Diabetes and Foot Ulcers

Medical expert Dr. Mohan S. Palaniswami answers common questions about diabetes:
Q: What are the risks of developing foot ulcers due to diabetes?
A: Foot ulcers occur in diabetics due to repetitive stress on the foot. Ulcers develop after calluses form on areas of increased pressure

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, such as the ball and heel of the foot, or on abnormal bony prominences.
The increased pressure seen in the diabetic foot is often due to decreased ankle motion at the Achilles tendon. This tendon becomes stiff because consistently high blood sugar levels lead to the deposition of sugar elements on the tendon.
Often, long-term elevated blood sugar levels, seen in those with poorly controlled diabetes, lead to circulation and nerve problems. The nerve problems lead to decreased sensation in the foot. The patient often doesn’t even know that a sore is present. The circulation problems cause the wound to heal poorly.
Infection is a common and major complication of diabetic foot wounds. Infection leads to tissue death and progressive gangrene. Massive infection is the most common factor leading to amputation.
A large number of diabetics with persistent and untreated foot ulcers will have their lower limb amputated, so this is a very serious condition! In fact, in the U.S, diabetes is responsible for about 60% of leg amputations that are not caused by accidents. In 2002, about 82,000 lower limb amputations were done in people with diabetes.
Progressive debridement (removal of dead/infected tissue) or surgery to reconnect the blood supply can sometimes help ulcers heal. But the best way to avoid this problem is to prevent it from happening in the first place.
To help prevent diabetic foot ulcers, monitor your blood sugar levels closely with the assistance of your physician and pay close attention to the health of your feet

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. This includes wearing protective footwear at all times, watching closely for sores or cracks in the skin on your feet, and getting treatment right away for sores that don’t seem to heal.

Why did Chinese women bind their feet?

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Topics in this Podcast: China

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, women
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When did women begin wearing pants?

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New York Times’ First (and Feminist) Female Reporter
Before men started wearing the crotch-covering legging we call trousers, everybody wore skirts in one form or fashion (see also: loincloths, tunics, togas, kilts, etc.). And why not? Skirts are far simpler to construct and facilitate more cooling air flow to the nether regions, which would’ve been a godsend in the pre-air conditioning days. But then, thanks to the rise of horseback infantries, trousers (see also: breeches, codpieces, tights, etc.) became the below-the-belt manly uniform of the masculine masses.
Western women, meanwhile, continued wearing skirts, and not just simple wrap-around numbers. We’re talking multi-layered, heavy, floor-length ensembles often further supported and puffed out with the assistance of cage crinoline, petticoats, bustles, or other clunky foundation garments, depending on the era (see also: corsets).
In the 19th century, recognizing not only the discomfort but also the health and safety hazards of wearing the weighty skirts that swept up street trash, impeded walking (especially down stairs) and posed fire hazards, and fueled by the freer-thinking spirit of the Enlightenment, some liberal folk began calling for more “rational dress.” In 1851, Amelia Bloomer debuted her signature shocking ensemble of loose-fitting ankle-length trousers — essentially bifurcated petticoats — underneath a shorter dress. Later in 1881, the Rational Dress Society was established in London, and it advocated women being required to wear no more than 7 pounds (3 kilograms) of underwear, which at the time would have been a major load off. But even with the popularization of the bicycle and younger women adopting bloomers as riding outfits, it would still be a long while before pants would become an all-season, any-occasion women’s wardrobe staple.
Pants for ladies trickled into high fashion in earnest in 1911, courtesy of French designer Paul Poiret, who had earlier done women a solid by introducing corset-free styles. His harem pant, as seen on Downton Abbey, made the cover of Vogue in 1913. And speaking of Vogue, billowy slacks were becoming more commonplace in its pages by the 1930s, as well as on the pages of celebrity trades that showcased some Hollywood A-listers including Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn wearing them on and off screen. For the average trendy, well-heeled woman, however, pants couldn’t simply be tossed on effortlessly; they came with their own set of rules (and weight requirements!) in 1939:
During World War II, though photographs show American women wearing pants in the workplace

