Everyday Foot Problems

Feet are like snowflakes: No two are the same — even those on the same body. Your two feet may actually be different shoe sizes! And even if they’re evenly matched, they’ll be different sizes and different shapes at different times in your life, including as your body changes through growth, pregnancy (for women), disease or disability, and aging. Because of these natural irregularities and the changes that every person encounters during life, there are several everyday foot problems that often occur.
One recent study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, found that during puberty — when hormonal changes spur bone developments — the bone density of black girls increases three times more than that of white girls. And when the U.S. Public Health Service conducted a national survey in 1990, it found that blacks experienced 20 percent fewer foot problems overall than whites, although blacks are more likely to suffer from corns, calluses, and flat feet.
Nationality can also influence foot structure: Many Mediterranean people, for instance, have particularly low arches, while many Northern Europeans tend to have high ones. Finally, in some ethnic communities, cultural standards play a role, because they determine what is considered attractive. Members suffer pain from wearing uncomfortable shoes that are simply de rigueur in their cultural world.
One of your best precautions against foot pain is to be aware of both the hereditary factors (which you can’t change) and the lifestyle and life-stage factors (which you can change or, at least, influence) that determine whether your feet are healthy or hurting.
This article offers easy and helpful suggestions for treating many of the more common foot conditions people experience. However, there are certain foot problems that are so serious

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, you should seek a doctor’s care immediately. Likewise, certain people should never attempt to self-treat a foot problem. For example, If you have diabetes or circulatory problems, if you are pregnant, if you have recently had surgery, or if you are under the continuing care of a physician for another reason, you should discuss your foot problem, and the best way to go about treating it, with your doctor before attempting self-treatment.
Continue to the next page to get tips on treating calluses — a foot condition almost everyone experiences at one time or another.
To learn more about treating and avoiding problems with your feet, visit:

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.

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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Bridesmaid Dress Inspiration

You chose these girls to be your bridesmaids because they’re your best friends

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. Don’t make any enemies by asking them to wear a truly hideous or ridiculously expensive dress. We’ll walk you through a few considerations to help you find the best gown for your best girls.

Dean Smith

Position: Coach
Dean Smith learned from the best and became the best. A prot¨¦g¨¦ of University of Kansas coach Phog Allen, who won 746 games, Smith has done his mentor a few better in his 36 years of coaching, winning 879 at the University of North Carolina, which is second best behind Bob Knight.
Among Smith’s innovations were the four-corners offense, the run-and-jump defense, the use of multiple screens against zones, and team huddles before free throws to set up defenses. His teams annually ranked among the best shooting and least turnover prone in the nation, and many of his former pupils have become successful coaches, including Billy Cunningham, Larry Brown, George Karl, Roy Williams, and Eddie Fogler. Smith had a stranglehold on records such as most 25-win seasons (22) and most consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (23).
Born February 28, 1931, in Emporia, Kansas, Smith played basketball, football, and baseball in both high school and college. He was a reserve guard on Allen-coached Kansas teams that won the NCAA championship in 1952 and finished second in 1953. Smith began his coaching career while serving in the Air Force, then went to North Carolina as an assistant in 1958. He took over as head man in 1961 after Frank McGuire left to coach the Philadelphia Warriors.
Smith’s first few teams were nothing special, as rabid Carolina fans were quick to point out. Students hanged Smith in effigy after one loss in 1965, but two years later the Tar Heels began a streak of three consecutive appearances in the Final Four. Meanwhile

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, Smith integrated the program, recruiting Charlie Scott, the first African-American scholarship athlete at the university.
Smith won his first national championship in 1982, beating Georgetown University on a last-gasp basket by Michael Jordan, and added a second in 1993 with a victory against the University of Michigan’s “Fab Five.” He coached the U.S. team to a gold medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, and he placed at least one Carolina player on each Olympic team from 1964-92. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1982. He retired from the game in 1997.
In 2006, Smith was recognized for his impact on college basketball by being inducted into the founding class of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. He was elected along with Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell, John Wooden, and James Naismith.
For more on the greatest basketball players of all time, visit:

