ABC’s OTRC: On the Red Carpet keeps you in entertainment news

Don’t download OTRC: On the Red Carpet if you’re only looking for step-and-repeat pictorials, because the universal app for iDevice offers a whole lot more in the way of celebrity and entertainment news.

OTRC pulls its name, and its coverage, from ABC’s weekly entertainment news program On the Red Carpet, hosted by Rachel Smith and Chris Balish. Although you will find plenty of red carpet coverage — ideal as awards show season is starting to ramp up — OTRC also includes breaking news, television, film, music, celebrity lifestyle, baby and dating coverage.

The UI is smooth, and includes embedded video clips pulled from the show, along with text articles. Users can swipe fluidly through stories, or select a specific article from the scroll bar across the top of the screen. OTRC doesn’t offer a search function, but since I think users will primarily be looking for the latest in celeb news, it probably won’t be missed.

One bummer is that full show episodes aren’t available in-app, and during my tests there was no content available in the dedicated video section at all. But the embedded article clips that were available played smoothly and quickly. Another downside is the fact that OTRC has to refresh entirely every time you relaunch the app — so don’t plan on ducking out quickly to check your email.

On the whole, OTRC: On the Red Carpet’s diversity makes it a worthy stop for comprehensive entertainment coverage.


Sleeping Beauty was onto something. Turns out, your ticket to healthier, younger-looking skin may lie between the sheets rather than on the shelf of your medicine cabinet.

While you’re fast asleep, your body is hard at work making repairs like construction workers on the nightshift. For example, when you’re in deep sleep, human growth hormone production increases. Your normal release of this hormone plays a key role in healing cells and tissues throughout your body, including your skin.

Not getting enough sleep (and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 50-70 million U.S. adults have a sleep or wakefulness disorder) cuts that crucial repair time short, which can wreak havoc on your skin. Fine lines become more prominent, dark circles crop up and your complexion turns pale, dull and droopy.
Getting enough Vitamin Z makes you appear more attractive — sort of a reverse beer-goggles effect. In one study, people rated photographs based on attractiveness and whether the individuals in the photos looked healthy or unhealthy as well as tired or not tired. The faces of sleep-deprived participants were ranked as less healthy, less attractive and more tired compared to when they were well rested.

So how exactly does being robbed of your rest affect your appearance? “Several theories exist,” explains John Axelsson, an associate professor at the department of clinical neuroscience at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, who co-authored the study on sleep and appearance. “Sleep may actually affect the skin by reducing its capacity to recover properly, or sleep deprivation may affect muscle tone, resulting in a slightly less attractive appearance.”

When you sacrifice slumber, you decrease the ability of the skin barrier — also known as the stratum corneum, or the outer-most layer of skin — to recover from the daily damage it endures. That’s problematic because the stratum corneum plays two important roles when it comes to healthy-looking skin: It locks in moisture and prevents foreign microorganisms from getting in. Cells that make up the stratum corneum contain keratin, which is a protein that keeps skin hydrated by preventing water from evaporating.

Not getting enough sleep affects the skin barrier’s ability to do its job and can lead to dehydration, which, in turn, makes fine lines more noticeable. “Moisture helps plumps up your skin — it blows out your wrinkles,” says Robin Ashinoff, M.D., director of cosmetic dermatology at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. “Your skin droops more because you don’t have that plumpness. You’ve deflated the balloon.”

Dehydration can also trigger the classic signs of sleep deprivation — dark circles. That’s because there’s less fluid to obscure the blue blood vessels that reside just under your eyes. These blood vessels become more noticeable on the surface, showing up as dark, under-eye circles. “Overall you also look paler because the blood vessels in your face aren’t as full,” says Dr. Ashinoff. In addition to all that, “When you sleep, it’s a regenerative time, so if the skin doesn’t have a chance to turn over, you have dead skill cells sitting on top, causing the skin to look dull.”

A weakened skin barrier can leave you more vulnerable to foreign microorganisms. Think of the stratum corneum as a bouncer to an exclusive nightclub, carefully picking and choosing who gets to come in. Insufficient time in the sack makes him less discriminating about who enters the club, which is why a compromised skin barrier is associated with inflammatory skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis.

