ABC Cancels EM:HE

 

ABC’s hit reality series Extreme Makeover: Home Edition will ring in its last new year on primetime lineup. After airing four very special episodes, the show will close its ninth and final season with their 200th episode on January 13th, 2012.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition first aired in 2003 as a spinoff from the original Extreme Makeover series where people underwent physical transformation to better their appearance. The goal of the Home Edition was to build new homes within a week for families in need. As the viewer ratings grew, so did the show itself as they visited all fifty states and rebuilt churches, schools, daycares, and other community buildings. EM:HE earned two Emmys for “outstanding reality program” in its nine years. It first aired on Wednesday nights but was later moved to Sundays where it remained till this past fall. ABC’s popular new series Once Upon a Time premiered in its place and EM:HE was moved to Friday nights where it struggled to keep an audience even with high-profile guest appearances from people like First Lady Michelle Obama and the Kardashians.

Ty Pennington, the design team leader and host of the show, called the experience “the greatest job of my life” on his personal website (Typennington.com). He is incredibly grateful for having been apart of a television show that changed the lives of so many people and says its been an honor to work side by side with the EM:HE families, builders, and thousands of volunteers who have proven that good hearts can and do change the world. Pennington is still working with ABC. This time he will be co-hosting with Tim Gunn and Harley Pasternack on a new health and lifestyle program called The Revolution, airing January 16th at 2pm.

Tune in Friday night at 8pm for the final two-hour episodes of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Smoking: A Hazard to All

What can be made with ammonia, arsenic, lead, cadmium, and formaldehyde? It may be surprising to know that these are but a few ingredients found in an average cigarette. These are poisons and chemicals found in substances like household cleaners, pesticides, insecticides, and batteries. On Quit Smoking Support, it is mentioned that the cigarette smoke that’s exhaled contains over four thousand of these chemicals-and at least forty-three of them cause cancer. Is it not obvious that these are substances not meant for our bodies? All of our lives we have been warned against the dangers of smoking. It affects the smokers themselves and everyone around them.

Smoking is a one way road to an agonizing death. For the one who smokes, the whole body is affected. According to the Center of Disease Control (Or CDC), smoking causes a laundry list of various cancers, like throat, oral, lung, kidney, stomach, and bladder cancers. Most of your organs vital for digestion are damaged. In addition, your risks for heart diseases and infertility increase. For men who smoke, the risk for developing lung cancer increases by twenty-three times, and for women, thirteen times. Coronary heart disease due to smoking is the leading cause of death in the United States. For anybody who lights up, the risk for that increases two to four times.

Since misery likes company, everybody can suffer from the presence of a smoker. Dictionary.com defines secondhand smoke as “smoke from a cigarette, cigar, or pipe that is involuntarily inhaled, especially by nonsmokers.” At your favorite restaurant, at your work place, at school, even in your home, everyone around you is detrimentally exposed to an awful smoking habit. The noxious fumes are quite unpleasant, and create risk for heart diseases in innocent bystanders. Ever heard of third-hand smoke? The Mayo Clinic considers it a “residual nicotine and other chemicals left on a variety of indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke. This residue is thought to react with common indoor pollutants to create a toxic mix. This toxic mix of third-hand smoke contains cancer-causing substances, posing a potential health hazard to nonsmokers who are exposed to it, especially children.” A home can never be rid of third-hand smoke. A young child’s exposure causes ear infections, respiratory symptoms and infections, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (or SIDS), and asthma attacks.

Smoking burns away your quality of life as its deathly chemicals char your internal organs. Out in public, it’s inconsiderate to expose everyone around you to the smoke you exhale. Nobody ever likes a whiff of cigarette tobacco. And you worsen the risks for those who have a family history of heart problems or cancer. Could you tell your own children that the problems they have were caused by your smoking habit? Or that you’re sick and dying because of it? Smoking lights up the world, and not in a good way. It’s a selfish practice that should be ceased altogether, or at least more strictly controlled.

