Subscribe to Columns and Blogs RSS feed

Columns and Blogs

Plantar fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a flat band of ligaments that connects the heel bone to the toes, supporting the arch of the foot. If the plantar fascia is strained, it gets weak, swollen and irritated. This condition is called plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is responsible for about 2 million medical visits per year. As we age, the condition affects males more often than females due to the deterioration of the fat pad on the bottom of the heel after the age of 40.

‘The Man Who Knew Infinity’ is a by-the-numbers biopic

“The Man Who Knew Infinity” tells the fictionalized true story of Srinivasa Ramanujan, a brilliant unschooled mathematician whose work changed the field. Let me stop you before you say “A Beautiful Mind” or “The Imitation Game.” This biopic, from writer-director Matthew Brown, is a dutiful effort that never quite adds up to those vastly superior efforts.

Psychology at play for some who text and drive

Q. I have a friend who was seriously hurt in an accident a few weeks ago because a teenage girl was texting and ran her off the road. Although my friend will be fine, I am very angry that so many people don’t realize the harm they are causing others by texting or reading texts while they are driving. Please address the dangers this is causing not only to teens, but to all other innocent people.

Mindset

For most people who need to lose body fat and gain strength, it can be argued that programming doesn’t matter much and that there is probably not a “best” nutrition plan. Now, I hope everyone knows that I’m not proposing an “eat Twinkies and lose weight diet” or a “sit your way to a 15 minute 5K” plan. What I am saying is that if you’re starting at (or near) zero, there are many things that CAN work. It’s all about your mindset.

Verbal abuse is still abuse

Q. My daughter is being verbally abused by her husband. She says she loves him, and denies that he is abusive, but I have overheard the arguments, and I know she is in denial. He throws things and screams about everything, especially when he’s drinking. She was so self-assured, and now she is scared of everything. What can I do to help her realize there is a problem in her marriage?

All drinks are too many during pregnancy

Q. In one of my college classes, the instructor said that one should not drink alcohol at all during pregnancy. My gynecologist said it was OK as long as I only had one drink. Two other girls in class said that their doctor told them the same thing, and they continued to drink throughout their pregnancies. What is the right answer?

Exercise and eye health

The role of exercise in promoting good overall health is well established, especially in relation to preventing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity. The role of physical activity on good eye health, which was once in short supply, is mounting as well. It is becoming evident that exercise is very important in helping to prevent some of the most common and most serious eye conditions.

Stagger not at the promises

(As it is written, “I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able to perform. (Romans 4:17-21 KJV)

Grief comes in stages

Q. I was the primary caregiver for my husband who died over three years ago, but I’m still mourning his loss all of the time. I think about him constantly, cry often, actually think I see him and dream about him. My children think I’m going crazy. They have encouraged me to get out and travel, but I don’t want to do anything. I guess I think I’m going crazy, too. What is wrong with me that I can’t let go of my grief?

On pot, can we keep up with the neighbors?

Canada was recently ranked the freest country in the world, but newly installed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn’t about to let it rest on its maple leaves. He won the October national elections after proposing something no major American presidential nominee has ever dared to endorse: legalizing marijuana.

A Japanese story made in Arkansas

Shortly after Pearl Harbor, U.S. Pres. Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. With his signature, all persons of Japanese descent were ordered from the West Coast to one of 10 internment camps, most of which were located in remote areas of California, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Texas, and Arkansas.

Book Notes: Digging into the Salem Witch Trials

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stacy Schiff’s “The Witches: Salem, 1692” delivers Salem 1692 — on the edge of a dark and dangerous wilderness — nearly fully fleshed. She’s a digger of detail and an original thinker. Her work is pleasingly comprehensive, insightful always, colorful and entertaining. She acknowledges early on that America’s “first crime story” is a vexing one. It perennially taunts but refuses to relinquish its essential DNA.

Your Best Life - Miracle drug

Imagine you went to your family doctor and were told, “I’m going to prescribe you a miracle drug.” You’d be skeptical, right? What if they went on to say, “It treats everything, it’s 100 percent effective, it works whether you are young or old, male or female, rich or poor and you can get it for free if you choose!”

Symptoms after car wreck could be PTSD

Q. I was in a serious car accident in November of last year. For a few months I seemed OK, but as the days began to get shorter this year, I have become increasingly frightened to drive. I’m staying home more, and I can’t drive on the expressway, which means I can’t drive to see my grandchildren. What can I do?

Do needy students merit more scholarships?

Let’s jump straight into the facts. According to a new report, “Closing the Gap,” by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, 94 percent of Arkansas’ state-funded college scholarships are based solely on merit — ACT scores, etc. — while 6 percent also are based on need. Only two states and the District of Columbia are weighted more toward merit. The national average, on the other hand, is 75 percent need-based.

Transgender students in the locker room

High school locker rooms are not places kids go to feel comfortable and relaxed. Baring your entire body to classmates and adults — friends, enemies, strangers, coaches — is a disagreeable obligation for most students. But for decades, the desire of adolescents for privacy has been deemed irrelevant.

Huckabee’s presidential real estate value

Former governor Mike Huckabee, proclaiming that he was the only contender to “own property” in Arkansas, returned on Monday to formally enter the presidential primary in the state where, until recently, he was trying to sell that property. The splendid home in North Little Rock, acquired at the close of his tenure, was, at least while on the market, evidently considered superfluous, and somewhat less splendid (by about $2.4 million) than his beachfront in Florida, where Huckabee lives when not campaigning. Presumably it is the domicile to which he will return within months. Whether Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio will repair to Florida, where they both also own property, remains to be seen. One of them will, certainly; perhaps both. But Huckabee will get there first.