Sexism and the Search for “Good Men”

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Like Tracy, I was slightly enraged by Kay S. Hymowitz’s smug deconstruction of the modern “pre-adult” male she described in her Wall Street Journal piece, Where Have the Good Men Gone?. But not so much because she incorrectly paints men with a love of ‘Star Wars’ and Cartoon Network programming as overgrown college co-eds but because she misses the female side of this ‘good men’ equation.
I agree with Anna North over at Jezebel: boiling young men down to self-absorbed

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, clueless Seth Rogan in “Knocked Up” clones is simply sexist. As much as Molly and I discuss the short end of the stick that women often receive, sexism is a two-way street, and casting off men as useless, beer-guzzling, insensitive idiots does nothing to advance the overarching social discourse on gender beyond playground finger-pointing. To me, it’s the equivalent of a man characterizing all young women as “Sex & the City”-crazed

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, shoe-obsessed, hormonally imbalanced nut cases.
And if Ms. Hymowitz truly believes that “husbands and fathers are now optional” for women today, why is she spending such a high word count discussing how difficult the “good ones” are to find? Perhaps because — from my vantage point as a mid-20s professional gal without a ring on her finger, which is allegedly the demographic Hymowitz writes about — plenty of well-heeled women still date these supposed ‘man children’. And plenty more date perfectly nice, quality gents.
However, I don’t know of any girlfriends who have thrown up their hands, weary of men’s “puerile shallowness” and “in fear and disgust either up on any idea of a husband and kids or just to a sperm bank and the DNA without the troublesome man.” If anything, we ladies just jump on OK Cupid and see what else is out there.
From an economic standpoint, Hymowitz probably shouldn’t write off the male gender so quickly, either. Although the recession hit men the hardest and arguably turned gender dynamics on its ear in the past few years, the guys are recovering from the employment hit — and faster than women. Sure, that doesn’t address some men’s affinities for ‘Maxim’ or Adam Sandler flicks, but should we really wallow around in those kinds of stereotypes any longer than we have to?
In a word, Ms. Hymowitz, no.
Maybe a good man is hard to find. But maybe, just maybe, successful, independent women should figure out what they’re looking for — whether it’s a ‘Star Wars’-loving geek or a Judd Apatow apostle — and check the sexist diatribes at the door.
Follow Cristen & Molly from Stuff Mom Never Told You on Twitter and Facebook.
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How Eleanor of Aquitaine Worked

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, aka Molly Spotted Elk
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Weight Loss After Lumbar Fusion

A lumbar fusion is major surgery, and it takes about three months to heal, according to Spine-Health. The immediate postoperative period is not a time to try to lose weight, and The Hospital for Special Surgery of the Women¡¯s Sports Medicine Center in New York says you should not try to crash diet before or after surgery. Don’t try to lose weight after a lumbar fusion without your doctor¡¯s approval. To lose weight, you must decrease your caloric intake, increase your exercise or do both.
A lumbar fusion is a surgery designed to stop the motion of one or more vertebrae. Vertebral movement causes pain and can make the spine unstable. Sometimes the surgeon places bone grafts between the vertebrae, or metal rods, plates and screws may be used to stabilize the spine. You should ensure that you eat a well-balanced diet with adequate protein for healing along with whole grains, legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables for vitamins, minerals and fiber. Once your wound has healed and you have the approval of your surgeon, you can consider a weight-loss diet.
Your caloric needs will vary according to gender, age and activity, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. A woman between the ages of 31 and 50 who is sedentary needs about 1

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,800 calories a day; if she is very active, she needs about 2,200 calories a day. A man of the same age will need between 2,200 and 3,000 calories to maintain his weight. A weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week is sufficient, according to the American Council on Exercise. To lose a pound a week when you are eating at maintenance level for your current weight, decrease your daily intake by 500 calories.
An exercise program should include aerobic exercise, strength training and flexibility exercises, according to MayoClinic.com. Exercise promotes weight loss and can help you regain fitness after your surgery. Don¡¯t start an exercise program without your surgeon¡¯s approval