All Aboard the Smile Train

Every parent’s dream is to stare down at their perfectly formed newborn baby and coo and murmur every bit of soothing nonsense imaginable, but what if their newborn has a birth defect? It makes the child no less special, but sometimes, the world can be unbelievably cruel. The most common birth defect in the world today is the cleft lip and/or palate, a facial deformity that leaves the lip split and the roof of the mouth with a large hole. One in a thousand children is affected each year in the United States alone. It is believed that in developing countries that 165,000 children are born every year with cleft lip or palate, but this is much harder to determine because these children are often killed moments after birth or abandoned, left to the mercy of wild animals or the elements.

A cleft lip or palate repair surgery is one of the simplest and least expensive to perform, but most of these parents can’t afford to have it done, even though it would mean a better quality of life for their child. However, thanks to the generosity and kind spirit of the people who formed Smile Train, these children have a chance to go to school, to get a job when they get older, and to live a life without ridicule. Smile Train’s mission is to provide free surgeries and rehabilitation for children who cannot afford it any other way.  However, Smile Train cannot do it alone. They rely on the donations from kind people who believe in their cause. For only two hundred and fifty dollars, a child’s life can be changed for the better forever. If you believe in Smile Train’s mission and wish to contribute,  you can donate at SmileTrain.org.

It’s Organic!

Photography by Selina Kade-Poff

These days it seems like the only thing people aren’t growing at home, is money.  With the buzz around the U.S. about eating, growing, and processing ‘organic’ food, could it really be better for you? Maybe cheaper? Or simply does it taste a little better than normally processed food, and where do you buy it? A-lot of people ask themselves the same questions.

To start off, organic foods are grown and prepared completely and entirely different.  While traditional growing habits are involved with the use of numerous chemicals, organic growing techniques stray from that sense.  With the only added unnatural ingredient being elbow grease, many people look to organic foods as a safer alternative to typical dining choices. There is no use of herbicide, or chemical fertilizer,  in the organic growing process, and while antibiotics and growing hormones are widely used in original methods, grazing that is rotated and access to the outdoors are preventative measures to prevent disease in livestock; also the use of organic feed!

Organoleptic value is a system to show how organic food is experienced by the senses for example: taste, sight, smell , touch. Organic food tends to have a better shelf life, this probably due to the higher level of antioxidants, and a lower level of nitrates which make fruit and vegetables age quicker. Also studies have shown that the higher the crop yield, the lower amount of antioxidants in the crop. This is why most people, when put to a blind taste test, will choose organic fruits and veggies showing that they have a higher organoleptic value.

Photography by Selina Kade-Poff

Now where can I buy organic foods and will they but a whole in my pocket?  As the nation grows more aware of organic foods, expect to see it in all types or grocery stores along with standalone stores that specialize in just organic products.  Although the dramatic differences in growing techniques, the prices for organic fruits and vegetables are roughly the same. For non organic apples at a supermarket expect to pay around $3.99 per pound, while organic apples would be placed at $4.49, so expect somewhat of a price hike, but nothing that will break the bank.  Organic foods are  becoming more accessible, cheaper, abundant so we may see some families start to take a more natural approach to cooking and eating once exposed to it.

Do Fullbars Really Work?

So we have all herd of the “Fullbar” that is supposed to keep you from overeating. The question is, “Does it really work?” I decided to test the Fullbar out to see if it truly lives up to what it says it does. Upon opening the wrapper before eating the Fullbar I noticed that it is pretty much puffy cereal all stuck together with soy or wheat or something that can hold it in the bar format. One has to ask how it is any different from a breakfast bar, am I right? I decided to give it a chance anyway, after all it could be the best weight loss solution ever made. I ate the bar and drank more water than required, just to make sure that the effects would be applied. The idea is that the water makes the cereal like puffs blow up and get bigger while in your stomach, therefore filling more space and making you less hungry.

I went to dinner the first day, after waiting thirty minutes after consuming a fullbar of course, and found that I ate pretty much the same amount as always. The next day I did the same, only I did eat about one plate less. Keep in mind a plate for me consist of a few spoonfuls of rice and a breadstick or something to that effect. Ok, so one plate less isn’t too bad, but I would have to buy box after box of these things in order to lose weight, right? Pretty much, over time you can lose weight with the full bar, but personally I think you would be able to get similar results with a bag of dry cereal and a lot of bottled water. It may have just been my experience with the Fullbar that was disappointing, but I think the price for no more than you get isn’t worth it.