Your immune system also becomes compromised when you miss out on getting enough rest. But that doesn’t just leave you more vulnerable to sickness. These changes in the immune response may affect collagen production as well. And collagen helps you maintain a youthful appearance by acting as scaffolding — holding up your skin so it doesn’t wrinkle and sag. Add to that the fact that when you’re tired, your muscles, including facial ones, are more likely to tense up, which can exacerbate your current wrinkles and bring on more fine lines and wrinkles over time.

What’s more, not getting enough z’s may bring on breakouts. “Lack of sleep correlates to physiological stress,” explains dermatologist Neal Schultz, M.D., co-author of “It’s Not Just About Wrinkles: A Park Avenue Dermatologist’s Program for Beautiful Skin — in Just Four Minutes a Day.” Levels of cortisol — the stress hormone that breaks down skin cells and is linked to acne — also spike when you’re missing out on some much-needed pillow time.

Speaking of pillows, your sleeping position can also put a crimp in your complexion. “If you sleep on your side or front, rather than your back, it’s like you’re folding over your skin — except it’s sustained pressure,” says Dr. Schultz. “It’s breaking the collagen, which can give you wrinkles and make your skin look saggy.” Sleeping on your back helps prevent fine lines from being etched into your skin overnight. But if you can’t sleep prone, try slipping on silk or satin pillowcases instead, which are more forgiving and won’t tug at your skin, causing fine lines.

The bottom-line: “Sleep is the body’s natural beauty treatment,” says Axelsson. Rather than shelling out cash on expensive creams or relying heavily on concealer and coffee, try pulling a Sleeping Beauty and getting a full night’s rest instead.

Courtesy of huffingtonpost

Porky & Buddy’s Pet Health: Brushing the Dog’s Teeth?

Dear Porky Buddy,

I thought I had heard everything, but yesterday, my next door neighbor told me that he brushes his dog’s teeth. When I started to laugh, he got all huffy and tried to make me feel guilty because I don’t. I have lots of things to feel guilty about already. Should I add this to the list? And how do you go about brushing your pet’s teeth anyway?


Dear John,

Yup, add it to the list. By some estimates, dental disease affects up to 80% of pets over the age of three, and just like with humans, there can be serious consequences of poor dental health. Infected gums and teeth aren’t just a problem in the mouth — the heart, kidneys, intestinal tract, and joints may also be infected. The tartar and any infected areas of the mouth contain bazillions of bacteria than can spread to other parts of the body. With regular dental care, you can prevent some of these more serious side effects.

But rather than wallowing in your guilt, talk to your vet about this issue at your pet’s next checkup.

If your vet finds possible dental problems at the checkup she may recommend a professional dental cleaning under anesthesia. The dental cleaning is similar to a human dental cleaning – tartar removal, checking for cavities, gingival (gum) pockets, loose teeth, any growths on the gums or palate, removal of diseased teeth, and finally, polishing. Anesthesia is necessary because, frankly, no pet, no matter how smart and well-trained, is going to sit there with his mouth open and let strangers do strange and uncomfortable things.

Even if a professional cleaning is not necessary, ask your vet how to initiate a good dental care program at home. Most veterinarians are happy to provide brushing lessons, and many carry brushes and toothpaste specifically for dogs and cats. Starting a home dental program while your pet is young is the best bet for good dental health.

Most pet supply stores will likely carry a selection of toothpaste choices. Do not use human toothpaste! Besides being disgusting to pets, human toothpaste is meant to be rinsed out, not swallowed. Many pet toothpastes are enzymatic, and offer greater cleansing action on food debris and plaque and can be swallowed. Most pets prefer meat-flavored toothpastes, such as beef and chicken. Start with a small sample first, if possible to find a flavor your pet likes

There are several pet-specific toothbrushes available at your vet’s or pet supply store. Be sure to select a brush size that is appropriate for your pet’s mouth with soft bristles. If this will not work for your pet, consider a finger-tip “brush”, a tissue or cloth or, as a last resort, a mouth spray (for animals who cannot tolerate anything in their mouth).

