Blog Posts by Sofi Papamarko

  • Tube-feeding diet used by U.S. bride to slim down

    How far would you go to shed some last-minute pounds before your big day? Some desperate brides-to-be are giving up food altogether.

    According to the New York Times, the latest wedding craze is all about taking drastic measures when it comes to weight-loss. The paper reports that Jessica Schnaider, a 41-year-old Floridian bride-to-be, spent eight days eating through a tube to lose weight before her wedding day. She lost a total of 10 pounds on the KEN diet.

    See the news report below:

    Instead of chowing down on a tasty and nutritious tuna sandwich, Schnaider got all her nutrients, protein and fats from a liquid that entered her body via tube in her nose, trickling down her esophagus and dripping into her stomach.

    It is a concept both appetizing and sexy!

    "Patients literally burn two pounds of fat per day for ten days," Dr. di Pietro says of the drastic diet in a YouTube video.

    Related: Tube feeding weight-loss diet reaches the U.K.

    Known as the KEN (Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition) diet in

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  • International survey says women more moral than men

    An international online survey claims that women are more moral than men. What do you think? (Credit: Thinkstock)If you're a morally upstanding citizen both at work and in your personal life, chances are fairly good that you are possessing of two X-chromosomes.

    According to an online survey taken by approximately 60,000 people in over 200 countries — including Canada -- women tend to be more willing to put others first in the workplace, whereas men tend to be more self-interested.

    But some experts are thoroughly skeptical.

    "There is a long history of gender differences in the field of moral psychology," says Elizabeth Page-Gould, assistant professor of psychology at The University of Toronto. "And there are as many studies saying men are more moral than women as vice versa, and even more that find no sex differences whatsoever."

    Related: 94-year-old billionaire marries for 5th time

    The survey's creators are psychologist Pavlos Stamboulides and Roger Steare -- the author of ethicability®: How to decide what's right and find the courage to do it and ethics professor at London's Cass Business

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  • H&M’s eco-conscious red carpet collection hits stores

    H&M launched their eco-conscious red carpet collection on Friday. (Credit: H&M)When we think of environmentally sustainable fashion, we tend to envision yoga wear crafted from bamboo fibers and patchouli-scented peasant skirts. But H&M's new Exclusive Conscious collection is glamming up green.

    The collection, which hit stores Friday, features red carpet-ready designs that wouldn't be out of place at a film premiere or black tie soiree.

    Related: H&M to open new retail chain in 2013

    "This collection is meant to show the diversity of what has now become possible with greener fashion," says Karen Richter, showroom manager for H&M Canada. "Each outfit has an individual style that stands on its own, which is similar to the feel of red carpet fashion today — everyone wants to have a unique look."

    While inspired by high-end designers, the collection features affordable pieces made up of sustainable fabrics, such as recycled polyester and hemp.

    Related: H&M's 'corpse-like' model stirs up controversy

    Appropriately enough, the release of the Exclusive Conscious collection

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  • ‘Chork’ combines chopsticks and a fork in one utensil

    The chork is a utensil that doubles as a chopstick and a folk. (Credit: The Chork)It might just be the greatest innovation in eating since the Spork. Combining the elegance of chopsticks and the simplicity of a fork into one tool, think of the Chork as the great equalizer of utensils.

    If you've ever struggled with chopsticks in a food court or sheepishly requested a fork in a Cantonese restaurant, you're not alone.

    "My issue with chopsticks stem from having terrible hand-eye-mouth coordination," says Elizabeth Robichaud, a self-described foodie in Toronto whose personal claim to foodie fame was once appearing on an episode of Eat St. "I still haven't perfected how to hold chopsticks so it looks like Edward Scissorhands is trying to stab a piece of sushi or Korean barbecue. I don't want to be the odd duck out who uses a fork…so I solider onwards."

    Related: '1000 Awesome Things' comes to end

    For Elizabeth and those like her, the Chork could be the answer to your culinary clumsiness.

    Casey Chan at Gizmodo explains:

    The Chork is a disposable utensil that starts off as

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  • Bertold Wiesner, biologist, fathered hundreds at own fertility clinic

    Who's your daddy?

    If you were conceived with the aid of a sperm donor, your father might just be Bertold Wiesner. The Austrian biologist who opened a fertility clinic in London, England with his wife in the 1940s has helped approximately 1500 women to conceive, reports the Telegraph.

    But Wiesner may have had more of a hand in these pregnancies than anyone realized at the time.

    Check out a video news report here:

    Although the sperm donors from the clinic were taken from a small pool of highly intelligent candidates, the pool may have been smaller than reasonably expected. DNA tests on 18 people conceived at the clinic between 1943 and 1962 showed that Wiesner himself was the biological father of two thirds of them.