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, dresses and skirts were still the go-to for properly going out in public, and Dior’s post-War “New Look,” swung the pendulum even farther away from the pant for a period. Really, as Worn Through underscores, it wasn’t until the sexual revolution and second-wave feminism in the late 1960s and 1970s that women started wearing trousers en masse and whenever they wished — for the most part. It wasn’t until 1993, for instance, that Sen. Barbara Mikulski and Carol Moseley-Braun (the first African-American woman elected to Senate) became the first woman senators to rock pantsuits on Senate floor, forcing the Senate to lift its ban on lady trousers in the Senate. Hence, while women’s adoption of pants wasn’t directly fueled by militarism as it was with men, the choice to eschew a skirt was no less an epic struggle.
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How to Avoid Blisters from High Heels

There’s probably no better example of suffering for style than high heels. These women’s shoes (although men have worn them at various points in history, too) are more popular than ever. However, the practice of teetering around in sky-high stilettos and towering platforms has left many women with a number of foot problems, including bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoe and, most commonly, blisters.
High heels are likely to lead to blistering because they not only constrict feet and toes; they also cause the body to deposit increased weight on that constricted area. When blisters do surface, they’re likely to be exacerbated by the continued rubbing and pressure of the shoe. Soon, you’re hobbling around with your band aid-adorned feet peeking out from your formerly chic shoes. Suddenly, those fashionable heels don’t look so stylish. As for your feet, those painful blisters — if not given the chance to heal properly — can become infected.
So what are you to do? Should you sacrifice style for comfort and safety? Or should you suffer through the pain and let your feet devolve into a hot mess?
Medical experts

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, of course, would recommend the former. They would advise you to cut back on wearing high heels — or stop wearing them altogether. However, if you’re a slave to fashion, you might not see this as an option. Recent surveys have found that while 73 percent of women experience foot problems related to wearing high heels, 42 percent would continue wearing their favorite shoe despite the discomfort.
Fortunately for you, there is a middle ground. While wearing heels less frequently is still ideal, it is possible to keep up with this shoe trend while also reducing the pain, discomfort and potential dangers of blisters. On the coming pages, we’ll show you steps you can take to prevent blistering from high heels

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, as well as the best ways to treat blisters when they occur. So keep reading for advice that will have you strutting around in your stilettos pain-free.

Boot Guide

Each season brings something special. Winter has the first pure, white snow; spring offers rebirth; summer, sunshine; and autumn brings boots. Fabulous

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, to-die-for boots. It’s worth saving up all summer for a new pair. Maybe two.
But which of the hundreds on hundreds of styles to choose from? There are the old standbys, of course, which never really get old

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. The refined, black leather, high-heel knee boot, or a flat one in brown suede. And the streamlined, neutral ankle boot with a sharp, pointy toe. They’ll never go out of style, and a great-quality boot can last forever.
Other styles, though, are a bit more timely. What’s in for fall 2010 may be out in 2011 (and back in again in 2013). But who cares? They’re boots. We love them. And this season’s styles are knock-outs.
Our look at fall boots begins with the leg-lengthening, mini-skirt-grazing phenom that is the OTK.
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Shoe for One: Cave with Oldest Shoe Also Holds Oldest Winery

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Remember the really, really old shoe Deblina and I discussed on our year-end discoveries podcast? The one that made doctoral student Diana Zardaryan

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, the woman who found it, utter what was also perhaps the best quote of 2010: “To find a shoe has always been my dream”?
Well now, from the same Armenian cave that contained the 5,500-year-old lace-up moccasin (the world’s oldest leather shoe) comes a new discovery: evidence of the world’s oldest winery. According to a study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science in January, researchers have found preserved grape vines, skins and seeds, plus some of the tools of winemaking, like fermentation and storage vessels and a press for stomping grapes. Shards of cups have also tested positive for malvidin, a chemical calling card of red wine.
All together, it’s the “earliest, most reliable evidence of wine production,” according to archeologist Gregory Areshian of the University of California, Los Angeles, and “for the first time, we have a complete archaeological picture of wine production dating back 6,100 years.” (That intervening 600 years between press and shoe ruled out my initial assumption that some poor grape-stomper lost his shoe in the muck!)
One strange point, though: The grapes and equipment were all found near a burial site, so it’s possible that the winemaking had ritualistic significance. So far, 20 burials have been located nearby, some even containing drinking cups for one last symbolic toast.
(There’s loads more interesting information on the discovery and the history of winemaking in James Owen’s article for National Geographic News.)
You can keep up with me through the official Stuff You Missed in History Class Facebook page and on Twitter.
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“The Deal” by Jason Yi

