Girl asks notorious photoshopper to make her look ‘skinny’ and ‘pretty.’ His response goes viral

Photoshop wizard James Fridman is known for using his incredible graphic design talents to brilliantly troll the people who request his services. It’s not that he doesn’t follow their directions—in fact, he often follows them quite literally. But the end result is rarely exactly what the requester had in mind.

Exhibit A:

James Fridman

Exhibit B:

James Fridman

Exhibit C:

James Fridman

But though Fridman’s end results are often hilarious, he ultimately likes to use his powers for good and to teach people a lesson about a larger social issue. Recently, he received a request from a girl who has struggled with her weight for years. The request reads:

Hey James! Love your work! Your hilarious! And knowing you, you probably won’t do this and I know you get this message A LOT but here goes. Ok. So I’ve struggled with my weight ever since I was like…what 7? I’ve tried everything to lose weight too! I’ve done sports, ate healthy, exercises, took pills. LEGIT. EVERYTHING. but I still remain..um fat. Please just make me skinny for once it would be a huge favor! I just want to see what I would look like if I was pretty! Thanks! ❤

Clearly she had a sense right off the bat that his response would not be to shrink her body to the size of a Kardashian who funnels millions into a personal trainer and subsists off laxative tea and dry cereal. And she was correct. But instead of using his photoshop skills to transform her into something funny, he used his platform to drop some knowledge, and returned her photo exactly as is. Here was his response:

James Fridman

“Skinny doesn’t necessarily mean pretty,” he wrote. “Don’t let the struggle of trying to lose weight take the fun out of your life. Stay active, eat healthy and let yourself be happy just the way you are.”

That may be the best “weight loss” advice I’ve ever read; it’s no wonder the tweet went viral with over 55,000 likes and counting. And in a rare twist, the internet has responded with kindness for once:

Gardenwife
Pretty? She’s beautiful!

hails
You’re a beautiful human for doing this and she is a beautiful girl!!!

Cheryl Mitchell
truer words, James. She has a lovely smile and her warmth and kindness shines through.

Turns out, this guy’s wizardry skills extend beyond manipulating images. He could strike up a successful side hustle as a personal fitness guru or therapist. Twitter agrees.

Freyjinn
James is the therapist we don’t deserve

LoolerMeister
But he is the therapist we need

But let’s hope he never stops photoshopping. Because the world needs this brilliance:

James Fridman

And this:

James Fridman

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Neuroscience of Cannabis & Sex – Part 2

Cannabis and sex

By combining what we know about the contribution of different brain regions in behavior, and the endocannabinoid system upon them, support for the sex-rage propaganda from the 1930s utterly dissolves. Here’s what we know:

  • The endocannabinoid system is one of the most abundantly-expressed systems in the brain. CB1 receptors are found on brain cells in most brain regions.
  • The net effect of THC is to reduce brain activity. However, because of complex networks of brain cells, this may lead to elevated mood states and heightened sensory experiences.
  • Low to moderate doses of THC reduce the activity of brain regions involved in stress and aggression, leading to a calming effect. In cases when the THC dose is too high, it can enhance the communication coming from the brain’s amygdala, a critical region in the fear circuit. This is what contributes to the anxiety and paranoia when you’re “too high”. However, these doses are also generally sedating, so they wouldn’t lead to aggression or “sex-crazed lunacy”.
  • Additional cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant (there are over 100!), such as cannabidiol (CBD), act on numerous targets beyond the endocannabinoid system to have anxiety-reducing and other therapeutic benefits.

Beyond dispelling the myths of the last century, how does our current understanding of cannabis’ action in the brain inform how it can be used for a healthy sex life? For one, we now recognize that there’s far more to cannabis than just THC, and there’s an extensive array of targets in the brain and body that the cannabinoids act upon to convey their therapeutic and wellness benefits.

CBD’s ability to activate serotonin receptors, which is the same brain chemical system targeted by the well-known anti-anxiety drugs like Prozac, can reduce anxiety to break down the barriers to an intimate relationship. CBD also weakly activates CB2 receptors (the second endogenous cannabinoid receptor to be discovered), which is associated with increased resiliency to life stress.

