In 1929, producer Hal Roach and director Robert McGowan had to hold a nationwide audition to find an obese child to play Chubby in the new sound version of "Our Gang." They eventually signed 12-year-old Norman Chaney -- who was 3 feet, 11 inches tall and weighed 113 pounds -- to a two-year contract.
Today you wouldn't have to look that hard to ...Read more
The last time you couldn't remember where you put your keys, did you wish you had a photographic memory? Well, not everybody is cut out to be a Brad Williams. A Wisconsin native, Brad is an award-winning journalist and radio personality who was the subject of his brother's documentary, "Unforgettable," because of his uncanny ability to remember ...Read more
ProCon.org says that 1,246,170 people are card-carrying medical marijuana users. A 2017 Yahoo News/Marist poll found that 52 percent of Americans over 18 have tried marijuana. Furthermore, 44 percent of those who tried it once still use it today.
So, it shouldn't come as a surprise that with the cost of 1 ounce of legal pot in Colorado going ...Read more
Ever wondered why a dish prepared with spinach is said to be "Florentine"? Well, it's because Catherine de Medici, who was from Florence, was a super fan of this super green. She liked it so much that in 1533, after she had married Henry II and become queen of France, she decreed that every meal in the palace be served with spinach.
In the ...Read more
Chances are you've spent more than one night tossing and turning. Up to 70 million U.S. adults have a sleep disorder. But if you're rapper Eminem and a tour means you're not in the same time zone for more than a night or two, getting a good night's sleep is an extra challenge. His solution (odd, but the right impulse) is to put tinfoil on his ...Read more
When Tiger Woods tied for fifth place at Bay Hill last March, it showed that his two-year-long recovery from knee and back surgeries was paying off. Now Tiger fans expect fewer strokes every time he plays.
That same principle of stroke recovery applies to the 7 million Americans who are stroke survivors. But far too many aren't getting back in ...Read more
If you're binge watching all 12 episodes of "Homeland," 13 of "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" or 10 of "Mozart in the Jungle," you're not alone. About 58 percent of Americans have binge watched a show. But bingeing isn't just for couch potatoes in training. Americans are super-bingers of alcohol and food, too.
One in 6 U.S. adults binge drinks. ...Read more
Sgt. Pepper may have led the Lonely Hearts Club Band for the Beatles in 1967, but we're promoting him to major general and spreading the pepper around as much as possible. Turns out this spice contains an ingredient called piperine that has amazing powers. It is, as a study in Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology points out, anti-oxidant,...Read more
Life After Death, Powerful Evidence You Will Never Die: Second EditionStephen Hawley Martin
A number of scientists that study human perception now realize our minds are non-local. As is the case with the Universal Mind to which our personal minds are connected, our minds are not confined to our heads or brains. Rather, the brain...
A recent report in BMJ looked at the case of a 28-year-old male triathlete with hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). After surgery to sever sympathetic nerves in order to control the problem, he couldn't escape postoperative pain, despite taking medication and doing physical therapy. So he went to a spot where he'd started triathlons and jumped ...Read more
In the 2011 comedy "What's Your Number," Ally (Anna Faris) decides to revisit ex-boyfriends in hopes that one of them will turn out to be "the one." In one scene, she runs into an ex, Donald, and flashes back to their less-than-healthy relationship. Both were overweight. Ally suggests cooking, but Donald wants to go out to eat. Back in the ...Read more
In a memorable scene from "The Big Bang Theory," nerdy scientist Sheldon gets uncharacteristically drunk and wakes up in the morning to discover that he called Stephen Hawking repeatedly. The episode ends with a shot of Hawking's office door as a series of voicemails plays behind it. "Hawkman! It's your old buddy!" And then: "It's me again. I ...Read more
We don't recommend eating a lot of cheese, because it's loaded with saturated fats and proteins that may cause changes in your gut microbiome and stimulate inflammation. But we also know that it's a food that inspires passionate opinion based on texture, taste and smell. Apparently the author James Joyce was among those who find cheese to be, ...Read more
In 1865, as a 1-year-old, Annie Jones Elliot was put in P.T. Barnum's sideshow as the new "Infant Esau." ("Esau" in Hebrew means "hairy.") By 5, The Bearded Girl had sideburns and a mustache, and was launched on her lifelong career as The Bearded Woman.
Annie was unusually hairy, but 7 percent of women contend with some degree of hirsutism, or ...Read more
The massive swings in the value of bitcoin over the past few years has been pretty amazing. Take what happened to Norwegian Kristoffer Koch. In 2009, he was writing a college thesis on encryption and spent about $27 to buy 5,000 bitcoins. But, according to Marketwatch.com, in 2013 he discovered they were worth about $886,000. Later that same ...Read more
In 1956, Greyhound bus lines advertisements advised, "Go Greyhound and leave the driving to us!" Well, today, that sentiment applies to direct-to-consumer genetic tests for disease risks: For reliable advice, please leave the interpretation to the experts.
In a recent study published in Nature, researchers reported that up to 40 percent of DTC ...Read more
In an episode of "The Mindy Project," Mindy Kaling has an argument with her boyfriend and starts eating a hunk of cookie dough. "Oh, cookie dough, please solve my problems," she begs the fast-disappearing sweet. A colleague notices her and asks: "Stress eating again?"
Emotions and eating are joined at the hip (or the waist), according to a new ...Read more
On their way to winning the World Series, the 2017 Houston Astros hit 238 home runs. They also struck out 1,087 times. Lesson learned: Sometimes you'll swing and miss, but you don't win unless you step up to the plate and let it rip.
There's also a lesson in there for those of you who are not pleased with the effectiveness of the latest flu ...Read more
Singer Pink gained more than 55 pounds while pregnant, as did celebrity Kim Kardashian. Playboy Playmate Kendra Wilkinson packed on over 60, and chronicled her battle to lose that weight on her reality show, "Kendra." Each gained more weight than is recommended for her health and the health of her baby, both while pregnant and after birth. Seems...Read more
On opening day, March 29, all 30 MLB baseball teams will start off with the same standing. The Detroit Tigers (W-64, L-98 in 2017) will have the same standing as the Cleveland Indians (W-102, L-60). But it's a long way to the season's end in October, and through the season the standings probably will change many times.
According to Australian ...Read more
In a "Funny or Die" PSA, Will Ferrell plays a man with his face buried in his smartphone while at his family dinner table. When his daughter announces she drew a horse that day, Ferrell responds "Good for you, son." His son then declares, "I'm selling bongs out of our minivan." As the overblown "confessions" snowball, Ferrell never looks up to ...Read more