Archive for October 27th, 2012

October 27, 2012


Childhood obesity

Lunchables is a line of lunch combinations manufactured by Kraft Foods, Inc, beginning in 1988. They are marketed under the Oscar Mayer brand in the United States and Dairylea in the United Kingdom. Many Lunchables products are produced at Kraft Foods, Inc.’s Fullerton factory in Fullerton, California, and are then distributed across the nation.

A typical Lunchables meal combination includes crackers, small slices of meat, and an equal number of slices of cheese. Other varieties include pizza, small hot dogs, small burgers, nachos, subs, and wraps. Overall there are 25 different kinds of Lunchables meals. ‘Deluxe’ versions, which were originally developed for adults, included two types of meats and two types of cheeses. Deluxe versions usually also contained a sauce and a mint.

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October 27, 2012

Tramp Stamp

tramp stamp

Lower-back tattoos (often referred to as tramp stamps) are a form of body art that became popular among women in the 2000s and gained a reputation as a feminine type of tattoo. Although historically men comprised the majority of tattoo recipients, in the early 1990s, the practice gained popularity among women. In the early to mid-20th century, women with tattoos were heavily stigmatized, and were rarely found in middle-class society. Lower-back tattoos were popularized in the early 2000s, in part owing to the influence of celebrities, including Britney Spears, Christina Ricci, and Pamela Anderson. The popularity of low-rise jeans and crop tops may have also spurred the increase in lower-back tattoos.

Another appeal of tattooing the lower back is that there is little fat there, lessening the chance that images will become misshapen over time. Also, the lower back is often concealed, providing women the choice of when to reveal their tattoo. Medical practitioners who administer anesthesia have questioned whether epidural analgesia should be provided to women with lower-back tattoos. Concerns have emerged that epidural catheters may cause tattoo pigment to enter interspinous ligaments and other areas, potentially leading to health problems. There is general consensus that epidural catheters should not be placed through irritated or infected tattoos. However, harm has not been clearly documented when placing epidural catheters through healthy tattooed skin.

October 27, 2012

Cocktail Party Effect

selective attention

The cocktail party effect is the phenomenon of being able to focus one’s auditory attention on a particular stimulus while filtering out a range of other stimuli, much the same way that a party-goer can focus on a single conversation in a noisy room. This effect is what allows most people to ‘tune in’ to a single voice and ‘tune out’ all others. It may also describe a similar phenomenon that occurs when one may immediately detect words of importance originating from unattended stimuli, for instance hearing one’s name in another conversation.

The cocktail party effect works best as a binaural effect, which requires hearing with both ears. People with only one functional ear seems much more disturbed by interfering noise. However, even without binaural location information, individuals can selectively attend to one particular speaker if the pitch of their voice or the topic of their speech is sufficiently distinctive (albeit with greater difficulty). This phenomenon is still very much a subject of research, in humans as well as in computer implementations (where it is typically referred to as source separation or blind source separation).

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