THC activation of CB1 receptors increases the brain chemical, dopamine, which is involved reward processing and the feeling of “pleasure”. However, repeated high doses of THC can actually lead to a general reduction in dopamine levels, which could hinder the sexual experience. CBD can be used to combat this negative effect of THC, as well as other adverse effects, by blocking some of THC’s actions at CB1 receptors.

Here are some quick tips for introducing and integrating cannabis in your sex life:

  1. Don’t eat it unless you are aware of the specific dosage of the edible and how you react to it before introducing a partner. When you eat THC, a large portion gets processed by the liver before it ever makes its way to the brain. The problem is, some of this THC gets converted to the metabolite, 11-hydroxy-THC, which has stronger effects on your CB1 receptors than THC does. This leads to a stronger high, which isn’t desirable if you’re trying to share an intimate experience with your partner. If you become too stoned, you’re more likely to focus internally (not to mention, sedated!) as opposed to focusing on the needs of your sexual partner(s).
  2. Consider using multiple products with different cannabinoid compositions. CBD could be a good pre-game tool to help relieve stress and anxiety, and when you’re more relaxed, you’re likely to be more open to your partner and engage fully. Once relaxed, a THC-rich product can help heighten the senses (but don’t overdo it!) and increase pleasure. Orgasm can also be enhanced by elevating brain dopamine levels.
  3. If you’re concerned about sexual dysfunction from cannabis use, stick to balanced THC:CBD or CBD-rich products. A recent study from Stanford University of over 50,000 people found that cannabis users had more sex than non-users, but this didn’t address performance quality or dysfunction issues. So regarding cannabis’ long-term effects on sexual dysfunction, let’s just say, the jury is…hung.

The Future

Universities across the world are ramping up their cannabis research programs, and the amount of federal research dollars going toward medicinal cannabis is also on the rise. Some of this momentum stems from amassing evidence in support of the wide therapeutic spectrum of the plant, particularly for traditionally treatment-resistant disorders such as certain forms of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and depression.

The remarkable tolerability of CBD and balanced THC:CBD products, especially compared to many of the available pharmaceuticals, promotes further investigation into how we can maximize the plant’s therapeutic potential. This process has shed light, beyond just clinical disorders, on how cannabis can be used to improve wellness in otherwise healthy individuals. If enhanced, more intimate sex falls into that category, then the benefits of the plant can impact us all.

 

 

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Neuroscience of Cannabis & Sex – Part 1

The propaganda

In the 1930’s, stories and images of sex-crazed youth were a staple of anti-marijuana propaganda. Sex and rage were intertwined with cannabis in biggest the newspapers across America. There were countless reports of intense lust brought on by smoking reefer, inevitably resulting in violence and assault.

One anti-cannabis article published by William Randolph Hearst ( who, at the time, owned nearly 30 newspapers reaching over 20 million subscribers) read, “… a sex-mad degenerate brutally attacked a young girl… Police officers knew definitely that the man was under the influence of marijuana.”

Today, this statement seems outlandish, but at the time, many believed it plausible that smoking a pure plant could result in “bath salt” like behavior.  The general public was taught to fear marijuana— unaware that it was the same drug as the cannabis plant, which had been used medicinally for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

Even to those familiar with the species many names, the science surrounding cannabis was meager. Books published 50-100 years prior were still influencing public thought. One in particular, Hashish and Mental Illness, written by psychiatrist J.J. Moreau in 1845, described cannabis-induced fluctuations of emotions, irresistible impulses, illusions, and hallucinations. If you subscribed to Moreau’s view, a sex-crazed assault seemed completely plausible (note: scientists today remain perplexed by his conclusions. Numerous hypotheses involving mixing other drugs have been proposed and debated to explain these observed symptoms, which are extremely rare or non-existent in cannabis users). As we didn’t know how the effect of cannabis on the brain back then, perhaps it could have made you a sex-crazed lunatic.

