In the 2018 film "Dumplin'," Rosie (Jennifer Aniston) is a former beauty queen and mother of a teen nicknamed Dumplin' (Danielle Macdonald), a toxic label Mom gave her as a child because she was heavyset. Now, in school and at home, the only thing anyone seems to notice about Willowdean (her real name) is the extra pounds she still carries. That...Read more
Almost 70 years ago a Swiss accordion player created the "Duck Dance." A few decades later, a German band performed the song at an Oktoberfest celebration but couldn't find a duck costume. They dressed the dancer as a chicken instead, and the world-famous "Chicken Dance" was born. It soon became a favorite activity at sporting events and ...Read more
Actress Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket in "The Hunger Games") appeared in the 2012 PSA "A Little Heart Attack," about a working mother of two who is unaware she's experiencing a cardiac event. Banks' character is so absorbed in multitasking -- doing the laundry, taking a work phone call, making lunch for her kids -- that she never asks herself ...Read more
Shaquille O'Neal won three NBA championships (2000, 2001, 2002) with the LA Lakers, coached by the "Zen Master" Phil Jackson. During Shaq's initiation into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016, he credited Jackson with helping him attain a higher level of play. In fact, he recalled how Jackson would make the players meditate before a game, while ...Read more
You can make the all-star team 12 times, earn 10 Golden Gloves awards and get voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, but, as Mike Schmidt discovered, all that time spent in the sun may come at a price. In 2014, he was diagnosed with stage III melanoma. It had spread to his lymph nodes, lungs and brain; he had multiple ...Read more
In the satirical film "Idiocracy," an energy drink called Brawndo, "the Thirst Mutilator," has completely replaced water, which is used only to flush toilets. But then, it's a world in which everyone is living "la vida idioca."
In the U.S., too, a lot of people are drinking juiced-up, sweetened (or artificially sweetened) energy drinks. A new ...Read more
Did the Fonz (Henry Winkler) know that mountain climbers often get nosebleeds at high altitudes because as the amount of oxygen in the air decreases and the air becomes drier, blood vessels inside your nose can crack and bleed? Apparently he did. In one episode of "Happy Days," when he ends up sitting near the top of the cheap seats at a concert...Read more
In the 2015 film "Still Alice," Julianne Moore plays a beautiful and successful woman who's diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. The film tracks her journey with compassion and honesty, and provides a startling picture of the often-overlooked toll that dementia takes on family caregivers.
There are approximately 16 million caregivers...Read more
The Cleveland Browns are a bit defensive about their recent record -- even though it improved last year, they've won only eight games in the past three seasons! But coach Freddie Kitchens is confident that Cleveland's new players, defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, defensive end Olivier Vernon and safety Morgan Burnette, will make a difference...Read more
Hans and Franz, the Austrian bodybuilders (Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon) on "SNL," started each sketch with their tag line: "We want to pump (clap) you up!" Those characters first appeared in 1987, and it was, says the National Drug Abuse Institute, the decade when many everyday jocks started using steroids to enhance their muscle mass. Now, ...Read more
If you type "angriest" into Google search, you get: "Angriest Man in Brooklyn" (a 2014 Robin Williams movie); "Angriest Dog in the World" (a comic strip by David Lynch, creator/writer of "Twin Peaks"); and Angriest Whopper (a fast-food burger with a bright-red bun).
Clearly, people spend a lot of time trying to figure out what to do about (and ...Read more
When Swedish-born PGA golfer Jesper Parnevik wanted to clean out his system after a season of eating lousy food on tour, he decided to ingest (and not in jest) something a little different: volcanic sand. "I just take it straight. It's from somewhere in Europe. I bring it back from Sweden."
Pro golfers aren't the only athletes who engage in ...Read more
In the 2009 comedy "The Slammin' Salmon" a desperate restaurant owner comes up with a contest to see which waiter can reel in the most money in a night -- so, they're serving as much salmon as possible.
Not a hard sell. Americans eat around 350,000 pounds annually! But buying (or ordering) salmon can be confusing, so here's what you need to ...Read more
To look like Chris Hemsworth in two "Thor" films, his stunt double, Bobby Holland Hanton, reportedly ate 35 times a day -- sticking with grilled chicken, turkey, spinach, nuts and boiled eggs. Even he says that's over the top.
But you don't need to be a superhero to overdo your quest for a more fit body. Even postmenopausal women can end up ...Read more
A recent millennial-targeted advertising campaign for diet soda features actress Gillian Jacobs (Brita on the TV-comedy "Community"), who says that a certain zero-calorie drink makes her feel good and suggests viewers adopt her POV: "Life is short ... just do you." These days, celeb-fueled advertisements, including less-than-subtle product ...Read more
Besides being Madonna's chef, Mayumi Nishimura is the author of a macrobiotic cookbook called "Mayumi's Kitchen." It details how to prepare whole grains, vegetables and beans, as well as seafood, fruit, pickles and nuts. That's great news for expecting Madonnas, since new research has shown that for pregnant women, eating a nut-rich diet in the ...Read more
Janet Jackson talks openly about how she's used food to soothe tension. In an interview with the Telegraph, she once said: "Food has always brought me comfort and the bingeing is triggered when I'm in a space that is not positive ... When I'm feeling down on myself or not feeling good about who I am, or maybe something happened and I'm feeling ...Read more
Sugar advertisements in the 1950s, '60s, and '70s made claims that make our blood boil: One ad said 3 teaspoons of sugar contains fewer calories than one medium apple, and "supplies quick energy -- fast!" As if 3 teaspoons a day could keep the doctor away!
These days, you know that such candy-coated claims are ridiculous and dead wrong, so you ...Read more
In the 1984 film "Ghostbusters," Harold Ramis, Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd were perfectly cast as the A-team of nerdy paranormal investigators. But Aykroyd, one of the authors of the screenplay, was especially suited to the project. He has Asperger's (a condition that's an autism spectrum disorder). That, he says, triggered his obsession with ...Read more
Tom Brady may be the winningest quarterback in NFL history (207 wins over 19 years) but that doesn't make him infallible. In his 2017 audaciously titled book, "The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance," he drops the ball when it comes to understanding how to prevent sunburn and the enormous importance of doing so ...Read more