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August 29, 2015


From Anger to Activism: How a March of Dimes PSA Changed My Life

by Laura Malerba Williams, posted Apr 10th 2010 10:00AM
The shot in the public service announcement was unforgettable: an alien-like being hooked up to wires, tubes and monitors with audible whirs of machinery under a glaringly bright light. It's similar to the scene in 'E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,' after E.T. was captured by government scientists.

Only this "alien" was all too real. This alien was a premature baby, weighing no more than a pound and a half, on life support. The commercial was for the March of Dimes, and the message the spot conveyed was, "This is what happens when you drink and do drugs during your pregnancy."

I was overcome with tears, which quickly turned to sobbing. I had delivered my son 16 weeks prematurely just a few days earlier -- he weighed only one pound, three ounces. He was still in intensive care and I had just been sent home from the hospital without my baby. I connected with that PSA, but at the same time I was extremely offended. That is what had happened to my baby, and I had not done drugs or drunk alcohol during my pregnancy.

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NBC Sets Launch Date for 'Losing It,' Yet Another Reality Show

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 17th 2010 4:02PM
Jillian MichaelsDo we need another reality show on NBC about losing weight? IT DOESN'T MATTER. We're getting one anyway. Jillian Michaels, from the same network's 'The Biggest Loser,' has a new show premiering June 1 called 'Losing It.'

Each week Michaels will visit a different family and try to help them with their eating habits, health and exercise. She'll replace their Ding Dongs with carrot sticks, their ice cream with lettuce, and will break into their cars and steal them so they're forced to walk everywhere.

Getting people to eat better and exercise are noble goals, I just hate having another another of television taken up by yet another reality show (and a spinoff of one still on the air yet). I like scripted shows.

Hey, why not make this a scripted drama? Maybe call it 'Sara Summers, Health Investigator.' Each week Sara (played by Jennifer Garner) infiltrates a family, posing as a long lost relative or as a friend, and secretly helps them eat better and lose weight. Maybe there can be a mythology to the show and an evil organization hell bent on stopping people from getting in shape.

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Elisabeth Hasselbeck accused of stealing book ideas

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 23rd 2009 3:37PM
G Free DietFirst Jerry Seinfeld's wife, now a View host.

Elizabeth Hasselbeck has been sued by another author who accuses her of stealing ideas for her book The G Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide. The plaintiff, Susan Hassett, says she sent a copy of her own book Living with Celiac Disease to Hasselbeck last year. And now this year Hasselbeck comes out with her own book (written with Peter Green) on the topic, and there seems to be a lot of similarities, including chapter titles and certain phrasing of words.

Gawker has some of the similarities and TMZ has the court documents.

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TV Squad Ten: Shows that deserve to have their own video game

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jun 16th 2009 11:35AM
TV shows that deserve to be video gamesThere is nothing inherently wrong with turning a TV series into a video game spinoff. It can fill in the gaps between seasons to quell the viewers' hunger, let audiences explore characters from new perspectives and even give the more hardcore couch potatoes some much needed exercise even if they only burned 1/100ths of a calorie solely through their thumbs.

The problem is video game developers pick TV shows that should never even become a travel sized board game. Developers have given the greenlight to games based on shows like American Idol, Desperate Housewives and even ... Grey's Anatomy?!? I hope that last one was a first-person shooter.

There are far better shows that offer far more entertaining elements for a kick-ass video game. These are the shows that should be next in line for a pixelated re-treatment.

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If you love Men's Health (the magazine) you'll love Men's Health (the reality show)

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 30th 2009 1:33PM
Men's HealthAs many of you know, when I'm not writing for TV Squad I'm a cover model for Men's Health magazine. Bending over to type these blog posts has given me sculpted abs.

However, I probably won't be part of this new reality show, if this report is true. It says that Men's Health editor Dave Zinczenko is creating a new health/exercise-based reality show with the people who do The Biggest Loser. It's described as being a show that will "offer human drama while teaching viewers how they can eat their favorite foods and still lose weight." That makes it sound like it's going to be some serious health and medical show. I'm sure it will be more Biggest Loser than a Sanjay Gupta-hosted CNN special.

If it's based on the Eat This, Not That books, my fear is that, since it's a reality show, one of the "Not That" things will be bugs.

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Lose weight watching television

by Kristin Sample, posted Jul 8th 2008 8:20AM
Step BoxCraig Harper has written an interesting article about how to lose weight while watching TV. We are becoming a more sedentary society; Harper says that within a few years some of us will have movement patterns and daily activity levels of an oak tree. In the words of Chris from So You Think You Can Dance, "I'm not a tree." Chris isn't a tree. And you don't have to be one either--even though this fitness guru says so.

Here's how not to be a tree in a few years. The average American spends three hours a day watching TV (mostly in the evening). Harper says that roughly forty-five minutes of that block is spent watching commercials. And who wants to watch those? Most commercials suck. So, during each commercial break, you get up and do some step-ups (stepping up and down off a box, platform, step).

Harper even gets into the nitty-gritty math stuff. I don't speak math, but basically he says that a 150 lbs. person can potentially lose 48 lbs. in a year. I'm no expert but I think "potential" is the operative word in that sentence. Do you still get to eat the whole year? Still, Harper does put a good idea out there. Use your commercial time wisely.

