls do, I made a list of 6 things people might get riled up about if black women suddenly started doing them:

1. The Cupid Shuffle, The Cha Cha Slide & The Wobble
2. Getting killed for their curiosity in movies
3. Being obsessed with tanning
4. Only wearing Hollister & Abercrombie
5. Craving Starbucks
6. Living on Pinterest & Tumblr

What do you think of the list?

Do you think the race card works both ways?

Before you go, here's proof twerking was alive and well long before Miley Cyrus came along:

The Twerk Team, September 28, 2009

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Why I Hate The Phrase "You Should Never Hit A Woman"

I'm worried.

Worried because I've delayed writing this post for about a year and a half.

Worried because I know most people out there won't agree with what I'm about to say.

But before you jump to conclusions, let me explain why I hate the phrase "You should never hit a woman".

Let me tell you a story.

During my final year at university, I was hanging out with some friends at a park. One of my friends was teasing another friend, a girl. Eventually, she decided he had gone too far. So, she punched him in the face. The next day, he had a black eye. Everyone laughed.

Now, what's funny about all this is that if it had been the other way around, no one would have laughed. Everybody would have turned on the guy who hit the girl. Would have been appalled at his behavior. Distanced themselves from him. Maybe even attacked him themselves.

Skeptical? Watch the video below.

When it comes to guys hitting girls, I know the status quo is. I understand where it comes from. But that doesn't mean I agree with it. Nor should you. Especially if you're a guy. But talk to most guys and they'll all be too quick to bow before it. Like a good soldier just following orders. Whatever they may be.

However, the ugly truth is that it doesn't make any sense. Think about your gut reaction when you hear of, or see a man being slapped by a woman. You either think it's funny, wonder what the guy did to deserve it, or have no response at all. But a woman can never deserve to be hit, it's unmanly.

There are 3 reasons why I find all of this kind of funny:

1. The Pop Culture Effect 

Perception controls everything. And when you over emphasize that "You Should Never Hit A Woman", the reverse, men being hit by women loses importance. Think about some of the shows you watch, there's bound to be a scene somewhere where a woman slaps a man. I've been watching a lot of Revolution and The Originals lately and there are certainly some fine slaps been dished out left, right and center. 

The problem is, when such behavior becomes a natural part of our TV experience, it makes it harder to separate it from day to day life. You could argue that seeing a man being slapped on TV has become normal. But if you saw a man give a woman, an uppercut to the jaw, eyebrows would be raised. That's not to say this encourages women to slap men, but it doesn't exactly discourage them either.

2. False Equality

You could call me a feminist. Or you could say I reject male chauvinism. I'm not interested in having thoughts as outdated as dinosaurs. Either way, I think it's fundamentally difficult to separate how you treat someone, from how you view them. If men don't think women are their equals, they won't treat them as such. This may be a stretch, but I believe the gut reaction to men hitting women relates to this.

If a man goes out of his way to annoy another man, by calling him names, insulting his mother, or something similar, and the man being insulted resorts to violence, a lot of people would call that justified. It would be stupid NOT to expect that reaction. But society has conditioned us not to treat women in the same way, not to treat them in the same way we would treat other men, even our closest friends if they pushed us too far.

Watch this distressing video and analyze your reaction to get my point.

3. The Phrase Itself

If you think I'm condoning men hitting women, you are truly mistaken. I'm a pacifist. I hate the phrase "You Should Never Hit A Woman", not the fact that men don't go around handing out left and right hooks all day like candy on Halloween. I hate it because of all the reasons mentioned above. Because logically, it should read "People Shouldn't Hit People".

I don't know about you, but I'm certainly not a fan of it being okay for people to hit each other. And although the lion's share of physical violence might be dominated by one sex over another, clearly the best thing to do is to encourage no violence towards each other at all. Sure, it's a tough pill to swallow, but you're not supposed to like your medicine, it's supposed to get the job done.

What do you think?

