Oh, great, there’s a new weight loss app for kids. That’s awesome. I know I would’ve loved that when I was a kid.
You know what was the best thing about my childhood? Everything that didn’t have to do with being hyper-aware of my weight and what food I was or wasn’t “supposed” to eat. Like, seriously, everything else. I loved school, I was in community theatre, I took art classes, I played dress-up with my sister, I listened to music, my family went to museums, we road tripped, I had awesome adventures with my friends. But I was very tall, kind of stocky (genetically), and overweight on top of that. Not extremely overweight, just chubby. But it was treated like a fucking crisis, both by my parents and doctors and by my peers, who called me the Pillsbury Dough Girl, poked my stomach, and then got mad at me when I didn’t accordingly feel like going “hm-hmmm!” Keep reading »
It’s no secret that major corporations don’t operate in a vacuum, and that a hefty chunk of their money could easily be funding your favorite (or least favorite) politicians. Companies behind popular food and household products are no exception to this. In a world with way more behind-the-scenes rigging going on than any of us would like to believe, I’m a big proponent of knowing exactly where our hard-earned money is going. All that said, is it really necessary to only buy foods produced by companies who support our favorite political party? I’m not totally sure. Keep reading »
I’m not going to lie. I won’t pretend that I’m not a white woman from an upper-middle-class family from a relatively affluent suburb of Chicago, that the word “sketchy” has never come out of my mouth relating to majority black or Hispanic neighborhoods, that I was never told to avoid “certain areas” of the city. I’m just going to say that it hasn’t happened in a good long while, because I grew the fuck up and both got educated and educated myself about race and economics, gentrification, white flight, gerrymandering, the consequences of privatization, municipal budget allocation, and on, and on, and on.
Allison McGuire and Daniel Herrington, creators of the super-racist app SketchFactor and grown-ass adults who should know better, didn’t get the memo. The app combines user-contributed reports and “publicly available data” to rate the relative “sketchiness” of different parts of your town. In effect, of course, this will be used to single out neighborhoods because of the way that they look, regardless of your actual chances of being victimized or how nice the neighborhood might be if you bothered to do more than pass through while trying to avoid traffic on the expressway. Keep reading »
This is a little weird to say, but I’ve come across an app that makes tracking your period kind of, um, fun! It’s called Clue, and I’m convinced its pretty layout is what makes it so addictive. The design is bright and attractive but devoid of pink, flowers, or any of the other vaguely patronizing nonsense that is usually associated with periods or ovulation. I think it’s such a good idea to track the details of your period, because it feels like I have more control of my health somehow that way, but I’ve jumped between different boring apps and gotten sick of the monotony of recording it too many times to count. Clue, however, kind of feels like I’m playing a game when I use it — like Candy Crush but actually beneficial. When you open the app, you’re greeted by colorful cartoon clouds that change colors based on when your period is predicted to arrive. Like any lady health app, it also predicts the days you’re most fertile, and it uses a nifty circular chart in addition to a regular calendar. You can record your mood, PMS symptoms, sexytime activities, and other little tidbits using cute buttons that distract from the not-so-cute reality of those cramps you’re keeping track of. Our bodies are kind of amazing in their complexity, and recording this stuff always makes it a bit easier try understand. I’m totally into it. [Clue]
Now that I’ve reached the A-list in “Kim Kardashian’s Hollywood” — though I am still working my balls off and have a few more levels to go — I’m looking for another iPhone game to waste precious braincells on. And lo and behold, I think I’ve found one that appeals to my grossest instincts: Pimple Popper, the game that awards you points for “popping” a variety of different kinds of pimples. Each pimple type — blackheads, whiteheads, full blown pimples and pimple scabs — has a specific way it can be popped/peeled, oozes pus and makes a delightful sound. As you ascend the levels, the pimples become more plentiful, just like my face every day of junior high and high school! If you’re not ready to commit to the $1.99 price without popping a few pimples first, there’s a Lite version of the game that you can download for free. Happy popping! [Pimple Popper via Buzzfeed]
If you live in Manhattan, a new app called PRIV will send beauty, fitness, or wellness pros right to your apartment within an hour. Through PRIV, you can request a personal trainer, yoga instructor, masseuse, hairstylist, manicurist or aspray-tanning pro to pay a house call (or even visit your office). Essentially, it’s like the Uber of beauty and fitness. Where was this service during all my high school sleepovers? Considering how far ahead I have to call to get a hair appointment in New York, this app is a potential lifesaver. I keep daydreaming about how nice it would be to ring up a manicurist and have my nails done while I sit on the couch watching Netflix, or have a yoga instructor pay me a visit when I’m in a funk. Scrolling through the app is like looking at a shopping list of available certified professionals in your vicinity. The pros have profiles posted that share their work history and talents, and service is available 24/7. The app itself is free, and each service has a set price listed when you choose it, including tip, which is a far cry from that awkward moment at the end of a salon appointment when you find out a surprise fee has been tacked onto your bill. PRIV intends to expand beyond Manhattan to the rest of New York City shortly (come visit me in Brooklyn, PRIV!), and services will be available in San Francisco, LA and Miami by 2015. Sounds like a sweet deal to me. New Yorkers, have any of you tried it? [PRIV]