‘Computer face’ is giving women wrinkles

I’ve heard all sorts of myths about how women can avoid or delay wrinkles by not smiling/laughing, wearing sunglasses as often as possible, not using straws… but this is a new one.  A leading cosmetic surgeon in London says women are starting to develop “computer face.”

According to the London Daily Mail, Dr. Michael Prager is warning against jobs where women spend long hours in front of a computer screen.  Apparently, it leads to saggy jowls, “turkey neck,” and deep wrinkles on the forehead and around the eyes.  Collectively, the Botox specialist is calling this “computer face” and saying he sees this early signs of aging most in women who work in an office. 

Come on.

He’s trying to pad his wallet and convince more people to get plastic surgery.  Looking at a computer screen doesn’t give you turkey neck anymore than reading a book does or going for a walk.

He does, however, offer these suggestions to “save your skin”:
1. Take regular breaks away from your screen
2. Kiss the ceiling (puckering up & stretching your neck back will use muscles that would otherwise weaken and sag)
3. Regularly stretch your neck from left to right, and hold for several seconds
4. Raise your computer screen so you are not looking downwards at it

Interesting.  Do you believe it?

Google, CEO convicted of defamation

THIS IS A BIG DEAL.  No, seriously.  Defamation in the age of the internet is a hard lawsuit to convict and, since various sites have been frantically trying to replicate Google’s much buzzed-about new “instant search” function, this IS a big deal.

A Paris court has convicted Google and its CEO Eric Schmidt of defamation (Yahoo! Tech News) after the new search function started suggesting the words “rapist” and “satanist” when the plaintiff’s name was typed into the search engine.  They ruled a symbolic payment of 1 euro in damages must be paid, but the implication is huge — a search engine linking a person’s name to negative words can be deemed defamatory. 

This changes everything.

Google will surely be appealing, but they were also ordered to pay 5,000 euros for the plaintiff’s court costs and, if the conviction holds, this could kill Google’s instant search function and the future of search engines could be forced to take a different direction.  I’d be upset if a person started typing in my name and “rapist” came up, immediately associating my name with the word – after all, if Google somehow associated it, then it’s easy to expect someone else would. 

Goodbye, instant search.  (I hope.)

Personally, I’m glad.  I love most of what Google’s done for the internet, but I hate the instant search function.  It never finds what I’m searching for until after I’ve typed in the whole search string.  Further, it makes Google’s homepage run slower because it’s running multiple searches with every keystroke – annoying.

With Google’s phone falling out of the hot seat, Google Buzz becoming buzz-less, and now this… are things finally going to end for Google’s reign of the internet?  Aw, we still love their search engine.  And the cute pictures they put on Google.com for anniversaries and special events.  Speaking of which – happy 12th birthday, Google.

Ever notice magazine covers all look EXACTLY the same?

I only personally subscribe to one magazine (SPIN), but if I’m hungry for something new to read, I will scan the magazine aisle in the grocery store.  Here’s what I saw in one section – 11 (!) magazine covers that all look exactly the same:

Now, to the average reader of any of these, I’m sure they would say “no way, they look totally different!”  After all, the content of each is (slightly) different and the audiences are different, too.  But imagine if you had never seen a magazine before and wanted to buy your first one.  Which would you choose?  Why?

Just looking at these 11 magazine covers (I’m ignoring the Glamour bonus issue in the corner because it’s not really a magazine), they all possess the same qualities:
– female celebrity cropped at either waist or knees
– magazine name at top
– article titles around celebrity in 4 different fonts, some in different colors
– all contain buzz words “fashion/look/style” and “sex/sexy”
– all contain some sort of “secret” list (188 style secrets, 150 best fall looks, etc)

Haven’t these magazines ever heard of the Purple Cow?  Seth Godin’s book says “Transform your business by being remarkable.”  There’s nothing remarkable about these magazines – they’re the same as the others, and they’re the same every month.  (Doesn’t it seem like Cosmopolitan always has 77 new ways to “blow his mind”?)  Typically, if you’re going to buy one it’s because you’ve read it before and/or the celebrity on the cover compelled you to buy it.  The articles certainly aren’t much different, and the style/look of the cover certainly isn’t, either.