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

5 Quick Ways To Instantly Become More Productive

In 24 hours, you take roughly 8,000 steps, you inhale over 2600 gallons of air and your heart beats around 100,00 times.

Still, people often complain that 24 hours isn't enough time to get through their to do list.

The funny thing is, when you talk to these people, you quickly find out that they're always running out of time because they don't make the most of it.

Like your average Facebook Fanatic who checks Facebook 14 times a day, you only have yourself to blame.

If that sounds like you, these 5 quick tips should help you make the most of your day:

1. Prioritize - Do What You Want First

A great way to be more productive is to do what you want to first, and save what you need to do for later. Problem is, most people try to do it the other way around. Which makes sense, but never works out quite as well. 

Imagine you've got a hot date with the girl of your dreams, but you've also got an assignment that's due in first thing tomorrow. If you try to do the assignment first, and it ends up taking longer than you expected, you'll probably end up cancelling your date. 

But if you go on your date first, no matter what time you get home, you'll find a way to get that assignment done. Even if it means you have to staple your eyes open and risk getting a caffeine shock from drinking too much red bull. 

2. Disconnect - Your Phone Is The Enemy

Contrary to belief, your phone is not glued to your hand. Nor will the world explode if you turn it off. You don't always need be 'on', and if you're really trying to get some work done, you need to disconnect. 

No phone, no internet, no distractions. Just you and your work. You'll be amazed at how productive you can be when you're not constantly interrupted by emails, texts, calls, tweets and the like.

Of course, being able to multitask is important. But if you try to do absolutely everything at once, you won't get anything done at all. Think dominoes, you need to knock things down one by one.

3. Break Tasks Down - The Smaller The Better

Have you ever tried eating a 150oz steak in one go? It's hard to swallow. The same goes for your work load. Breaking up tasks into smaller chunks makes you work better because you focus more.

Think about how different you feel at the beginning, and at the end of a marathon, when the goal's in sight. You get a sudden burst of energy because you know there's not far to go.

Apply the same logic to your work.Writing 10,000 words in one night makes you feel like you've got a mountain to climb. But 500 words a day, that's more like a walk in the park.

4. Stop Being Idle - Time Is Money

When you're idle, you're just waiting for initiative to punch you in the face. There's a lot you can do with idle time like the morning journey to work, while you're cooking, or even just walking around.

Nowadays, I do a lot of my reading on the metro. 30 minutes everyday might not seem like much. But multiply that by 5 times a week, for 4 months and you've got 10 hours.

Enough time to read two short books if you're a fast reader like me.

5. Make Time - Decide What's Important

What exactly did you do today? When you think hard about it, your day often looks like this:

1. What I needed to do
2. What I ended up doing
3. What I wanted to do
4. What I could have done

Too often you focus a lot on number 1, take a break and waste too much time on number 2 (procrastinating), never have enough time for number 3, and then spend time wondering about number 4.

A productive persons day looks like this:

1. What I wanted to do
2. What I needed to do
3. What I could have done
4. What I ended up doing

The biggest difference between productive and unproductive people, is that productive people know exactly what they want out of a day and are willing to make time to make it happen.

Sometimes that might mean losing a few hours of sleep, or not watching the latest episode of your favorite TV show, but it's all in a days work.

When you're trying to be more productive, half the battle is approaching things in the right way. Like how you don't try and outrun a cheetah until he's struggling to move after stuffing down your hand cooked gazelle.

Remember, you need to Prioritize, DisconnectBreak Tasks Down, Stop Being Idle and Make Time. A little change, can make a big difference.

"Lost time is never found again" - Benjamin Franklin

Your Turn

Before you forget, why don't you try one of these 5 tips today and see the difference?

Can you think of any other useful tips on how to be more productive? 

Together we can try and put more sense into the world and stop people from wasting their days.

Monday, 30 September 2013

3 Must Know Secrets About The Worst Black Joke In The World

If you're black, or have black friends, you're probably quite familiar with this racist joke.