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. Repetitive bending, stretching and twisting are not recommended for the first three months after surgery, according to Spine-Health, but walking is encouraged. Start slow and increase the intensity of your exercise program as your fitness increases.
Some exercises are better than others after lumbar surgery. Walking or swimming are good choices, as both provide aerobic exercise without jarring the spine. Cycling may be another possible exercise, but pay attention to any symptoms of pain or stiffness in the back. Running and other high-impact exercises may cause excessive stress on the spine. Strength training helps build muscle and can promote weight loss by increasing your metabolism, according to the American Council on Exercise.

Novartis’ $1B Glass Ceiling

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Pharmaceutical company Novartis learned just how much a glass ceiling in the workplace can cost. Ballpark: $1 billion.
A New York City jury just found Novartis guilty of sex discrimination in a lawsuit brought by 12 female employees. According to BusinessWeek “The women allege that Novartis had disrespected its female workers by paying them less than men, promoting fewer of them and allowing a hostile workplace dominated by an old boys’ network to flourish.”
The court has awarded the plaintiffs $250 million in punitive damages, but the payout might not end there

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. Forbes reports that the damages could run as high as $1 billion to rectify the gender pay gap for the 5,600 current and former Novartis female employees covered by the ruling.
This comes on the heels of a Rasmussen Report survey that found 70 percent of American adults believe women are in a better place than they were 25 years ago – except in the wage arena

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. In fact, 61 percent of respondents, both male and female, believe equal gender pay exists. Here’s hoping the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act works overtime in the next few years to close the 20 percent pay gap between men and women’s median earnings.
Follow Cristen & Molly from Stuff Mom Never Told You on Twitter and Facebook.
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Difference Between Formal and Business Casual For Men

Knowing when formal or business-casual attire is appropriate can sometimes prove difficult — especially if casual clothes make up the majority of your everyday wardrobe. You can avoid the awkwardness of wearing the wrong ensemble at the wrong time by acquainting yourself with the basics of men¡¯s dress etiquette.
The most formal men¡¯s attire includes white tie, black tie and black-tie optional. Such formal apparel is usually reserved for weddings, balls, galas and similar occasions. Emily Post explains men¡¯s black tie and black-tie optional typically includes a traditional tuxedo, formal white shirt, tie or cummerbund, and tuxedo shoes or formal pumps — you may exchange your tuxedo jacket for a white dinner jacket in the summer and on cruises. White tie includes a black tailcoat with matching trousers, gloves, patent leather formal shoes, white vest, white bow tie and a white pique wing-collared shirt.
Business formal is perhaps the most common form of men¡¯s professional attire. Although it is not as formal as black tie, it is nonetheless essential to building a well-rounded wardrobe. Emily Post states men¡¯s business-formal attire includes a dark business suit, broadcloth dress shirt, subdued ties (no cartoon or gag prints), leather dress shoes (GQ recommends black-patent leather lace-ups), belt or suspenders, and an optional vest. Off-the-rack suits do not always fit well

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; have your suit tailored to ensure it flatters your physique and creates a sleek, professional look.
Men¡¯s business casual is a more comfortable alternative for professionals than business formal. Business-casual attire does not require a tailored suit or even a tie, but it is essential your attire be well maintained and unwrinkled. Men¡¯s business-casual attire includes dark slacks, khakis, chinos and dark-wash jeans; casual button-down, dress, polo and open-collar shirts; a blazer or sports coat; casual dress shoes or loafers; and an optional tie. Your clothes should create a relaxed yet discernibly professional appearance.
Understanding when business formal or business-casual attires are appropriate is as important as knowing what they include. Men¡¯s business formal is suitable for professional office environments, job interviews, semi-formal occasions such as funerals and business meetings, or dinners. Your business-casual attire is most appropriate for relaxed professional atmospheres, company socials or parties

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, and informal business luncheons and meetings. Do not hesitate to ask beforehand if you are unsure what attire is appropriate for an interview or new job.