Happy Holidays!


Merry Christmas, 5th Day of Chanukkah, Day Before Kwanzaa, and all other super important days that we celebrate in the snow winter season. If you’re at all interested, I spent this holiday eating phở, watching Moulin Rouge, and blogging. I know, I’m a sucker for tradition, aren’t you?

There are a lot of things to look back on in 2008. Here is my personal list of things to remember as a Well-Woman and a blogger:

  • Weekly wellness tune-up e-mails (sign up for the listserv!)
  • The presidential elections, Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, Tina Fey, and the glass ceiling
  • Our annual breast cupcakes for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • Barnard’s free Gardisil HPV vaccinations (sorry, Columbia ladies)
  • Newer and better blogs, bloggers, and publications (The XX Factor, Bust Mag blog, Go! Mag)

Please post your most memorable things about Well-Woman / The W Spot this year, and don’t forget that the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return. Also, don’t drink absinthe, or Kylie Minogue will appear dressed up as a tiny green fairy.


Health and Wellness at the NYT

It looks like there are more Wellness buffs out there than I thought! The New York Times, famous on the web for its lightning-fast headline updates and massive slew of blogs, had one relevant blog that escaped my attention… Well, updated by Tara Parker-Pope (who also writes for the Wall Street Journal), “reports daily on medical science, nutrition, fitness and family health”. Here are a few of the most recent headlines:

  • Voices of Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Tossing a Better Holiday Salad
  • Prostate Cancer and Polar Bears
  • A Small Kitchen Is No Excuse
  • Are Nut Bans Promoting Hysteria?

Looks like you Google Reader subscribers have something new to add to the list (post-finals, of course).


Recently I visited www.boredatbutler.com for the second time in my Barnard career. The first time being freshman year when I didn’t really know what was going on and didn’t know how to articulate my thoughts better. Now, looking at this site I realized how ridiculous it is. I don’t know if you’ve ever visited it but its more than a site to blog about boredom. It seems like a site for people to relish in their anonymity and write things they might be embarrassed to say otherwise. Some examples being: ” does anyone want to make-out? i’m decent…and not so clingy…but totally down for a hot make-out whenever wherever” and ” i am currently juggling a few potential boyfriends, my ex-boyfriend, some friends with benefits, and finals” and a queer man admitting he performed oral sex with his roommate when his roommate was passed out. I’m feeling turned off by this site as it promotes this kind of discussion but at the same time, if people are writing it, then there must be a need for a site like this where stressed out people write their inner-most thoughts.  I just have  a feeling that this talk doesn’t occur outside of a site like this and I wish it did. What do others feel about boredatbutler.com?

For Women: Video Games or Cookbooks?

Walking through the mall on Black Friday with my mother and my sister, I saw what I first thought to be a mirage–a free spa. (Keep in mind that I had already been up and on my feet for over 8 hours…) Looking closer, I noticed that it was sponsored by Nintendo DS. I peered into the tent to see a number of women getting massages while they played around with a DS. At first I was a little shocked. Marketing video games to adult women? Really? No video game company does that. Adult women don’t play games. Period. (Just ask them…) But this wasn’t the first unexpected place to see a DS pop up. Believe it or not, Nintendo has advertisements in Lucky magazine. (I was shocked when I first saw them.) And, it looks like the new games that Nintendo is planning (the first is Personal Trainer: Cooking, which I want desperately…) are geared towards women. However, they are also not games. Continue Reading

Strangers Can Make you Happy?

A recent study finds that happiness may be socially contagious. Yes, just like smoking and obesity are socially contagious, now too is happiness! Happiness seems like such an individual act. People influence our happiness (when they show love or do something special for us) but ultimately, I’ve always thought my happiness came from within – only I could determine whether I was happy or not. I’ve heard that when you smile, people who see you smiling also smile too. I guess it only makes sense that if smiling is contagious, then happiness (symbolized and carried by the smile) can be too. The study finds that the spread of happiness works mainly when you are in physical and temporal proximity with someone – though they did study Facebook relationships and found that people who were smiling in their pictures had more friends than non-smilers and had more friends that were smiling! While more research needs to be done and the scientists do not advocate smiling at everyone you see (as that could be potentially dangerous particularly in New York), this study shows our inter-connectedness and the influence people (total strangers) have on one another.

“Taking Care in Tough Times”

For some women, the economy will dictate whether they will visit the doctor the rest of this year and next. Financial hard times are increasing stress, and with stress comes more health problems. It’s an ugly cycle when the causes of stress will not allow you to receive appropriate, timely health care and your health gets worse…