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She dreamt of a field where the flowers and grass were white, their shapes painted with rosewood. She walked through this field brushing her palm on the tops of these flowers. Her hands became wet and red, and the bottom of her white sundress was soaked. On the horizon, she saw a muted mustard sun setting. She walked towards the sun. The sun became smaller and within the sun she saw a boy. “Chuck!” She cried out. “Chuck!” The boy had a crimson blanket slung over his shoulders like a cape. She ran towards the boy. “Please, Chuck!” She cried out. She sliced through the red and white field and left a wake of pink puddles. As the sun shrank, it became brighter. And as it became brighter, the boy began to disappear. “Chuck, please!” She cried. She pumped her legs harder. Her legs burned. Her lungs burned. Her thoroughly wet sundress burdened her movements. “Please!” She cried. She stretched her arms towards the boy but the boy fully disappeared within the sun’s glow. She tripped over her red and white dress and stumbled forward. The field rushed at her.
She was woken by her plates crashing onto the kitchen floor. She had sweated through her white tank top. The ceiling fan spun on its maximum setting but it only gave a slight relief from the summer heat. The light from the street lamp squeezed through her tiny window behind the head of her bed. It provided just enough light to allow shadows to be cast about her studio apartment walls. From lying on her back, she could see a shadow that looked like a pine tree, which she knew to be her coat rack. She could see the shadows from her two chairs and her dresser. She laid there for a moment wondering whether she should clean the fallen and most likely shattered plates or attempt to go back to sleep. She sat up and removed her wet tank top and flung it onto her chairs. She then fell onto her bed. Sleep didn’t come to her. She lay in her bed trying to remember what she dreamt. All she remembered was a white field and a feeling of dread. The dread was deeper than any dread she felt in her life. She felt as though she made a terrible mistake that could never be taken back. This dread sat so heavy in her stomach, it tighten her chest and limbs. She turned to her side and grabbed her phone that lay on her hardwood floor. The phone displayed one forty in the morning and a message from her fianc¨¦. The message stated, “Good luck on ur finals!” She replied, “Thx!” She then placed her phone back on the floor and closed her eyes. She theorized her dread may stem from her upcoming law school exams. She tried to wear this justification, but it just didn’t fit comfortably. As a matter of fact, nothing felt comfortable she thought; everything, including the commonplace city noise, just felt off.
She heard cars driving by her apartment and a distant siren. She heard men and women stumbling home. They yelled. They laughed. They fought. She recalled the quiet of her small Minnesota town. There was no noise at night, except for the occasional freight train horn. She remembered, when she was a child, she would look out her bedroom window and watch the snow slowly accumulate on her father’s twenty-one year old pick-up truck. It ran until she graduated from high school, which was also when her parents separated. Her father would beam if you inquired about his truck. After going through a list of previous truck self-repairs, he boasted how his truck saved his life when a speeding sedan smashed into him during a Minnesota blizzard. And if it was not for his truck and the accident, her father explained, he would have never met her mother who was working as a nurse in the Twin Cities. Her mother, on the other hand, would sigh and roll her eyes when her father talked about his truck. Her mother would later, usually in her bedroom, confided a list of her father’s inadequacies to her. Her mother would wonder out loud how her life would have been if it wasn’t for that “damn pick-up truck.” She hated her mother, but as she grew older she noticed the dinginess of their ranch house. The charm of the old truck became an embarrassment to her during high school. She started to see her father’s limp as a weakness. And she too started to criticize her father’s inadequacies. She ran to college and law school to do whatever in her power to accomplish what her father did not and to be never inadequate to anyone.
She was running through the white field. The sun was high in the sky and bright. Her hair was wet with sweat, and her white sundress clung to her body. In the horizon she saw a small figure that looked like a boy standing on a table. She ran to the figure, but as she neared him, her feet sank into the field as if it was made of quicksand. She struggled and plodded through the white field until she was a couple of yards from the boy-like figure. The boy-like figure had his back to her. “This is not my Chuck,” she murmured to herself. He was short, maybe three feet tall. He was thin and he had almost no torso, just skinny arms and legs. The figure, however, had a very large spherical head, four or five times larger than the rest of his body. He had a shape of a marble balanced on top of a vertical needle. He wore a tiny black suit that shimmered in the sun. He wore no shoes. His feet were thin but almost as long as his legs and half their lengths were made up by his toes. His toenails were more like talons than human nails, sharp and hooked that looked like they were made for gripping and tearing flesh. His skin had the color of concrete, grey and pockmarked with black spots. She imagined his skin would also feel as rough as concrete. The figure was bald and he had small button ears. There were piles of stacked gold coins on the picnic table, on the benches, and some on the field. On the table, the gold coins surrounded the figure and one large black stock pot with a black lid. There was a sudden crack of thunder. She looked up and saw no clouds, just a beaming sun. Another inexplicable thunder boomed and then a few flakes materialized in the sky and started to float down. When the white flakes touched her skin, she felt a deep cold that pierced through her skin and invaded her muscles and bones. She shivered. More flakes fell from the sky, and they started to bury her. She shook and brushed the flakes from her but to no avail. They continued to bury her. She attempted to move closer to the picnic table, which had not been covered with snow. The flakes were coming down heavy, and they impaired her vision. She could only see glimpses of the table, the gold, the stock pot, and the figure through flurry of white. “Please help!” She shouted. The figure began to turn towards her, and the dread and uneasiness that fermented in her gut burst into a panic.