The most important things to be aware of when starting a home dental care program is to: 1) not get bitten and 2) not harm your pet’s mouth in the process of brushing. If you are unsure of your pet’s reaction, go slowly. Start with a small amount of toothpaste — let your pet smell and taste it, praising and encouraging your pet.

Add the brush once you feel comfortable and your pet knows what to expect. Brush gently, stroking from the gums downward. Do not worry about brushing the inside of the teeth, as they are kept clean by saliva. Ideally, you should brush your pet’s teeth once a day, but realistically though, once or twice a week is a lot better than nothing. Setting up a routine and getting into the habit will help.

There are a variety of biscuits on the market labeled as “tartar control.” Ask your vet if this is an option for your pet for daily oral care, and what brands she would recommend.

Now you have one more way to bond with your pet and you can go back to feeling guilty about more important things. It’s a win win!

And speaking of a win win, the Humane Society’s first adoption day of the year will be on Saturday, February 4th from 11 to 2 at the YMCA/Armory. To celebrate the New Year, adoption fees for all cats over the age of six months will be only $20.12. Warm-Up Oswego events will also be going on that day, so you can have fun, save money, and take home your own personal warming device!
The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter assistance, information and referral, adoption assistance to pet owners, humane education programs, foster care and adoption for pets in urgent need, assistance with lost and found pets. Our administrative offices and spay/neuter clinic are located at 265 West First Street, Oswego, New York. Check our web site at or call (315) 207-1070 for more information or to be placed on our mailing list for our newsletter.

Megaupload data could be deleted this week

Gill South: Taking stock of career direction

If you’ve ever wondered if your’re in the right job, a career analyst may be able to tell you, writes Gill South. More

Show & Tell: Entertainment News

Friday January 27, 2012 6:00 AM

Enlarge Image


Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) and Chuck (Zachary Levi)

ABBA track set for release

The pop group ABBA plans to release a new version of its final studio album, featuring a
previously unreleased track, according to its website.

The Swedish band, which won a new lease on life with the
Mamma Mia! stage musical and film, will unveil a deluxe edition of
The Visitors (1981) in April.

“For ABBA fans, the most sensational inclusion in the package will be the previously unreleased
track —
From a Twinkling Star to a Passing Angel,’  ” a statement said.

“This is the first time since the
Thank You for the Music boxed set in 1994 that ABBA has opened the doors to the tape
vaults to release previously unheard music from the group’s heyday.”

The release will also feature bonus selections along with a DVD of material from the

‘Chuck’ to wrap up tonight

Chuck, the NBC comedy-drama about a computer geek who becomes a spy, will end its run

Back-to-back episodes will conclude the fifth and final season beginning at 8 on NBC, including
WCMH-TV (Channel 4).

DJs to compete ‘Idol’-style

Simon Cowell — the man behind
American Idol,
America’s Got Talent and
The X Factor — is teaming up with Jada Pinkett Smith to create a new show that will search
for the world’s greatest disc jockey.

The international project will be co-produced by Cowell’s Syco Entertainment along with Will
Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment as well as Sony Pictures Television.

“DJs are the new rock stars,” Cowell said.

Those hoping to see Cowell critique the DJs will be disappointed.

“I will not be judging this show,” he tweeted.

Author to be resident

The Columbus Museum of Art and Thurber House will collaborate on a graphic-novelist

Paul Hornschemeier, an Ohio State University alumnus and the author of
Life With Mr. Dangerous, will spend three weeks living in the Thurber House, 77 Jefferson
Ave. — the boyhood home of author and
New Yorker cartoonist James Thurber.

The residency, from March 19 to April 8, is supported by a grant from the Greater Columbus Arts
Council and designed to provide a graphic artist-writer with an opportunity to develop a work in

Hornschemeier will also be involved in educational programs at both the Thurber House and the

The residency, said Nannette V. Maciejunes, executive director of the Columbus Museum of Art, “
gives us the opportunity to continue the conversation about the place comic art holds in the art
world as we deepen our relationship with Thurber House.”