The implicit message in the W.R. Hearst’s newspapers was that cannabis lowers inhibitions and promotes the execution of sexual urges through violence. This would seem completely reasonable if you were exposed to Moreau’s teaching (from nearly a century earlier!) in addition to the government-fabricated propaganda. It took an evolved scientific understanding of cannabis to overcome this nonsense.

Emerging from the dark ages

The 1960’s was an important decade for the science of cannabis. In 1964, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary high-inducing cannabinoid, was discovered by Israeli scientists. They still didn’t know how it caused people to get high, but like ethanol in wine, people suddenly knew what was affecting their brain. Could THC cause people to become aggressive and capture “innocent youth victims of a new SEX-CRAZE”, as one propaganda poster reported? It was still unclear. Scientists didn’t know what THC was doing in the brain. Of course, there was no actual evidence that cannabis induced aggression or madness, but to many, that wasn’t sufficient.

Just a few years later, the Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic opened and became particularly interested in the interaction between sex and drugs of its patients. Their report exposed cannabis to be a sex-enhancing drug, a position that was confirmed by survey reports on college campuses across the country. None of these reports mentioned elevated levels of aggression or “sex-rage”. But, it took scientists over 25 years before discovering the brain receptor through which THC carries out its effects. After this discovery, it became nearly impossible to take the violence-promoting position.

The discovery of the cannabinoid type I (CB1) receptor along with the identification of the body’s own cannabinoid chemicals (called endogenous cannabinoids) in the early 90’s are what led to the acknowledgement that THC merely modulates a system that’s already in place. This receptor is found throughout the brain and has a general “dampening effect” on brain activity. It has since been determined that this endogenous cannabinoid system, through which THC carries out its euphoric effects, has since been revealed to play important roles in everything from regulating mood to inflammation.

 

Neuroscience-Cannabis-Sex-image.jpg

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Tales of Rock – Slash Is A Gigantic Dinosaur Nerd

Whatever you think of Slash — the guitarist / aspiring magician of Guns N’ Roses — you probably wouldn’t expect that he’s really, really into dinosaurs. For starters, he has millions of dollars’ worth of dinosaur artwork, which is apparently not only a real genre, but one that you can spend millions of dollars on.

Julien’s AuctionsWelcome to Jurassic Park, We’ve got fun and games

Despite dressing like a Hot Topic brought to life by a careless witch’s curse, Slash knows his stuff. He has several paleontologist buddies, keeps current with the major dinosaur museums, and is able to make intelligent, convincing arguments about niche subjects in the field. We like to imagine some stuffy high-society gathering attended by portly fellows in tweed jackets carrying on at great length, when one of them is gently corrected about the mating habits of the diplodocus, turns to find the source of the interjection, and sees Slash standing there.

 

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8 Tricks That Will Help You Recognize a Liar

Most likely, you have already faced brazen liars who are always looking for someone to fool. But exposing a lie is not as difficult as it may seem. Analyst and body language expert Dr. Lillian Glass says, ’If someone is dishonest, you need to pay special attention to the facial expression and body language of your interlocutor.’ She wrote a book about this called ’The Body Language of Liars.’

Eight tricks that will help you recognize a liar

When you ask a direct question and your interlocutor begins to spin their head, it’s better to keep your eyes peeled: perhaps this person’s lying about something.

Eight tricks that will help you recognize a liar

When someone is nervous and at the same time trying to fool you, their breathing becomes heavy, their voice goes quiet, and their shoulders rise.

Eight tricks that will help you recognize a liar

It’s ok to feel relaxed in a normal conversation with a familiar person, but if your interlocutor looks too stressed, it may be a warning sign. In general, a liar’s trying to keep you at a distance so you do not suspect anything.

Eight tricks that will help you recognize a liar

This happens because they’re trying to convince not only you but also themselves. Repetition gives you time to gather your thoughts. Also, people who aren’t willing to tell the truth might answer the question in the same words. For example: ’Did you break the cup?’ ’No, I didn’t break the cup.’

