Rants & Raves – 07/07/12

Oh, the webbernet! It gets me all riled up with dire news and mainstream idiocy, then blammo! it hits me with something so awesome, it must be shared. Welcome to this week’s collection of Rants & Raves!


Between Austin’s upper-90s temperatures and general idiocy in certain quarters, events conspired to make my blood boil quite a few times this week. Read all about it…

I like boobies, too, but this is tragic.
Before I launch into this story, you should know that I 100% support a woman’s right to help Mother Nature a little bit with plastic surgery if that’s her desire. Boob jobs, eye lifts, Botox, hair dye, makeup, personal training sessions, food rules — it’s up to each of us to decide what we want to do to feel good about our appearances. But the operative word there is decide. This is the story of a British 14-year-old who’s being pressure by her mother and four sisters to get breast implants — because they all have them and think she should have them, too. Read more.

Belviq — The Next Fen-Phen?
Last week, I told you about the new weight loss drug Belviq, which was recently approved by the FDA. This week, Slate takes a look at the grim track record of the drug.  The benefits of the drug seem pretty lame — “A 200-pound patient could expect to lose an extra 6-7 pounds on Belviq, but she would have to keep taking the drug for the rest of her life to keep it off.” — but the cancer and cardiovascular risks seem hearty. “If you’re going to put your patient on this medication, you need to see them somewhere along the lines of every two to three months and probably get an echocardiogram at least two or three times a year.”

I CAN believe it’s not food!

Aside from the fact that it’s about a truly heinous Frankenfood, this piece on Boing Boing about Walmart’s answer to I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter is really funny. Don’t miss the joke at the end. It is totally badass.

What’s streetwise about (a) eating cheese and (b) putting it outside your sandwich?!

KFC Philippines unveiled it’s new “Streetwise Cheese Top Burger.” Um… ew.


It’s going to take me a while to get over the juxtaposition of the junk food and the obesity drug, but these stories help me feel better about the world. Especially the first one.

Must read: Inspiration for a Swimmer and a Writer
This story made me cry, for real. Very moving. Very inspirational. Will reaffirm your belief in good things like integrity and stick-to-it-iveness and loyalty and believing in your dreams — all without being one bit corny or melodramatic. Please go read it. Now.

Delineating the Perfect Swim Stroke

The New York Times asks, “Should a swimmer’s arms serve as paddles or propellers?” When I was training for triathlons back in the 90s, I tried so hard to get that sculling, “S-stroke” thing nailed. Now new research says, “All things being equal, our data show that the deep-catch stroke is far more effective.” Great read, even if swimming isn’t your thing. (For the record, I love swimming and wish I was a mermaid. In fact, a few years ago, I wrote a (potentially terrible) short story about a punk rock mermaid… then I put the pages in a bottle and threw it in the ocean. True story.)


Must listen: Nom Nom Paleo on Balanced Bites Podcast

Michelle of Nom Nom Paleo is one of my favorite people on the planet, and she is a stellar paleo foodie. (Hello, Saveur award!) This week, she was the guest of Dianne Sanfilippo for her podcast to talk about keeping a paleo family fed and happy.

Teenager Convinces Seventeen To Quit It Already With Photoshop

Fourteen-year-old Julia Bluhm delivered a petition with 25,000 signatures to the offices of Seventeen in May, challenging the magazine to publish one photo spread per month that didn’t use Photoshop. In a recent issue, editor-in-chief Ann Shoket announced the magazine’s Body Peace Treaty, in which she and the staff vow to “never change girls’ body or face shapes,” “be totally up-front about what goes into our photo shoots,” and “always feature real girls and models who are healthy.” Read more about it at Pink Is The New Blog (which is super fun and you should totally be reading anyway).

Olympics Roundup

As I explained in this week’s Tuesday 10, I am a giant sucker for the Olympics. From now through the end of the 2012 Games, I’ll be sharing cool links I stumble across during the week to feed our collective predilection for the Olympics.

The Week — The Olympic trials: 6 heartbreaking and inspiring moments
Buzzfeed — Meet the Ladies of the U.S. Gymnastics Team
Buzzfeed — Get to Know the Men of the U.S. Gymnastics Team

And finally… today is our 5th wedding anniversary.

Dave and I have been a couple since January 1992 — for those of you that are math-challenged, that’s 20 years of (mostly) bliss. On July 7, 2007 (7/7/7 = luckiest day EVER), we decided to make it official and had the most fun, perfect, romantic wedding.

This was our magical backyard for the ceremony…

And this is Dave, finishing my reading of the book I Like You because my tears and a giant lump in my throat prevented me from completing my task…

YAY! I love my wedding ring…

And here we are, celebrating together just a few seconds after saying “I do” and just before we handed out whisky shots to all of our guests and toasted, “To life!”

Toast to life this weekend, friends, with water or wine or whisky. Just be sure to physically or mentally raise a glass to adventure and the good fortune of being alive. Dave and I are marking the occasion with dinner at Barley Swine, and I will surely indulge in a glass or two of bubbly.

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  • lane says:

    congratulations to you and dave! y’all are a beautiful couple and these photos are a brilliant illustration of what it looks like to be madly in love.

    enjoy your celebratory trip to barley swine! almost drove to atx to try it after reading about your last visit.

  • kimberly says:


  • Happy Anniversary Dave and Mel. You look absolutely stunning in the photo where he is reading I Like You. And I love that you had your guests toast to life. It sounds like a perfect day. Have a nice time celebrating today. Cheers!

  • Lydia says:

    Happy Anniversary! The two of you are so beautiful together.

  • noblepower says:

    Happy Anniversary! I’ll be toasting you two crazy kids with my fav paleo-friendly drink of choice (sparking water w/slice of lime & 2 olives – yup, got that from you!) and wishing you both many more years of love and friendship.

  • Mary Ann Clingan says:

    Mel, congrats on your anniversary!!! Here’s to another 20 years (and more!). I just love your rants and raves!

    Thank you for everything you do!

  • DJDeeJay says:

    Congratulations! Beautiful photos.

  • nalani says:

    Congratulations and wishes for many more years!

  • Trish says:

    Yay for not wearing a boring overplayed strapless gown! Congratulations on the twenty together years and five legal years. 😀

  • Heather says:

    Congratulations! Thanks for sharing pics of your beautiful wedding 🙂
    We need a close up of the ring though!

  • Ms Jane says:

    Oh. You’re wedding pics made me cry! It looked gorgeous and you two both looked alright as well! Happy anniversary and here’s to many more xxx

  • JAM (@imjustamirror) says:

    Cheers on your wedding anniversary! Hope you enjoyed your weekend!

  • Happy anniversary!! You guys are a beautiful couple!

  • Mel says:

    Thank you for all the lovely anniversary wishes! We had a really nice day: looked at photos from our trips to Prague while sipping Becherovka, then had am amazing dinner at Barley Swine (photos coming soon).

  • Allie says:

    Mel….I love the Olympics support! You should check out the U.S. Paralympic Athletes if you want some serious inspiration. My cousin, Christina, is on the U.S. track team headed to London- and plays pro b-ball, NBD. She took 3rd in the Boston Marathon and 5th the next week in the London Marathon! Every time I think I might die during a WOD I think of her…and have never had to write DNF because of it.

    • Mel says:

      Hey, Allie. I’m planning a blog post all about the Paralympics because those athletes are just so badass. That’s AWESOME that you’re cousin is going to London on the U.S. track team. Fantastic!

  • Tonja Pizzo says:


    CONGRATULATIONS!!! I’m extremely pleased for you!!!! The pics are beautiful and your wedding looked lovely!! Much love!