Holiday Advertising-How Far is TOO Far?

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How far is too far in Holiday Advertising? We now are so used to Mattress Sales on Lincoln and Washington’s Birthday that it just seems commonplace. ToyotaThon and other car sales during Fourth of July seems an American tradition.

This Christmas my email was bombarded with corporate emails of Holiday Cheer and wishing my family a New Year with 20 percent off all marketing supplies and free shipping. No one at these companies has ever talked with me personally and definitely hasn’t met my family. If they had – I’m certain my discount would quickly drop to 10 percent .

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Is our society so complacent now and so economically oriented that Holidays – even Christmas- is fodder merely as a marketing tool for financial gain?

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We are constantly manipulated – yes that is the correct word – by advertisers who hire sophisticated human behavior experts in designing an effective ad. The current Star Wars movie ( to which I have been a durable fan since the beginning of the ‘Rebellion’ ) is a sad token of the Lucas franchise.

Disney bought Lucas Star Wars for 4 billion dollars and evidently is attempting to recover its total purchase payment in this 2015 Christmas Holiday season.  From car ads to battery ads, to Cover Girl Makeup ads to Campbell soup ads, Disney has handed out Star Wars brand with apparently only one criteria – that the ad must appear on Planet Earth!

The Campbell ‘Star Wars’ labeled soups ad and Duracell battery television commercial ads are interesting since the current J.J. Abrams directed Star Wars movie doesn’t even HAVE Darth Vader and other Lucas characters in the new released movie!

Disney doesn’t seem to care however as long as they can sell the Star Wars characters.  George Lucas sold his Star Wars characters to Lego and other commercial endeavors. However, Lucas at least did it with some class and selection to maintain the integrity of his creation – and at least relevant to the current movie !!

I suspect I’ll be using Death Star Mouthwash and Luke Skywalker Depends since Disney shows no shame or class to fill its coffers with Star Wars bounty.

May the ‘Profits Be With You’.disneymoney

 

What Are Cataracts? – New Eyedrop?

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Cataract definition

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens. The vast majority of cataracts are related to age. Most people do not even realize they have a cataract, as cataracts grow very slowly and may not impede vision early on. After a number of years vision will likely be affected. When the cataract has become so dense that it compromises the patient’s quality of life, the patient and optometrist will discuss the appropriate time to remove it. Surgery is the only treatment.

What Causes a Cataract?

The human lens is transparent so that light can travel through it easily. It has no blood supply. It is 65% water. Although new cells are being made for the lens continuously throughout our lifetime, many factors combine as we age to cause areas in the lens to become cloudy, hard, and dense. The lens can then no longer transmit a clear picture to the retina where it can be processed and sent through the optic nerve to the brain.

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What are the Different Types of Cataract?

Congenital

Although it is not common, some babies are born with cataracts or develop them within the first year of life.

Traumatic

This type of cataract results from an injury to the eye.

Secondary

This is a cataract that is caused either by medications (most commonly prednisone or other corticosteroids) or disease, like diabetes. Cataracts are 10 times more common in diabetic patients than in the general population.

Age-related

This is the most common kind of cataract. There are three subclassifications, based on location: nuclear, cortical and posterior subcapsular. Diminished vision typically relates to the location of where the cataract is developing.

Facts and Figures

  • By age 65, over 90% of people have a cataract
  • 50% of people between the ages of 75 and 85 have lost some vision because of a cataract
  • In the United States, cataract surgery is the most frequent therapeutic procedure performed on people age 65 and above
  • Over 2 million cataract procedures are performed in the United States every year and include patients who range from newborn to those in their 90s
  • Cataract is the most common cause of blindness in the world, although it is treatable.

Symptoms

Typically patients will experience blurry vision, double vision, sensitivity to light, glare, colors that appear washed out, and frequent changes to eyeglass prescription. An optometrist will be able to diagnose a cataract by looking through a slit-lamp during a dilated eye examination or by looking through an ophthalmoscope.

Treatment

Surgical removal of cataracts and replacement with an artificial lens (called an intraocular lens) is the most successful surgical procedure in the country. This is performed on an out-patient basis under local anesthesia.

Now there maybe be an option of drops to clear up cataracts but data on humans needs to be done.  Science magazine reports that preliminary tests in dogs demonstrate the new eye drops may well work in humans.

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Preventing Cataracts

Although there is no surefire way to prevent cataracts from forming, there is evidence to show that protecting your eyes from ultraviolet light may prevent or slow the progression of cataracts. UV protecting sunglasses in wrap-around frame provide the best protection.

Smoking also increases the rate of cataract formation, so stopping smoking will decrease the risk.

Mythbusters – Facts about Cataracts

  • Cataracts do not travel from one eye to the other
  • Cataracts are not caused by using the eyes too much
  • Cataracts are not related to cancer
  • Cataracts cannot be treated or removed with a laser

 

Auto Technology – Gone Too Far?

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Throughout the years, technology has taken us from the push button phone to current advancements in ‘Siri’ type technology. Whether we like or make use of the new technological advances in our phones, it’s really doesn’t effect anyone else around us.

But now the wireless computer technology already on board for entertainment systems and other areas, many cars driving right next you may be putting your lives at a greater risk.

How? Currently, Andy Greenberg in Wired magazine describes how a new Jeep was hacked and had it’s steering and braking  was taken over by computer programmers sitting in their own home miles away from the actual car!

If cars are hacked like this, then we ALL can suffer by the accidents they cause and there is little we can do about it right now.

The Jeep isn’t the only vehicle subject to this problem by far and more are on the way.  So, is this new technology helpful or does it bring with it a risk that necessitates halting it’s use until we know these new systems are secure?

I think the latter.

Amazing Mantis Shrimp Eyes !

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Seeing is one of the most enjoyable senses humans enjoy. When Katrina, a patient of mine, told me about how special the Mantis Shrimp was, I knew I had to find out more.

At first hand you might think that all animals pretty much had the same eyes and got images of the world about the same.  Some do but the Mantis Shrimp is in a class by itself. This small unintelligent creature possesses a most unusual visual system.

Humans have 3 cones and 1 rod type receptors in their retina. Cones are red, green and blue and are utilized in various ways to give us the spectrum of colors we see. Rods give us acuity to see at night. Recently there has been discovered a new receptor that adjusts our internal circadian clock.

In a National Geographic article by Ed Yong, he describes the amazing layout of the Mantis Shrimp visual system in detail. Unlike humans who only have 3 different type receptors  the Mantis Shrimp has at least 6 to 12 and maybe even 16 !!!

At the first discovery of addition receptors, it was thought that the shrimp might see even more color details than humans do. However, that was not the case as described by Jessica Morrison’s article and video in the science journal Nature.

What research does seem to agree on is that the arrangement of the Mantis Shrimp’s eyes allows it to respond quickly, perhaps even bypassing it’s own brain, and avoid predators and react quickly to it’s environment.

If they ever figure out just ‘how’ the Mantis Shrimp’s eyes work, perhaps us humans will be able to react even ‘faster’ than we do now.  Think about how many Facebook postings and Tweets we could do then!!

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Quick Steps for Eye Health

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