Eight tricks that will help you recognize a liar

The eyes can tell a lot about people, including whether they’re telling the truth. Constant eye contact is very important to liars. If your interlocutor looks insightfully into your eyes and tries to maintain eye contact in every possible way, be sure that this person wants to fool you.

Eight tricks that will help you recognize a liar

Among other signals that the interlocutor’s trying to lie is when he or she is biting or pursing their lips. Such a person is clearly not sure what he or she wants to say. In these moments, salivation is decreased, resulting in dryness in the throat, and this makes them swallow and purse their lips. Also, it’s better to keep an eye on their smile: it’s always easy to notice an artificial smile.

Eight tricks that will help you recognize a liar

Hands are the indicator of a person’s honesty. Therefore, if someone’s constantly touching their neck or trying to hide weak spots — as if he or she is trying to defend themselves — this person definitely wants to hide something.

Eight tricks that will help you recognize a liar

Even without realizing it, a liar prevents themselves from speaking. When people touch their lips, it means they don’t want to tell the truth, almost as if they are forbidding themselves to speak.

 

 

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Sun Stories: Summer – Astonished – Part 2 – Lets Look at the Science

Summer just told me that she just found out that she’s 6 months pregnant and didn’t know it. She drinks like a Viking, and has been for awhile. The whole 6 months she’s been pregnant.

I pray that the baby will be okay, but let’s take a look at what could happen.

 

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

 

 

What is fetal alcohol syndrome?

Women who drink alcohol during pregnancy can give birth to babies with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, sometimes known as FASDs. FASD is the umbrella term for a range of disorders. These disorders can be mild or severe and can cause physical and mental birth defects. Types of FASDs include:
fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
partial fetal alcohol syndrome
alcohol-related birth defects
alcohol-related neurodevelopment disorder
neurobehavioral disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure

FAS is a severe form of the condition. People with FAS may have problems with their vision, hearing, memory, attention span, and abilities to learn and communicate. While the defects vary from one person to another, the damage is often permanent.

 

Causes

What are the causes of fetal alcohol syndrome?

When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, some of that alcohol easily passes across the placenta to the fetus. The body of a developing fetus doesn’t process alcohol the same way as an adult does. The alcohol is more concentrated in the fetus, and it can prevent enough nutrition and oxygen from getting to the fetus’s vital organs.

Damage can be done in the first few weeks of pregnancy when a woman might not yet know that she is pregnant. The risk increases if the mother is a heavy drinker.

According to many studies, alcohol use appears to be most harmful during the first three months of pregnancy. However, consumption of alcohol any time during pregnancy can be harmful, according to guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

 

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome?

Since fetal alcohol syndrome covers a wide range of problems, there are many possible symptoms. The severity of these symptoms ranges from mild to severe, and can include:
a small head
a smooth ridge between the upper lip and nose, small and wide-set eyes, a very thin upper lip, or other abnormal facial features
below average height and weight
hyperactivity
lack of focus
poor coordination
delayed development and problems in thinking, speech, movement, and social skills
poor judgment
problems seeing or hearing
learning disabilities
intellectual disability
heart problems
kidney defects and abnormalities
deformed limbs or fingers
mood swings

 

 

Diagnosis

How is fetal alcohol syndrome diagnosed?

The earlier the diagnosis, the better the outcome. Talk to your doctor if you think your child might have FAS. Let your doctor know if you drank while you were pregnant.

A physical exam of the baby may show a heart murmur or other heart problems. As the baby matures, there may be other signs that help confirm the diagnosis. These include:
slow rate of growth
abnormal facial features or bone growth
hearing and vision problems
slow language acquisition
small head size
poor coordination

To diagnose someone with FAS, the doctor must determine that they have abnormal facial features, slower than normal growth, and central nervous system problems. These nervous system problems could be physical or behavioral. They might present as hyperactivity, lack of coordination or focus, or learning disabilities.

 

Treatments

What are the treatments for fetal alcohol syndrome?

