Blog Posts by Lindsay MacAdam

  • Q&A: Canadian Olympians Mary Spencer and Annamay Pierse talk sports, health and beauty

    Canadian Olympic boxer Mary Spencer. (Credit: P&G Beauty & Grooming)The London 2012 Olympics are quickly approaching and Olympic fever is slowly setting in. While Canada's Olympic athletes have always been a great source of inspiration, the female athletes are particularly notable for setting positive examples of what it means to be healthy, strong and driven women.

    Canadian boxer Mary Spencer is currently ranked #1 in the world and is a gold-medal favourite for this summer's Olympic Games, which will be the first time women's boxing is a part of the Olympics. The 27-year-old from Wiarton, Ontario, has already made her mark on the boxing world, with three women's world championships, eight national championships and five Pan American Games gold medals already under her belt.

    Canadian swimmer Annamay Pierse is a world-record holder and a world championship silver medalist, who represented Canada at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. She is an inspiration and a positive role model for young girls.

    We had a chance to sit down with these two impressive Canadian

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  • Fingerprint scans prevent over-tanning in the U.K.

    U.K. tanning salons are requiring customers to take a fingerprint scan to avoid excessive tanning.(Credit: Thinkstock)Using fingerprints to allow access to spaces and services might bring to mind some kind of sci-fi thriller, but if you're thinking about going for a pre-summer tan at a U.K. beauty salon, you'd better get ready to step into the future.

    Hundreds of tanning salons in the U.K. are now using fingerprint scanning technology for their check-in systems, reports the Daily Mail. Their reasoning? To prevent customers from fake-and-baking more than once a day and to prevent minors from borrowing their friends' membership cards to tan illegally.

    One of the U.K.'s largest tanning businesses, The Tanning Shop, has already implemented fingerprint scanners in 70 per cent of its 90 locations. The scanners are actually very reasonably priced, which is probably part of the appeal, at less than $200 each. But the reason we haven't seen this technology elsewhere is because of the dangers of making your personal biometric information publicly available. What could happen if that information fell into the

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  • Psychologists warn too much plastic surgery could cause identity crisis

    Psychologists warn that plastic surgery can lead to an identity crisis, among other psychological issues. (Credit: Thinkstock)If you were a fan of the MTV reality series The Hills, you'll remember the complete physical transformation of Heidi Montag, the on-again, off-again BFF of the show's star Lauren Conrad and girlfriend of the much-loathed Spencer Pratt. In mere months, she went from a petite, natural beauty from Colorado to resembling some sort of platinum blonde Playboy Barbie as a result of multiple facial and body reconstructive surgeries that she didn't even attempt to hide from the public. What's worse is that she was in her early 20s at the time.

    We all figured that deep psychological issues were at the root of Montag's shocking procedure list, and now, according to a number of U.S. psychologists, we can safely assume that she may also be suffering from an identity crisis.

    Related:  Sweden introduces 'hen', a gender neutral term for 'he' and 'she'

    Psychologist Paul Lorenc tells the Daily Mail that most patients undergo cosmetic surgery for the wrong reasons, wanting to look similar to a

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  • Sweden introduces ‘hen’, a gender-neutral term for ‘he’ and ‘she’

    A catalog for a Swedish toy company debunks gender stereotypes by showing Spiderman pushing a baby carriage. (Credit: Leklust) It's certainly true that our society has a tendency to push certain characteristics upon genders, beginning from infancy and continuing into adulthood. Boys have a wardrobe full of blue before they're even born, just as girls are bundled in pink.  Girls get Barbies while boys get monster trucks; girls are enrolled in ballet class as boys are registered for ice hockey. The expectations of what they should be interested in and how they're supposed to carry themselves are enforced right from the start.

    In Sweden, activists are taking the quest for gender equality one step further. Earlier this month, the country added a new gender-neutral pronoun to the online version of its National Encyclopedia: "hen" will be used to replace both "he" and "she", reports Slate.

    Related: Mom delays chemo to save baby, may not live to see child grow up

    The gender-neutral debate is a hot topic in Sweden. The new personal pronoun was sparked by the country's first gender-neutral children's book, Kivi and

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  • Red wine could be good for your waistline: study

    New research suggests that a compound in red wine can stop young fat cells from maturing. (Credit: Thinkstock)If you need yet another reason to justify your glass of red wine with dinner habit, here it is. Researchers from Purdue University in Indiana have found there's a compound in red wine that prevents the growth of underdeveloped fat cells, reports the NY Daily News. And there's no need to feel excluded if you're not a wine drinker, as this very same compound is also found in passion fruit, blueberries and, of course, grapes.

    The compound, called piceatannol, is also believed to help prevent heart disease and cancer -- not unlike resveratrol, the previously discovered compound in red wine that's praised for its heart-healthy benefits. According to the NY Daily News, resveratrol turns into piceatannol after consumption by humans.