— From staff and wire reports


Debunking the long-held belief that fried foods spell disaster for your cardiovascular health, a new study finds that as long as you use olive or sunflower oil, fried foods may not be so bad after all.

Published in the British Journal of Medicine on Tuesday, the findings reveal no increased risk of heart disease or premature death when food is fried in “healthy” oils.

Researchers at the Autonomous University of Madrid in Spain studied 40,757 adults about their diet in an 11-year study. The participants were surveyed about their diets and food preparation, with findings showing no link between fried foods in the diet and heart disease.

“Before we all reach for the frying pan, it’s important to remember that this was a study of a Mediterranean diet rather than British fish and chips,” Victoria Taylor of the British Heart Foundation told the BBC.

The Mediterranean diet has long been established as a heart-healthy lifestyle in that it is chock full of fresh fruits, healthy oils, vegetables, and fish, as well as the occasional glass of red wine.

Health experts already know that fat-laden foods can raise blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as lead to weight gain. “Regardless of the cooking methods used, consuming foods with high fat content means a high calorie intake,” Taylor adds. “A well-balanced diet, with plenty of fruit and veg and only a small amount of high fat foods, is best for a healthy heart.”–Courtesy of

Violence surges in Syria as UN Security Council meets

“In some areas, the shelling has not stopped for three days in a row,” said an activist in the central city of Homs who uses the name Hadi al-Homsi. “The regime is now waging full-scale war against the people.” He described what he called a “massacre” in the district of Karm al-Zeitoun, a focal point of government military operations in the city.

Although movement between Homs neighborhoods is limited, residents participated in demonstrations after prayers, Homsi said, joining protesters elsewhere in chants hailing the “Friday of the right to self-defense.”

That designation — the latest given to weekly demonstrations that have rocked Syria during its 10-month-old uprising against the government of President Bashar al-Assad — is ominous, said Rami Abdulrahman of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. He said he was increasingly afraid that the country is in a state of civil war.

According to Abdulrahman, 62 people were killed across Syria on Thursday, including 33 in Homs, and at least 60 more, including 47 civilians, on Friday. It was not possible to confirm the death toll because of tight restrictions imposed on journalists, but U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay has said that more than 5,400 people — including civilians, army defectors and security troops executed for refusing to shoot civilians — have died since the uprising began in March.

Asked whether those killed in Homs were civilians or armed opposition members, Abdulrahman said the difference between the two was becoming ever more vague. He added that a growing number of soldiers were defecting to join a loose opposition group known as the Free Syrian Army.

The head of the Arab League observer mission, Mohammed Ahmed al-Dabi, issued a statement Friday condemning the latest surge in violence and saying that the circumstances were not conducive to the negotiations the Arab group called for Sunday in a wide-ranging proposal.

At a closed-door meeting in New York on Friday, the U.N. Security Council debated a draft resolution — introduced by Morocco on behalf of a group of European and Arab countries — that would condemn Syrian repression of protesters, endorse the Arab League’s proposal that Assad step down, and call on all countries to adopt financial and travel sanctions already introduced by the Arab League.

The developments in the Security Council underscore Syria’s deepening isolation at the United Nations. In recent months, the country has been the subject of numerous resolutions in the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly condemning its conduct.

Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby and Qatari Prime Minister Hamad Bin Jasim al-Thani, who leads the Arab League committee overseeing its Syria policy, are expected to brief a ministerial-level Security Council meeting early next week ahead of an as-yet-unscheduled vote on the resolution.

Russia, a close ally of Syria and permanent member of the Security Council, has warned that it will block any U.N. measure that requires Assad to step aside. Speaking to reporters after Friday’s meeting, Moscow’s U.N. ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, said the draft measure did not provide “a basis on which we can agree.” Russia, which has been pressing its own resolution, will continue to “engage” on the matter, he said.

Syria’s U.N. ambassador, Bashar al-Jaafari, said Western powers think Syria is “still under their hegemony, and they deal with us as if we are a former colony, that we should subjugate ourselves to their will.” He added: “They are wrong, and they will be disappointed.”