She woke to find she was laying in a fetal position shaking. The bed sheet was wrapped around her, and with both hands she was clenching the sheet under her chin. She threw her sheets off to the side. She felt goose bumps all over her body. Was she sick she questioned. She sat up and swung her legs out of her bed. She leaned forward and picked up her cell phone. The cell phone glowed three eleven. She sighed and placed her phone back on the floor. She slid out of bed and shuffled to her dresser on the other side of the room. The room was dark but it was bright enough so she find her way to her dresser without pawing blindly in the dark. She noticed that some of her plates had indeed shattered across the floor. She sighed. She was so tired, and she didn’t want to be exhausted for her finals. She opened her top drawer and blindly grabbed a t-shirt. She pulled the oversized t-shirt over her head and shuffled back to her bed. Halfway to her bed, something brushed past her left ankle. She simultaneously shrieked and shot her left leg up in the air. She felt her heart furiously beat in her upper chest. Any feeling of fatigue quickly vanished. What the hell was that she nervously wondered. She took a deep breath and leapt towards her bed. When she landed her left foot, she felt a sharp searing pain. She yelped and collapsed onto her bed. The street light revealed blood gushing from what remained of her big toe. “Oh no … oh no!” She yelled. She crumpled her bed sheet and pressed it hard on her gushing toe. She screamed. The bleeding didn’t stop, and her toe bled through the sheet. She felt woozy and light headed. While still pressing the sheet on her toe, she leaned to her right and picked up her phone. The blood on her hand smeared the phone’s screen, and she could not find her dialer icon. The whir of her ceiling fan became low frequency hums. The sound was soothing and it calmed her. Whatever light that remained in her room dimmed. The heat of the room also seemed to have been turned down. A comfortable warmth blanketed her. She felt more relaxed as the world became more muted. She laid on her side. She struggled to hold onto her phone and on the verge of succumbing to the darkness, she found her fianc¨¦’s quick dial icon on her phone. With her bloody thumb she pressed it but nothing happened. She pressed the icon again and the phone finally dialed her fianc¨¦. “Uh … uh … hello,” her fianc¨¦ sleepily answered. “Caaarlooss … heellp … call 9 … 1 … 1 … blood … dark … a lot,” she slurred. “What? Hold on! Hold on!” Carlos pleaded. She dropped her phone. The floor began to shift and bend like melting candle wax. Within the peripherals of the closing darkness, she thought she saw something scurry into the puddles of blood on the floor. She moaned and closed her eyes.
“And I saw her toe in the vermin’s mouth!” The goblin-like figure exclaimed. “Whahahaha … hahaha.” She laughed, but then she paused suddenly, realizing she had forgotten the joke’s setup and where she was. “Umm … I,” she muttered. She confusingly looked around. In her right hand was a bitten peach. Its juices ran down her hand and forearm and dripped onto her lap. She was sitting at a pine picnic table that was splintered and cracked, beaten from the snow, rain, heat, and cold. The table was in a white field that stretched out to the horizons. The lack of topography and the vast expanse of the field made her feel as though this picnic table was the center of the universe. The sun was either setting or rising. She wasn’t sure which. The picnic table was strewn with a wide array of vegetables and fruits; piles of pears, peaches, persimmons, parsnips, red and green grapes, greens, leeks, and carrots. In the middle of the table, there was a large black stockpot with a black lid that rocked up and down as steam escaped from the pot. She didn’t see any fire underneath the pot. How strange she thought. Standing on the table in front of her, there was a smiling goblin-like figure. The figure had a large spherical head on a pin thin body. He had large green eyes, a stout but sharp nose, thin lips, and a very large mouth that nearly extended from ear to ear. His large smile revealed hundreds of tiny yellow-stained incisors. “Are you alright my dear?” The figure questioned. “Um … yes. I was just … um confused for a bit,” she answered. The figure frowned. The largeness of the figure’s facial features exaggerated the emotions he conveyed. A smile didn’t just convey happiness but an extreme joy, and similarly his frown didn’t just convey worry or disappointment but a profound sadness. The figure’s angry face would have been terrifying she thought.
“I’m sorry Mister um … Medford, is it?” She asked.
“Yes, my dear. You look terribly disorientated,” Mr. Medford said. “I am the one who should apologize. Apologize for my, no doubt, obscene and, at the very least, inappropriate joke. And most of all apologize for being such a crude guest,” Mr. Medford apologized.
“No, I … just totally blanked.”
“Yes my dear. It is quite normal. I have had many times where I have um … blanked. On one occasion in front of a lord! I stood in front of him mumbling and bumbling with ums and uhs. How embarrassing. I attribute my lack of articulation from my missing tongue and the overwhelming emotions caused by my lord. Perhaps you too are missing a tongue or overwhelmed with emotions?”