    Related: Las Vegas doctors on call to cure hangovers at home

    The Purdue University study concludes that the newly discovered compound has serious potential for preventing and managing obesity.

    "In the presence of piceatannol, you can see delay or complete

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  • Las Vegas doctors on call to cure hangovers at home

    For $90, a Las Vegas business will cure your hangover with a doctor administered IV treatment, right at your doorstep.(Credit: Thinkstock)
    We've all been there -- laying in bed the morning after a big night out, with a wine headache that just won't quit and a thirst that no amount of water can quench. We've wished, with all seriousness aside, that a doctor would show up at the door with a magical potion to fix us right up, knowing full-well that will never happen. Well, if you're vacationing in Las Vegas, that impossible dream has become a reality.

    With introductory prices starting at $90, Hangover Heaven will pull its bus up to the front door of your hotel. Inside, you'll be fitted with an intravenous that will pump you full of FDA-approved vitamins, anti-inflammatories and anti-nausea medication, reports the Huffington Post UK. You'll be back to your old self in less than an hour, the company claims.

    What's more, the company's newest VIP service, for those who cannot possibly make it out to the bus stop, provides a real-life doctor
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  • Tim Tebow’s pampered feet: Male pedicures on the rise for athletes

    Tim Tebow of the New York Jets enjoys getting pedicures. (Credit: Getty)
    Pedicure season is almost upon us, and while you might be inclined think that your mani-pedi pampering routine is strictly reserved for the ladies on a Saturday afternoon shopping break, that seems to no longer be the case. The next time you pop in for a quick beauty fix at your local nail spa, you might be in the company of a few burly men -- athletes, no less.

    Some high-profile male athletes like New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow and Miami Heat shooting guard Dwayne Wade have recently been spotted getting their feet tended to, and not in the medical sense. They do, however, claim they're in it for the health benefits rather than the cosmetic appeal.

    "Regular sports pedicures reduce the development of blisters and calluses," says Cedric Bryant, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise, to the Wall Street Journal. "And the massaging can help with muscle soreness."

    Dr. Howard Osterman, the podiatrist for the
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  • Hormone oxytocin could improve men’s libido, study suggests

    According to a case study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the hormone oxytocin may be used to increase male sexual function. (Credit: Thinkstock)Move over, Viagra, there's a new libido booster in town. According to a case study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine, doctors from the University of California discovered a potential new use for the hormone oxytocin -- to increase male sexual function.

    The discovery was somewhat of a mistake when treating a married father of three for ADHD and social anxiety disorder. The patient's medications weren't helping him, and the doctor -- aware of the research suggesting that oxytocin improves social functioning -- prescribed it in the form of a nasal spray.

    The oxytocin led to a shocking 46 per cent improvement in the bedroom, including improved erectile function and increased arousal and desire.

    Related: New website gives single guys fake companionship for a price

    "This is the first case we are aware of documenting broad-spectrum benefits of chronic intranasal oxytocin on male sexual function," the report states. "Future trials of oxytocin for psychiatric indications should specifically

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  • Gene mutation tied to autism risk in children, scientists say

    Scientists believe they may have discovered a specific gene mutation that increases the risk of a child developing autism. (Credit: Thinkstock)Three independent teams of scientists -- from Yale, Harvard and the University of Washington in Seattle -- are in agreement, for the first time, that there is a specific gene mutation that increases the risk of a child developing autism, reports the New York Times.

    The gene mutation the researchers have pinpointed, called de novo, only makes up a minuscule percentage of autism cases, but the discovery is progress nonetheless.

    The decades-long debate about biological versus environmental triggers was finally given some clarity, even if only for this small group of children. From these findings, the scientists have been able to establish a strategic plan for how to further increase their knowledge about the biological basis of autism, a disease that affects as many as one in every 150 children in Canada, according to Autism Speaks.

    Related: Can the likelihood of divorce be ingrained in a woman's genes?

    "These studies aren't so much a breakthrough, because we knew this was coming,"

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  • Parents take girls outside to play less often than boys: study

    A recent American study found that parents take preschool aged girls out to play less 16 per cent less often than boys. (Credit: Thinkstock)Thinking back to childhood days, it's safe to say that most of us will fondly recall bike rides, swimming pools, hopscotch, jumprope, running through sprinklers, games of tag and dance routines on the front lawn. Childhood was, in a word, active. But times are changing.

    A study published recently in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, has found that American preschool aged girls are 16 per cent less likely to be taken outside by parents than similarly aged boys. The study also found that nearly half of preschoolers aren't taken outside to play by their parents on a daily basis.

    Related: Labour takes longer today than 50 years ago: study

    As for the discrepency between boys and girls, the New York Times reports, "the researchers behind this article suggest that little boys may be perceived by parents as more in need of vigorous activity, more athletically inclined or even more willing to get dirty."

    The study, conducted by the Seattle Children's Hospital and

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