Unwind: How to make the most of this week

Ms T tells you how to make the most of your week.

September 18, 2012


Gilmore Girls

The complete antithesis of most teen shows on TV, Gilmore Girls is a unique combination of quirky and witty with a healthy dose of small town charm. Dropping pop culture references by the minute, Gilmore Girls focuses on single mother Lorelai and her only daughter Rory who are BFFs for life.

The fast paced dialogue, the neurotic mother-daughter relationship(s), and the sheer amount of caffeine, make for compelling, addictive TV. If you haven’t ever seen the show, watch it from beginning to end and then replicate one of its gluttonous movie nights, complete with 18 different types of candy, pizza, and corn dogs.

Reasons you should love the show? All of the characters seem grounded in reality (grain of salt, please, it’s television), dealing primarily with things like getting into a good college, negotiating a complicated relationship with your mother, and dabbling in a world where you may not fit in.


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Sometimes a non-fiction book does what fiction can never do: tell a true story that’s compelling and illuminating. The Immortal Life does just that, telling the story of Henrietta Lacks, a poor black woman who grew up in the American South and died from an aggressive form of cervical cancer.

Her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools of medical research — eventually being used to develop the polio vaccine, in vitro fertilisation, gene mapping and more.

However, Skloot’s book isn’t a boring tale of scientific research and medical ethics — it brings to vivid life Lacks’ family memebers, who can barely afford their own health insurance, and who don’t have enough education to understand what happened to their mother.

The best part?

The book is written in a tightly wound narrative that flows effortlessly from page to page — captivating you with scenes between Skloot and Lacks’ daughter, while breaking down cellular biology like it’s no big thing. At once heartbreaking and informative, The Immortal Life will have you questioning every medical advancement that HeLa cells brought about.


What’s in your mehndi

We love the intricate patterns and the demure eastern belle look, but before you reach for that mehndi cone, take heed. Doctors are warning women to figure out what chemicals are in their henna before drawing designs on their hands.

It’s likely that some brands could cause an allergic reaction leaving patterned burn scars on you for the rest of your life.  Not that most cones come with a handy ingredient list, but according to experts, p-Phenylenediamine — which has been known to put some in anaphylactic shock — is the chemical you should be watching out for.


Get better cardiovascular health

With the amount of samosas and pakoras we’ve all been consuming, it’s probably not a bad idea to learn exactly how well your heart’s been working.  According to the World Health Organisation, heart disease is high up on the list of causes of death for women in Pakistan.

Check your resting heart rate when you get up in the morning. The lower, say the doctors, the better your heart is pumping away.

If you’re on the higher end of the scale, think about upping your cardiovascular activities — just twenty minutes of some sort of cardio could extend your life significantly.

Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, September 16th, 2012.

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