“Hahahaha. No, Mr. Medford, I have my tongue. You must have just made me laugh so hard I just forgot things.”
“Well you are too kind. Thank you my dear. Now, what did you think of that peach? Is it not the most juicy, sweetest peach?”
She raised her peach and took a bite. The peach juice exploded into her mouth and ran down her chin and neck. The sweetness was like honey. She wiped the juice from her face with her forearm.
“Mr. Medford, this peach is awesome! It’s out of this world!” She exclaimed.
“Thank you my dear. Well, my stew is almost done. If you like the peach, you will love my stew. It is too unworldly.”
“Oh, I’m sorry Mr. Medford. I don’t eat meat. I’m a vegetarian.”
“You do not eat meat? How odd.”
Mr. Medford had a look of profound sadness. “Well, I suppose, I will have to eat all my delicious stew by myself,” he stated. His pointed slender tongue licked the entire length of his upper teeth. “Mr. Medford, I see you grew a new tongue!” She exclaimed. “Oh my. You are quite observant. Yes, I did grow a new tongue, and this one is much better than the old,” Mr. Medford replied. Mr. Medford sauntered to the stock pot. His talons scratched and loudly rapped against the top of the picnic table. He took off the lid. The smell of meat and spices filled her nostrils, and she began to salivate. Mr. Medford with his other hand reached into the pot and pulled out, between two slender fingers, a big toe sized cube of meat. As Mr. Medford slowly placed the meat into his gapping mouth, the meat dripped rendered fat and other juices onto the table and on his black shimmering suit jacket. He slowly chewed the meat with his large eyes closed. Mr. Medford had a look of profound ecstasy. He swallowed and opened his eyes. Mr. Medford then placed the lid back onto the pot and turned back towards her.
“Wonderful!” Mr. Medford exclaimed.
“It sure smelled good,” she said.
“Oh it was more than good, my dear. It was unworldly. I can not eat anything else. Bah to your roasted or grilled meats. Stewed meats of young beings are magnificent! Well my dear, I have loved your company but your time is short. We must get our deal done before the sun sets. You have invited me to your pleasant home, and now I must ask what do you seek from me?”
“I have everything I want, and I think I’m on the right path.”
“Oh I see. I am most content that you do not wish anything from me. And that you only called me so that we may converse and enjoy each other’s company.”
“But … I don’t want to mess it up. I mean, I don’t want to mess up my plan. I don’t want any hiccups or bumps or other unforeseen events.”
“Ah. How marvelously determined, self-reliant, and confident you are! You don’t ask for riches, power, or love, but you ask that you may fulfill your will. I have met many who sought riches, power, or love without labor or sacrifice. I will grant you your wish, and I will whisper to you on how this must be done. You must follow every word and if you stray, uncertainty and cataclysm will most likely befall you. But I must ask. Can you not live without your plan?”
“No.”
“Wonderful.”
Mr. Medford bent close to her and whispered her fate to her. He smelled of pine, dark chocolate, and lemon to her. After he was done whispering, they laughed and told stories. They ate fruit and Mr. Medford’s delicious stew.
She woke up in a hospital bed. Her head was throbbing. A blood bag was attached to her arm, and her left foot was bandaged. Carlos was sitting in a chair next to her bed reading the news on his phone. “Carlos,” she groaned. Carlos turned to her. Carlos had a round and plump face with a short boxed beard. He had chestnut hair that partially covered his hazel eyes.
“Margie!” Carlos happily exclaimed. He then grabbed her hand.
“What happened?”
“Geez, you scared me. I came into your room, with the paramedics, there was blood everywhere, I mean everywhere. There were smashed plates. It looked like you got into some fight.”
“There was no fight. I think I cut my toe on one of those plates.”
“Yeah. Uh, we saw there wasn’t any scratches on you and that your … um … toe was missing.”
“What?”
“Yeah. Uh. You’re … uh … missing a toe. At first, the paramedics thought you sliced it off yourself. Cuz they didn’t know how you could have cut your toe off like that. And they couldn’t believe how much you bled. I couldn’t believe it too. You must have cut some kind of artery.”
“You didn’t find it?”
“No, I’m sorry. After they stabilized you, I went back to your apartment and I cleaned. I couldn’t find it. I looked under the bed and everything.”
“Ugh. Did I miss my finals?”
“Yeah, but don’t worry. I talked to the school and they’re going to let you take your finals in three weeks.”
“Thanks, Carlos … for everything.”
“Don’t sweat it Margie. Just get better. I love you.”
“Thanks Carlos.”
Margie closed her eyes and went back to sleep. She dreamt of the Minnesota woods.
In a pine forest clearing, Margaret stood knee deep in the snow, cradling three year old sleeping Charles in her arms. A Minnesota blizzard raged all around Margaret and her child. Margaret was only wearing her white nightgown, which was soaked with melted snow, and a red down jacket. Charles was swaddled in a crimson blanket. For a moment, the wind became still and the snow just gently fell from the night sky. Margaret looked down at her child and apologized. She didn’t shed a tear; she shed them all, the night before. This was the deal, it is my fate Margaret thought, and she shuddered and wept dryly. Then a gust rushed from the sky and nearly knocked Margaret to her knees. The gust revealed a smiling crevice in front of Margaret. The crevice was long and curved much like Mr. Medford’s gapping, hungry mouth. The crevice howled and screeched. “Oh my Chuck!” She wailed. “Please Mr. Medford, please,” she pleaded. As if in response