Imagine you’ve never read any magazine before.  You’re an alien from outer space, or you’re Amish, or something… and this is your first time in a supermarket.  What is going to make you choose one and not the other?  Dare to be different, designers.  Fortune favors the bold.

100 Worst Songs Ever

AOL Radio posted their list of the 100 Worst Songs Ever and most of it is easy enough to agree with.  However, I actually like about 15 songs on the list (denoted in bold) – which songs do you like?  Which songs aren’t on the list that should be?

100 Worst Songs Ever
1. DJ Pauly D – “Beat Dat Beat”
2. Baha Men – “Who Let The Dogs Out”
3. Vanilla Ice – “Ice Ice Baby”
4. Ricky Martin – “She Bangs”
5. Aqua – “Barbie Girl”
6. MC Hammer – “U Can’t Touch This”
7. Helen Reddy – ” I Am Woman”
8. Right Said Fred – “I’m Too Sexy”
9. Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder – “Ebony & Ivory”
10. Los Del Rio – “Macarena”
11. Celine Dion – “My Heart Will Go On”
12. Spice Girls – “Wannabe”
13. Creed – “With Arms Wide Open”
14. C.W. McCall – “Convoy”
15. Gerardo – “Rico Suave”
16. Gwen Stefani – “Hollaback Girl”
17. Hanson – “MMMBop”
18. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Achy Breaky Heart”
19. Will Smith – “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It”
20. 4 Non Blondes – “What’s Up?”
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Playing For Change “Stand By Me”

My friend (and fellow net nerd) Julie showed me this cool video of different unknown musicians around the world singing “Stand By Me” – mixed entirely by the use of a microphone, a video camera and headphones.  Not a studio.  Watch this and try, just try, to tell me it’s not one of the most amazing things you’ve ever seen and heard:

Playing For Change is a ten year project of Grammy-winning music producer/engineer Mark Johnson.  He recorded little-known street musicians around the world in New Orleans, South Africa, Paris, Italy, and more using (essentially) a microphone and a video camera.  The end result is a multimedia movement created to “inspire, connect and bring peace to the world through music.”  Read more about the project and get involved at www.playingforchange.com.

Concert Review: N.E.R.D., Secondhand Serenade, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

I always dug the Neptunes sound, Pharell’s falsetto, and was a big fan of all three N.E.R.D. albums that have been released thus far.  I am now officially a hardcore N.E.R.D. fan.  Last night’s show at SUNY Oswego was flippin’ awesome.  At first, I was nervous because Pharell came out on stage (finally at 11:10pm after SIX opening acts) with one arm in a sling and the other in serious bandages (apparently he got tattoos removed from his arms by “extra crispy” lasers, ouch) but then he smiled and invited as many people on stage as he could allow with his 5-piece backing band.  Then they tore the roof off, dancing, singing, shouting, jumping, rapping and rockin’ so hard that my face melted off.  I still have the songs “Brain,” “She Wants To Move” and “Everyone Nose (All The Girls Standing In Line…)” stuck in my head and I love it:

:::makes the vulcan sign with his hand, the official N.E.R.D. salute:::

Seriously, it was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen and if I had just paid to see N.E.R.D., it would’ve totally been worth it.

But no.  There were six opening acts that, to tell the truth, really didn’t fit well together (who books punk bands to open for Secondhand Serenade, I mean, really?) but definitely added more bang for our bucks.  The first band Drive A was disappointing, playing like a fourth rate Anti-Flag (and looking a bit like the Jonas Brothers) with an embarassingly mid-90s-esque logo that incorporated an Anarchy symbol into a flag.  I was surprised to say that I actually did like the second band, Madina Lake – great energy, they kicked giant beach balls into the crowd, and had fun on stage.  It was just weird to hear yet another hardcore band that would’ve fit better on the Family Values Tour than in a college spring concert.  Check out their music at www.myspace.com/madinalake.

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus was the first big name to take the stage and they sounded great but looked… well, like Bo Bice’s inbred cousins.  They weren’t exciting to watch on stage, either, but if you closed your eyes it was a damn good show.  They played great versions of “Face Down” and “Guardian Angel” – click here to watch their HOT 107.9 exclusive stripped performance of “Face Down” and two other songs.