While FAS is incurable, there are treatments for some symptoms. The earlier the diagnosis, the more progress can be made. Depending on the symptoms a child with FAS exhibits, they may need many doctor or specialist visits. Special education and social services can help very young children. For example, speech therapists can work with toddlers to help them learn to talk.

At home

Children with FAS will benefit from a stable and loving home. They can be even more sensitive to disruptions in routine than an average child. Children with FAS are especially likely to develop problems with violence and substance abuse later in life if they are exposed to violence or abuse at home. These children do well with a regular routine, simple rules to follow, and rewards for positive behavior.

Medications

There are no medications that specifically treat FAS. However, several medications may address symptoms.

These medications include:
antidepressants to treat problems with sadness and negativity
stimulants to treat lack of focus, hyperactivity, and other behavioral problems
neuroleptics to treat anxiety and aggression
antianxiety drugs to treat anxiety

Counseling

Behavioral training may also help. For instance, friendship training teaches kids social skills for interacting with their peers. Executive function training may improve skills such as self-control, reasoning, and understanding cause and effect. Children with FAS might also need academic help. For example, a math tutor could help a child who struggles in school.

Parents and siblings might also need help in dealing with the challenges this condition can cause. This help can come through talk therapy or support groups. Parents can also receive parental training tailored to the needs of their children. Parental training teaches you how to best interact with and care for your child.

Alternative treatments

Some parents and their children seek alternative treatments outside of the medical establishment. These include healing practices, such as massage and acupuncture (the placement of thin needles into key body areas). Alternative treatments also include movement techniques, such as exercise or yoga.

Prevention

How can I prevent fetal alcohol syndrome?

You can avoid fetal alcohol syndrome by not drinking alcohol during pregnancy. If you’re a woman with a drinking problem who wants to get pregnant, seek help from a doctor. If you’re a light or social drinker, don’t drink if you think you might become pregnant anytime soon. Remember, the effects of alcohol can make a mark during the first few weeks of a pregnancy. Visit these blogs for more tips and information about fetal alcohol syndrome.

 

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Sun Stories: Kita – Chapter 20 – Addicted to Tanning?

“UV light may trigger the same reward pathway in the brain as drugs such as heroin.”

I think Kita is addicted to tanning. I decided to do some research.

Experts have long wondered why many people tan regularly despite the known risk of skin cancer. Past studies suggest that the motivation is not just vanity—some tanning buffs have symptoms of dependence and withdrawal. Now a study in Cell adds more evidence that tanning is addictive. It showed that mice become dependent on beta-endorphin, a drug-like opioid molecule made by the skin under ultraviolet light.

A team at Massachusetts General Hospital scrutinized the opioid system, the reward pathway hijacked by drugs such as heroin, because the researchers had earlier found that beta-endorphin and the skin pigment melanin originate from the same protein. Other studies have also pointed to the opioid system; in one, frequent tanners showed withdrawal symptoms when they took a drug that blocked opioid receptors.

In the new study, shaved mice got a daily dose of UV light long enough to tan but not burn—on a par with 20 to 30 minutes in midday Florida sun for a fair-skinned human. After a few days, levels of beta-endorphin rose in the mice’s blood. Then the researchers rated pain tolerance, a marker of opioid dependence, using heat and touch. The UV mice had a pain threshold up to three times higher than mice that had not tanned. As levels of beta-endorphin rose, so did pain tolerance, suggesting the endorphin played a key role.

When the UV mice received an opioid blocker, their pain threshold reverted to normal, and they showed withdrawal symptoms such as shaking paws and chattering teeth. The mice even modified their behavior to avoid withdrawal: those that received opioid blockers in a dark box preferred to spend time in a white box, despite rodents’ natural penchant for darkness.

Humans and mice share these chemical processes, so the researchers believe beta-endorphin may cause addiction in people. Getting sun may be rewarding to the brain because we need vitamin D, explains David Fisher, a co-author of the study and director of the melanoma program at Mass General. Next Fisher hopes to investigate whether this pathway is involved in seasonal affective disorder, possibly providing a new therapeutic target.

 

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