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, the crevice roared loudly. Margaret moaned and wailed, and she hugged her child for the last time. Then she threw her child into Mr. Medford’s mouth.
The sun was setting over the pine forest. Craig removed his mittens and placed them in his snowsuit cargo pockets. He then took out a pack of spearmint gum from his pocket. The Minnesota January cold instantaneously numbed his fingers, which made unwrapping the piece of gum difficult. Craig finally unwrapped his piece of gum and popped it in his mouth.
“Hey Craig, can I have one?” His partner asked.
Craig rolled his eyes and stared at his partner with disdain.
“You serious, Josh?” Craig replied.
“Yeah, please.”
“You really need to stop mooching off of me.”
Craig tossed his pack of gum to Josh.
As Josh fumbled with the pack, he asked, “You think we’ll ever find him?”
“Dunno,” Craig replied.
His partner unwrapped his piece of gum, and he was now happily chewing.
“We should probably head back to the cabin. It’s getting late and I don’t want to be stuck out in the woods at night.” Craig told his partner.
“That kid is dead,” Josh blurted.
Craig pondered this a bit.
“Yeah, probably,” he replied.
“Then why in the hell are we out here for over three weeks!?”
“Well, for one thing, that kid is Congresswoman Margaret’s kid.” Craig recalled the Congresswoman being gaunt and half-mad when he first arrived at her cabin. What disturbed him the most was her constant lip biting. Often it would bleed and drizzle down her chin.
“Yeah, I know, and I don’t care. Phfff politicians. They’re soulless. Brrr, I’m so cold. I would totally sell my soul for some hot chocolate with marshmallows. What’d you sell yours for?”
“My soul? I wouldn’t trade it. Nothing is worth hell.”
“Hell sounds pretty good in this freeze. Brrr, I’m freezing my … what the?”
“What?”
“I think … I”
“What?”
Josh started to sprint to the setting sun. “Hey Josh, what the heck?” Craig yelled. “I think I saw that damn kid. He’s alive!” Josh screamed back. “Shoot,” Craig said, and he started to chase Josh. Craig weaved through the red pines while attempting to dodge their branches. “Josh, hold up!” Craig yelled. Craig pumped his legs harder through the packed powder until the snow and ground gave away, and Craig disappeared into an abyss.
Craig opened his eyes. He found himself laying on his back in a cave that was dimly lit by a sliver of star light above him. He tried to sit up but an intense pain shot through his lower back to his legs. He screamed. Craig rummaged through his jacket and found his pocket flashlight. He switched on his light. Craig saw that he was in a crevice pit with over thirty feet sheer walls. Sharp rocks littered the cave ground. He saw his legs were twisted and bent. To his right, about two feet away, he saw a red bundle with a tiny leg emerging from it. The calf muscle was torn from the bone, and the flesh looked like it had tiny bites taken from it. He realized he would also suffer the same fate as the kid, except his death would likely be long and painful as he starved. “Heelllllllpp! Heellllllllpp! Please help me!” Craig desperately yelled. He continued to scream for help until his voice was hoarse, but he heard no response except for the howling wind above him. Craig wished he had his brains splattered on the rocks. He wished his body wasn’t broken. He wished to live. He struggled and fought to sit up. He screamed through clenched teeth. The excruciating pain and stress caused him to vomit blood and the remnants of his lunch. Craig collapsed in exhaustion and passed out with vomit frozen on his mouth and neck. When he awoke, the sunlight was shining on his face. He was overcome with warmth. His stomach growled and his mouth salivated as he smelled the spices and cooked meat.