    "A conservative estimate is that it would have made twenty grants per year," David Gollancz, one of the many children conceived at Wiesner's fertility clinic who was fathered by Wiesner, tells the Sunday Times. "Using standard figures for the number of births that result,

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  • Pheromone parties attempt to match singles by scent

    Pheromone parties involve guests wearing a t-shirt for three days and then sneak it into a Ziploc bag that will be passed around the party being sniffed in order to find a mate. (Credit: The Pheromone Party)Looking for love? Just follow your nose. A strange new kind of party popping up in the United States has put a decidedly smelly spin on dating.

    Pheromone parties are a new breed of singles parties where guests are asked to wear a plain white t-shirt for three days (and nights) and then sneak it into a numbered Ziploc bag in order to capture your distinct personal scent. Other party guests mill around, socializing and leisurely sniffing the bagged t-shirts until they discover an odor that they find overwhelmingly attractive. Boom! An olfactory connection is made.

    Pheromones are a kind of hormone found in animals that have long been suspected of communicating genetic suitability to others, helping to lure in strongly compatible mates.

    The first party was held in Los Angeles, with hopes for the next one to be in New York City.

    Related: Hormone oxytocin may improve men's libido

    "For my entire life, I dated intellectually," explains Judith Prays, the 25-year-old organizer of Pheromone

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  • Niceness may be genetic, says new research

    Researchers believe they may have found two receptor genes that play a role in how kind a person is. (Credit: Thinkstock)Add another log to the fire of the nature vs. nurture debate.

    A new study out of the University of Buffalo suggests that the kindness and generosity of a person can actually be linked to their genetic make-up.

    "We aren't saying we've found the niceness gene," Michael Poulin, assistant professor of psychology at University of Buffalo and the study's principal author, tells Psych Central. "But we have found a gene that makes a contribution when certain feelings about the world around them are present."

    Related: Ontario Health Study hits major milestone -- largest Canadian health study

    The study surveyed 711 Americans about their attitudes relating to such things as civic duty, generosity and their personal views on the world. The researchers also took saliva samples in order to study the DNA of those surveyed and compared the results with their mentality.

    Those surveyed who had versions of receptor genes for two hormones, oxytocin and vasopressin, were more likely to be caring and

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  • Are there fewer job opportunities for attractive women?

    Research out of Israel suggests that attractive women have a harder time getting job interviews. (Credit: Thinkstock)Beauty may only be skin-deep, but could your good looks be sabotaging your employment opportunities?

    According to a new study from two universities in Israel, a woman's good looks are detrimental to her finding a job.

    The researchers conclude that beautiful women are discriminated against, but not because their would-be employers equate a pretty face with lower intelligence  -- the "dumb-blonde hypothesis" or "the bimbo effect".  It's for another reason altogether.

    They suggest that beautiful women aren't getting job interviews on account of women in human resource departments feeling threatened by their looks.

    Related: Tim Tebow's pampered feet: Male pedicures on the rise for athletes

    In Europe and Israel it is common to imbed a headshot to your resume. Therefore, the  methodology of the study involved sending out resumes of men and women to 2656 companies, some with photos and some without. Ninety three percent of the human resource representatives who determined who got an

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  • Condiment woes: Is relish on its way out?

    Despite its position as an old stand-by at ballparks and hot dog stands, relish is disappearing from restaurant menus, reports a recent New York Times article. (Credit: Thinkstock)Could relish be on the endangered condiments list?

    According to a recent article in the New York Times, the most maligned of all the condiments is staring down the barrel of a gun. Or, more accurately, a hot dog bun.

    Despite its position as an old stand-by at ballparks and hot dog stands, relish is disappearing from restaurant menus. Table caddies in retro diners and restaurants seem to have downsized to just ketchup and mustard (and maybe some vinegar). Fast-food joints like McDonald's and Burger King have lately vanished relish from the premises. And upscale places are more likely to serve their burgers with sundried tomato aioli or wasabi mayo alongside yam frites.

    Related: Why you should wash your reusable grocery bags

    From the New York Times:

    As for relish's absence from many restaurants, blame the chunky consistency. Unlike ketchup and mustard, relish can't be easily pumped or squeezed from sealed dispensers at a table or condiment station, said Randy Garutti, the chief executive

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  • Ashley Judd’s ‘puffy face’ essay launches a thousand tweets

    Ashley Judd has written a slamming essay against public criticism and speculation over her "puffy face". (Credit: Getty Images)Ashley Judd is so much more than just a pretty face.

    She recently wrote an essay expressing her outrage about the public criticism and speculation on her "puffy face" -- was it plastic surgery? Weight gain?

    The essay has now gone viral, sparking energetic dialogue both on and offline about rampant and superficial critiques of those in the public eye, and on the female body in general.

    Judd writes that women are much more than the sum of their body parts:

    The Conversation about women's bodies exists largely outside of us, while it is also directed at (and marketed to) us, and used to define and control us. The Conversation about women happens everywhere, publicly and privately. We are described and detailed, our faces and bodies analyzed and picked apart, our worth ascertained and ascribed based on the reduction of personhood to simple physical objectification. Our voices, our personhood, our potential, and our accomplishments are regularly minimized and muted.

    Ryan Porter,

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