Especially if you live in, or have ever lived in, a predominantly white community.

It's a really short joke.


Nice tan.

Surprised? You're not alone.

Of course, there are countless variations from how did you get your tan, to your tan is way better than mine.

But it's the same thing really.

If you're wondering why it's such a bad joke, let me explain.

1. It's Not Insightful

Most funny black jokes work because they're based on some kind of racial stereotype that have an element of truth in them. I.E. They have a built-in insight you can relate to. Like this video that shows you the difference between a White Guy and a Black Guy Dunk. Basketball fans, you know it's true.

Here's an example. What do you call lots of black people buried up to their necks in sand? Afro turf. The insight is that black people are known for having afros. On the other hand, the joke nice tan, offers no insight whatsoever.

2. It's Not Funny

Largely because there is no insight, this racist joke isn't actually funny. Clearly, everybody has a different sense of humor. From people, like me, who find Goats Yelling Like Humans absolutely hilarious, to people who just can't enough of The Fox Song. But, I think it's safe to say that nice tan, is universally not funny.

You can tell it's not funny because although black people may laugh, they'll probably use their Awkward Laugh whenever they hear the joke. Because they're not really sure what else to do. Especially if you're at a social gathering.

3. It's Not A Joke

In addition to not having any insight, and not being funny, this black joke is so bad because it's not even a joke. If you've ever used this joke, or heard it being said and not got the reaction you expected, it's because this is what you think happened:

But, this is what actually happened

And unless you're Dave Chappelle, most black people already know that they're black.

What do you think about the worst black joke in the world?

Or do you think it's not actually that bad?

Sunday, 29 September 2013

How Using Photoshop Is Just As Bad As Wearing Make-Up

"Boys think girls are like books, if the cover doesn't catch their eye they won't bother to read what's inside."

That's the cause the of the latest rivalry in town.

Move aside Batman Vs The Joker !

Time for The Professional Makeup Artist Vs The Photoshop Expert.

Professional Makeup Artist

Photoshop Expert

Honestly, the rivalry appeared out of nowhere.

I went out for dinner with some friends, and one girl started talking about how she dislikes girls that use photoshop to make themselves look beautiful.

She said it was dishonest, because you're not showing your true self.

I countered by saying that fundamentally, how is that different from using makeup to make yourself look beautiful?

Whether you use makeup or photoshop, at the core, you're still using something artificial to make yourself look better.

My friend disagreed, a lot.

Thus, the heated debate was born.

This excellent video, shows you the combined power of makeup and photoshop. It's frightening.

For me, the most interesting insight that came out of the debate was something someone said; "I hate wearing makeup but I feel like I need to."

Ladies, what do you think?

- Is the Professional Makeup Artist any different from the Photoshop Expert?


Let's discuss in the comments.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Why You Should Never Split The Bill And Why Guys Should Always Pay

Dating isn't easy.

But often, we make things harder for ourselves.

By creating lots of dating rules you're supposed to follow that turn into unresolved debates.

Where no one's completely sure what's right or wrong.

Take the classic, who is supposed to pay on a date?

Should the guy pay?

Or should you split it?

Or should the guy be willing to pay, but let the girl split it if she wants too?

Or should the girl offer to split it but the guy insist on paying?

And so on.

This is stupid.

Honestly, the guy should ALWAYS pay.

But not for the reason you think.

Not because of some chauvinistic ideal of men as the proverbial breadwinners.

Or because of an outdated notion that women must be pampered.

It's much simpler than that.

If YOU take a girl out, YOU should pay.

When you get someone a present, you don't expect something in return.

When you offer to make someone dinner, you don't ask them to cook.

When you take someone out on a date, you shouldn't ask them to pay.

Because it's a gift.

Of course, this only applies if you're in Phase 2 of The Dating Game.

You know, when you're on those first few dates before it's official.

Otherwise, it's a different story entirely.

Don't forget to share if you agree.