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Life According to Cosmo: What Women (Should) Want

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Taking (yet another) cue from Jamie Keiles, whose Seventeen Magazine Project, prompted my little foray into Cosmoland, I wanted to see what types of products are advertised in its pages. This breakdown doesn’t include all of the advertorial items included in the what-to-wear, how-to-be-beautiful sections, but rather the actual ad spots.
As expected, there’s a major emphasis on beauty aids and skincare. That rang true in Seventeen as well, with Keiles’ ad analysis finding 80 percent focused on beauty aids and health/hygiene. By the time girls grow up into Cosmo women, they’re already conditioned to think that they’re face and skin could probably use some touchups. Moreover, what Seventeen readers lose in ads for educational products (8 percent of Seventeen ads), they make up for in booze billboards (8 percent of Cosmo ads).
But there are also a few categories I included that caught my attention. Namely, the amount of razors, depilatory creams and laser hair removal promotions throughout the pages. In fact, there were almost as many hair remover type ads (10 percent) as there were hair care — shampoo, mousse, etc — ads (17 percent). Molly and I frequently get emails from Stuff Mom Never Told You listeners requesting podcast on why women shave their legs and why we’re culturally obsessed with women being as hairless as possible (which we’ve covered, if you’d like to take a listen). This advertising trend speaks directly to that conundrum. Society tells us to have full, lustrous locks up top, but don’t even think about letting a single follicle grow freely below the scalp! And this is the data to prove it.
I was also interested to see the lack apparel advertising. Perhaps clothing and shoe companies save their marketing dollars for more fashion-y titles, but I’d venture that there’s a deeper message at work here as well. When you flip through the magazine and just look at the ads, all you see over and over again are close-ups on women’s faces and shiny, hairless bare skin. Considering that skincare and hair-related ads (47 percent combined) outranked those for cosmetics (11 percent), Cosmopolitan’s advertising emphasis is incredibly body conscious. Don’t have that flawless skin and shapely gams? Too bad. All the makeup and clothing in the world really isn’t going to fix that, now will it? Swirling around that exposed flesh, we have diet friendly food offerings (17 percent), cellulite cures (5 percent) and even eyelash extenders to fix those “trouble spots.”
Big surprise then

