Today’s happy shot

By July 14, 2011 Food, Happy Shots

A malassada, this one from Champion on Beretania Street, can make any day better.

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Toning shoes: ugly and ineffective

By July 14, 2011 Musings, The Daily Dish

To anyone wearing those hideous toning shoes, some relief.

You don’t have to embarrass yourself in public anymore.

According to several studies — including a recent one, the results presented last month at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine — muscle activation and oxygen consumption were almost identical whether the women wore toning or normal walking shoes.

Meaning, those rocker-shaped soles that promise to tighten your calves, thighs and butt don’t do anything ordinary shoes would. Yes, even if they “feel” different.

I’ll admit: I’ve been tempted to spend the $100 or so to buy one of these miracle shoes and walk my way to a fitter body. But like anything that sounds too good to be true, it is.

It’s amazing, though, how companies are able to get away with what essentially is misleading (not necessarily false) advertising. On the SKECHERS website, it says its Shape-ups will “tone your muscles, promote healthy weight loss and make it easy to get in shape.”

While the claims may not be entirely true, if people — namely, women — buy these shoes and actually start walking, that’s a good thing. And I’m guessing some women have used these shoes to get back into shape — and may not have even attempted it had it not been for the convincing sales pitch.

If that’s enough to get people out there and moving, I suppose the shoes have done their job.

I’m just glad I didn’t buy into it. Otherwise, I would have an ugly pair of useless shoes.

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Dog Patrol: Missing chihuahua/terrier

By July 13, 2011 The Dog Dish

A friend of mine is helping her friend find a lost pooch. Maybe you’ve seen her?

This is Bella, a 6-pound chihuahua/terrier mix who last seen last Sunday around 5 p.m. on Anoi Road in Kaneohe. She ran away from her dog-sitter the day before in the housing area across from Castle High School. Her fur is white and coarse and she’s very friendly with people and other animals.

Spread the word! There’s a reward, too!

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Going in Google+ circles

By July 13, 2011 Musings, The Daily Dish

Are you in the Circle?

Apparently, I am. But I’m not in the loop.

Circles are the latest social media hub — the place where you want to be. It’s replacing followers on Twitter and friends on Facebook.

And yet, Google+, the company’s newest social-networking effort, looks a lot like the latter social networking site.

You organize people into Circles and you can choose what you share with them. There’s a news feed, called a Stream, and a feature called Sparks that encourages users to plug into news that interests them. And there are things called Hangouts, a 10-person video chat that’s way cooler than anything Facebook has to offer thus far.

The best part? You don’t have to request to be friends with anyone. Or approve (or ignore) friend requests. Always the awkward part about Facebook.

A look at Google+

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Except I have no idea how this whole thing is supposed to work.

There are so many terms I need to get used to: Huddle, Spark, Hangout, Circles. I was just getting used to tweeting and DM-ing. Now I need to master the Google+ lingo while managing the same friends I’ve already organized in Twitter (in lists) and Namesake (in conversations) on a site that looks like my Facebook.

I have a headache.

I’m wondering if all this social media stuff is really making me more social — or more socially deficient. I spent more time these days managing my sites — posting pics, responding to replies and comments, browsing status updates, endorsing followers, “like”-ing photos of double rainbows — that I don’t have time to really socialize with real people in real time in real life.

Is this really what social media should be about?

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Great Debate: Kids in restaurants

By July 12, 2011 Food, Musings, The Daily Dish

Let’s face it: we love kids.

Until they kick our seats in a plane or scream mercilessly in a restaurant.

But is banning kids from places like airplanes and restaurants really fair?

This question came up recently when a Pennsylvania restaurant decided to ban kids under six starting July 16.

McDain’s owner Mike Vuick sent this email to his customers:

“Beginning July 16, 2011, McDain’s Restaurant will no longer admit children under six years of age. We feel that McDain’s is not a place for young children. Their volume can’t be controlled and many, many times, they have disturbed other customers.”

I can totally empathize.

The other day we were having dinner at a Japanese restaurant. On a nearby table, a child kept screaming at the top of her little lungs, mostly for no reason. Her parents did little more than shush her quietly to no avail.

And I can clearly remember an afternoon spent at the movies with a toddler running up and down the theater aisle, screaming, with parents creating more of a distraction trying to stop him. After a few very loud complaints directed to the parents — “Control your kid!” was the most effective — the entire family left the theater. To applause. (Read Joel Stein’s column, “Baby on Board,” in TIME.)

According to a story in Reuters, banning kids from restaurants and other places of business isn’t technically illegal. (Nowhere does it say you can’t discriminate based on age. Think about 21-and-over hotel pools — I’ve been to one — and discounts for seniors.)

But is it fair? Or right?

I can understand why business owners want to put in place these blanket bans. Who wants uncontrollable kids ruining the experience of other patrons?

But maybe it’s not the kids who should be banned — but their parents.

What do you think?

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