Reverberations from the unrest in Syria have been increasingly felt across the Middle East. In Cairo on Friday, about 200 Syrian protesters stormed the Syrian Embassy, breaking windows and doors and ransacking offices. The Syrian ambassador, Yousef Ahmed, blamed Egypt’s security forces for failing to prevent the attack.

Also Friday, the Free Syrian Army appeared to score a strategic victory over the Iranian government, which backs Assad, when it released a video showing a group of Iranian hostages in Syria. The video, posted online, shows five men displaying Iranian identity cards, two of them military, while Syrian fighters urge the Assad government to admit that members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps are operating in the country.

It was not possible to verify the provenance of the footage.

Reached by telephone, Col. Malik al-Kurdi of the Free Syrian Army said the group had invited the Syrian government to negotiate the hostages’ release, calling for an end to shelling, a withdrawal of tanks and a prisoner release.

Lynch reported from New York. Correspondent Leila Fadel in Cairo contributed to this report.

Pet Health Alert: Distemper Cases Up

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Swallowed pen found after 25 years

Published on Saturday 28 January 2012 08:26

There has been a flurry of internet news over the bizarre case of a woman who had a pen removed from her stomach, 25 years after she swallowed it. Amazingly, the plastic pen still worked after over two decades lodged inside her.

The case has been described in the British Medical Journal Case Reports, which explains in detail how the 76-year-old woman was referred for urgent investigation after she developed sudden weight loss and diarrhoea. While performing a CT scan to look at her abdomen, doctors found the startling sight of the felt-tip pen, which they then surgically removed.

Apparently, years earlier the woman had been looking at her tonsils in the mirror but slipped and accidentally swallowed the pen. Both her husband and GP had dismissed her claim at the time as the pen failed to show up on an X-ray. This rather unique case report highlights that just because a patient’s account is unlikely, it does not mean that it is not true.

It is not advisable to examine your tonsils with a pen unless you prefer keeping it in your stomach rather than a pencil case.


How did this happen?

The woman reported that she had been examining a spot on her tonsil with the pen when she accidentally slipped and swallowed the pen by mistake. She said that she had told her GP and husband, but her story had been dismissed after an abdominal examination at that time appeared normal.


Did she have any health problems?

It seems the pen had happily sat in her stomach for over two decades without causing any health problems, but may have eventually led to the diarrhoea and weight loss that caused her to go and see her doctor. Once discovered, the doctors decided to take the pen out despite it having been there for so long: they thought it best to be cautious as there has been at least one case report of a pen that had caused perforation to the intestines as it passed through.


Is this case unusual?

The BMJ Case Reports journal has recently reported at least two other cases of people who have experienced medical problems after swallowing objects that have not shown up on X-ray. These cases highlight the need to perform additional CT scans if the patient can remember swallowing something that may have caused the problem.

  • Earlier this year, the journal published details of a woman who had gone to AE with a sharp, painful sensation in her throat after eating a lamb casserole. The pain became worse when she swallowed and radiated to her chest and between her shoulder blades. The doctors initially performed an X-ray, but found no sign of a foreign body, leading them to try a CT scan. They found that a triangular 2cm by 2cm lamb bone had lodged in her food pipe close to her spine, just 2mm from a major artery. Doctors removed the bone using forceps and the woman went on to make a complete recovery.
  • Another recent BMJ report describes how a man swallowed the cap of his USB memory stick, which he was holding in his mouth while working on his computer. After swallowing the cap the patient developed an obstruction in his intestine and underwent surgery to remove it. Through this process it was subsequently discovered that the patient had Crohn’s disease. In the discussion of the case it was said that between 80% and 93% of ingested foreign bodies that reach the stomach ‘pass through uneventfully’. They said that the man’s pre-existing intestinal disease may have predisposed him to complications such as obstruction, and a retained foreign body should alert doctors that the patient may have an undiagnosed bowel abnormality. Although the process allowed a diagnosis of this medical problem, Behind the Headlines does not condone the consumption of items of office stationery such as pens and the caps of USB sticks. The article does not state whether the USB stick declined in performance as a result of being exposed to the elements.

These case reports highlight what it is possible to swallow, and also the importance of telling your doctor, if you have swallowed something accidentally.

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