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, that about a third of the way into the July edition, there’s a full-page ad for bipolar disorder. Because taken together, all of these skin-deep beauty messages can set a gal’s head topsy-turvy.
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Bridal Beauty Budgeting 101

No newly-married couple wants to start their life together drowning in debt, but with the average wedding priced at $30,000 or more, far too many newlyweds find themselves facing stacks of bills and scary credit card statements. If a five-figure wedding budget seems slightly out of reach, or you’d prefer to spend your savings embarking on your new life together, take heart; there are plenty of easy ways to pare down your wedding expenses

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, especially when it comes to your bridal beauty budget. Instead of shelling out hundreds of dollars for salon updos and professional makeup application, consider handling these tasks yourself or enlisting the help of fashion-savvy friends and family members.
If Kate Middleton can handle her own wedding makeup, knowing that more than a billion people around the world would be watching, there’s no reason that you can’t do the same. Break out your everyday beauty products, and splurge on just one key item for the big day, like a gorgeous new shade of lipstick or blush. Want to create a special look for the big day? Head to the mall and hit up the makeup counter to pick up a few tips and learn what’s new this season. The highly trained staff in the makeup department is often willing to let you try new products and even hand out free samples.
When it comes to styling your wedding-day ‘do, seek out your most stylish acquaintance¡ªthe one who always looks polished and pulled together no matter what the occasion¡ªand ask her for help with your hairstyle. Tell her you’ll consider her styling service as the ultimate wedding gift. After all, you’ll almost certainly remember the friend who created your gorgeous updo more than you would remember who gave you another toaster or coffee maker. If you’re not sure how you want to wear your hair for the big day, schedule a consulting visit at the salon and bring your friend along to observe.
Of course, the bride isn’t alone when it comes to blowing the budget to pay for the big day; after your bridesmaids have had to pull out their credit cards to pay for dresses, shoes, and showers, the last thing you want to do is ask them to shell out even more for hair and makeup. If you’re looking forward to a group trip to the salon, or you expect your bridesmaids to hit up a certain stylist, try to arrange a group rate to save money. If you know many of your friends are on a budget, skip the traditional bridesmaids gifts and gift them a day of pre-wedding beauty treatments instead.
Planning a low-key wedding

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? Transform your bacherlorette party or bridal shower into a DIY beauty session where you test out different hair and makeup styles as a group. By pooling your skills and sharing makeup or styling tools, you can dramatically cut your beauty budget. Even better, you and your friends will be able to pocket the money you would have spent on limos and drinks for a traditional bacherlorette party.
While everyone enjoys saving money, there are times when it’s well worth it to pay a professional, particularly when it comes to your wedding. A good haircut is almost always worth the price, and virtually impossible to do by yourself. While you’re at the salon, invest in eyebrow shaping. It may seem extravagant, but the cost is relatively low for something that can change the whole shape and structure of your face. Finally, go ahead and get that French manicure. On your wedding day, everyone is going to want a look at your ring, and the last thing you want to do is show off ragged nails alongside your brand new bling.

Is it possible to get taller as an adult?

On Feb. 22, 1918, Robert Pershing Wadlow was born in Alton, Illinois. He was perfectly unremarkable in every way ¡ª until one remarkable exception revealed itself. By age 13, Wadlow, who had an overactive pituitary gland, had grown to 7 feet 4 inches, making him tall enough to be named the World’s Biggest Boy Scout. By adulthood, he was 8 feet 11.1 inches in height; he was named World’s Tallest Man. Wadlow towered over everyone he met as he toured the United States as a shoe company spokesman until his death in 1940. He would still be considered a giant if he were alive today.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the average height of people in the United States is 5 feet 4 inches for women and 5 feet 9 inches for men. In the past few decades, the collective height of Americans has leveled out, especially when compared to the first half of the 20th century. From the early 1900s through the 1950s, the population got increasingly taller ¡ª about 1.5 inches taller every 20 years [source: CDC].
Endocrine disorders can cause adults to keep growing, often to astounding heights. The condition gigantism is caused by a tumor that creates an abundance of growth hormones. The condition begins in adolescence; by adulthood, it can lead to heights of 8 feet or more. Another type of tumor affecting the endocrine system can cause adults to develop acromegaly, a disease in which the extremities (hands, feet, even the jaw) reach gigantic proportions.
Hormone-fueled disorders aside, there is a slim chance you could continue to grow taller in adulthood ¡ª but only if you failed to receive adequate nutrition in your youth, when your body does most of its development. Humans are designed to have growth spurts during two stages in life: infancy and adolescence. These critical time frames extend from birth to age 3, then age 10 to 17. The body increases in height as hormones stimulate new layers of bone. Growth plates at each end of the bone determine the length of bones, and once they close, height gains cease.
Few people experience a growth in height beyond age 20, with some notable exceptions. There’s a slim chance that the growth plates could remain open for a person up to his or her mid-20s. If a person was nutritionally repressed during childhood and adolescence, the ability to eat more at an older age, even into adulthood, can sometimes make that person grow taller

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. There’s also a controversial surgery in which the bones of the legs are broken and separated, resulting in the addition of a few inches of length [source: Onion].
If you’re raising children, you can guarantee their height gains by offering a balanced diet. But if you’re an adult wishing wistfully for a few extra inches, your best bet might be a platform shoe!