Friday, August 30, 2013

Aaryn Gries: I'm Not Racist, I'm Just from the South

Viewers have been waiting all summer for Aaryn Gries to be evicted from Big Brother. The girl who kicked off the season making openly derogatory statements against the house's Asian, African-American, and homosexual members had to walk out of the house and face Julie Chen, an Asian-American herself.

So when Aaryn walked out last night, the nation waited to hear what she'd say for herself. The result? Yet one more stereotype.

When Chen read back racist comments she'd said verbatim, Gries began stuttering, immediately blaming it on "being Southern." The racist and homophobic comments read back to her were only three of many statements she made. But her response added yet another stereotype to the long list of stereotypes she seems to have.

The whole thing made me wonder where she lives in Texas. Wherever it is, everyone makes racist jokes and nobody thinks anything of it, apparently. I, for one, live in the South and was one of many people who likely cringed when she chalked up her behavior as being a Southern thing. Would everyone in the country now believe we all back up what this girl said?

Of course, most people don't believe all Southerners are racist, just as most people gasped when they heard the racist statements Aaryn Gries made this season. They were statements that led to the show posting a disclaimer distancing itself from the remarks. I think I speak for most Southerners when I say that we would like to distance ourselves, as well.

To see the racist comments that started it all, watch the video below.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Are Standing Desks Better?

For some reason, in recent years "standing desks" have become all the rage. There are supposed health benefits to standing all day vs. sitting all day and, as a result, desks like this are now in offices and homes everywhere.

I still don't get how standing for 8-10 hours straight is good for the body. As someone who worked in retail in my younger years, I know the pain it causes to the lower back and feet. If it took that kind of toll on me when I was 20, I can only imagine what it would do to me in my 40s and beyond.

So when I read recently that some experts are saying prolonged standing actually brings its own health risks, I wasn't surprised at all. Additionally, experts are saying sitting at a desk all day is not necessarily hazardous to your health.

I say it's about moderation. For most of my working life, I've had a job that is a mixture of sitting and moving around and even today, it's hard for me to sit for hours at a time without at least getting up once every 30 minutes or so. Maybe it's all the water I drink. Standing should be combined with moving around occasionally, even if someone's job has them chained to a desk for hours at a time.

If I could somehow manage to type and walk at the same time, maybe this would be the ideal work setup for me:

Even walking at a pace of around one mile per hour or less, this worker says he lost three pounds, and experienced reduced joint pain. I've always found walking gets my creative juices flowing, and I think it's because walking gets the blood pumping, thereby helping the flow of oxygen to the brain. I'm not sure if medical science backs that up, but it sounds good to me.

Could you work at a standing desk all day?