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Independent Lens: Motherland Afghanistan - an early look

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 13th 2007 3:03PM

motherland afghanistanIndependent Lens doesn't shy away from featuring documentaries on difficult subjects, but out of all the ones I've seen so far, this one was the most heart-wrenching. Motherland Afghanistan follows an Afghan American doctor who returns to Afghanistan to work in a hospital to provide medical care and expertise for pregnant women who live in a land where infant mortality rates are high and medical supplies are always in short supply. Dr. Qudrat Mojadidi role at Afghanistan's largest hospital is not only to help patients, but to train the doctors and staff with the help of funding from the U.S. government.

Motherland Afghanistan focuses on a crisis in Afghanistan largely ignored here in the states, but it's worth seeing not only because it's educational, but because it shows there are still people willing to try and make things better despite the odds, and to help those in need not only through medical treatment, but through education as well.

Motherland Afghanistan, filmed and directed by Dr. Mojadidi's daughter Sedika, will air on select PBS stations tonight at 10 p.m.

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Michael Cera wants you to be a success - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 2nd 2007 6:09PM

I'm quickly coming to the realization that Michael Cera is a very talented guy, beyond his work on Arrested Development. The video after the jump is one of the funniest things I've ever seen on YouTube.

I'm not exactly sure what the parody is (who the heck is Aleksay Vayner?), but it's hysterical nonetheless. It's a faux-interview with Cera, where he talks about what it takes to be successful: in career, in relationships, in fitness, and in life in general. Like a teenaged, Hollywood star/Anthony Robbins. There are a ton of lines you'll be quoting to friends tomorrow, but my favorite might be about proving to his parents he could play guitar:

"Cut to nine years later, I play guitar every chance I get, when I'm not signing an autograph or reading a script or having copies of keys made. And whenever I see my mother calling on the phone, I'll pick up the guitar and play a song. They'll hear it and say, 'hi, I was wrong, how are you? I haven't spoken to you in a while.' "

[via Gawker]

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CNN seeks out the happiness cure

by Adam Finley, posted Oct 17th 2006 8:02PM
sanjay guptaOn November 19, Dr. Sanjay Gupta will host a new Dr. Sanjay Gupta Primetime Special titled "The Happiness Cure," which initially sounded to me like the show would be about trying to find a cure for happiness, and I think we all know the cure for happiness is watching an infinite video loop of a kitten scratching a baby. However, the special is actually about where happiness comes from and how different people try to obtain it. Different segments will look at genetics, drugs both legal and illegal, and the effects of happiness on health. Personally, I have my happiness smuggled here once a week from China. Over time I've built up a tolerance and now the only thing that affects me is pure, unbridled ecstasy, which I keep in a cigar box under my bed. Comedian Richard Lewis and motivational speaker Tony Robbins will also appear on the special. It airs on CNN November 19 at 10 pm.

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That's Fit presents this week's FitTV

by Annie Wu, posted Sep 18th 2006 7:44PM
Biggest LoserOur fitness-focused sister site, That's Fit, has posted FitTV, a list of this week's health and fitness related programming. Here are some quick picks from the schedule:

The Biggest Loser - 9/20, 8/7c (two hour season premiere!)

I Lost It! (Episode: Carla & Shawn) - 9/19; 6:30am, 11am ET
I Lost It! (Episode: Allison & Robin) - 9/20; 6:30am, 11am ET
I Lost It! (Episode: Debi & Bob) - 9/21; 6:30am, 11am ET
I Lost It! (Episode: Dana & Caitlin) - 9/22; 6:30am, 11am ET
Relay For Life: Giant Steps - 9/23; 10am ET

Celebrity Fit Club (Episode: Put Up or Shut Up) - 9/18; 11PM ET

For the full list, check out FitTV: September 18 - September 24.

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That's Fit presents this week's FitTV

by Annie Wu, posted Aug 29th 2006 2:36PM
Work OutOur all-new sister site, That's Fit, has posted FitTV, a list of this week's health and fitness related programming. Here are some quick selections:

Super Obese - 8/30, 8/31, 9/2
We Lost 800 Pounds: Robin and Jackie - 9/2
The Best and the Brightest - 9/2

Work Out - 8/27, 8/29, 8/30

Celebrity Fit Club 4 - 8/27 - 9/2

For the full list, check out FitTV: August 27 - September 2.

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Sharif says no again (and again)

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 16th 2005 1:23PM

It seems everyone wants a piece of Omar Sharif these days. First a televised drama in Britain tried to woo the legendary actor, and now Sharif has turned down an offer of one and a half million pounds to appear in an Egyptian drama. Don't take it as snobbery, however, as the aging actor claims he's been turning down roles due to failing health. He also recently turned down the chance to lend his voice to the upcoming animated adaptation of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.

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Homer Simpson's eating habits bad for kids

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 12th 2005 11:20AM
According to a survey of 2,000 adults, Homer Simpson's eating habits set a bad example for children. I would add that his habit of ramming crayons up his nose, falling off cliffs, and getting shot with a nailgun are also unhealthy. Frankly, I'm surprised every child on the planet hasn't been eradicated by Mr. Simpson's irresponsible behavior. The contestants of Big Brother 6 were also slammed for eating unhealthy food. There may be some validity to all of this, but I'm not sure fictional TV has ever really advocated healthy eating.

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