Then the energy level was shot to hell with Secondhand Serenade taking the stage, whom I’ve always had a problem with.  Are they a Dashboard Confessional tribute band or what?  By the way, I’m talking about Dashboard’s post-“Vindicated” material, too.  Secondhand Serenade sounded great, but in a 45-minute set I couldn’t tell the difference between one song and the next.  Are they singing “Vulnerable,” “Fall For You” or a cover of Coldplay’s “Fix You”?  I couldn’t tell.  It was cool, however, how the lead singer and the keyboardist both hung out on the main floor for autographs and pictures after the show and were totally relaxed about it.

I could’ve done without MC Mr. Napkin, the Jewish comedian rapper who actually compared smoothies to manual gratification… but I did like DJ Don Juan who managed to keep the crowd’s spirits high between all the acts, mixing everything from Snoop Dogg and flavorful twists on Top 40 hits to Jay-Z/The Verve mashups.

What a great show – serious props to SUNY Oswego for putting together a great lineup.  No one Ever Really Dies, truly.

N.E.R.D. performed Sunday, April 26th, 2009 at SUNY Oswego with Madina Lake, Drive A, Secondhand Serenade and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.

I have a cookie fairy.

I went to my office and there was a plate of cookies on my desk in a plastic bag with “DeafGeoff” written on it.  No joke.   No card, no note, no idea where it came from.

The question is… should I eat them?

They DO look good.  Chocolate chip, mmm…

But mom always said I shouldn’t eat anything from strangers, and I really have no idea where these came from.  I mean, I certainly don’t think I’d open a strangely wrapped package with no return address either:

“Who’s going to bomb you?  An airline?  For all the stupid little peanut jokes?”
“Oh, I suppose you think
you’re bombable.”
“There’s a couple people who wouldn’t mind having me out of the way.”
“There’s more than a couple.”

Radio Daze #3: Camping in the Mall

I spent May 29th – June 1st of 2009 living in the Carousel Center.  That’s right, I set up an RV/tent campsite and literally lived in the mall for 76 hours.  No shower.  Lots of unhealthy food.  LOTS OF FUN.  And the best part was, I did it to raise over $5,000 for the AIDS Walk/Run in Central New York.

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DeafGeoff uses the oven!

I’ve always been very resistant to the idea of cooking.  Making food, to me, means opening a package of Pop Tarts, pouring Cap’n Crunch into a bowl and/or microwaving leftover Chinese food.  A few months ago, however, I finally started using the George Foreman Grill (aka the Lean, Mean, Fat Grilling Machine) and have successfully cooked hamburgers and chicken for dinner. 

Last night, I used the oven.

The stove/oven in my apartment kitchen is brand-new and, even after living there for more than 2 years, it still looks exactly the same as it did when I moved in.  But it’s time to learn a new skill, and I figured the best way to get started is by taking a small step.  You know how in the pool, you can either wade in little by little or jump in and get cold all at once?  I’m a wade-in kind of guy.

So I bought french fries (or Freedom Fries if you want to be a tool about it) from Wegman’s and cooked them in the oven:

I preheated the oven to 450 degrees, cooked the fries on one side for 8-10 minutes and then flipped them with a spatula and let it cook for another 10 minutes.  They came out warm and delicious!  OK, so I microwaved the chicken fingers while the fries were cooking… but hey, I took a small step and successfully used the oven without burning down the kitchen.  I might have burned a finger, but that’s only because I realized too late that I don’t have oven mitts.  That’s at the top of my next shopping list.

Interesting side note – has anyone else noticed that Wegman’s now has Expectant Mother Parking?  It’s right next to the handicapped spaces and I think it’s a great idea.  Check it out:

I don’t know how it’d work at, say, Babies R Us, but it’s a great idea to have at grocery stores and other typical places where pregnant woman could very well be shopping.  By the way, how DO they set up handicapped parking at the Special Olympics, anyway?  I know I’m bastardizing, but I really am curious.

This was originally written in spring 2009.