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By: Jessica Venegas

Statistics are scary when it comes to childhood obesity. In fact, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 17 percent  – 12.5 million – of the nation’s children between the ages of 2 and 19 are obese. Everyone wants to do something about it, from the First Lady to athletes to schools to Mayor Bloomberg. There is even an HBO documentary that delves into the topic.

So when I recently stumbled upon a couple of commercials from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota, I immediately remembered what we at Seiden pointed out about 10 years ago in a Weight Watchers effort never produced. We as parents should not just tell our kids how to eat, we have to show them. If we eat better, our kids will eat better.

Watch the commercials here.


By: Jessica Venegas

Working on VNSNY makes us particularly aware of the needs of the elderly and their caregivers. Browsing through the Creative Review, I found an interesting article called “Design tackles dementia.”

Aging comes with its challenges – one in three people living to the age of 65 will experience some form of dementia. The UK’s Design Council asked for practical products and service solutions that could be launched as real initiatives and bring social innovation to the issue of living with dementia.

Here are the five winning ideas:

• A wristband that keeps somebody safe outside and allows them to be found in case of an emergency.

• A support network for caregivers who need flexible work hours.

• Stimulating eating habits through smells.

• An online hub for caregivers.

• A companion dog that aids daily routines.

Take a look at a few short videos explaining each of the ideas here.

By: Jessica Venegas

On the first full day of summer and while the weather exceeded the century mark in NYC, I along with a few dozen people, including other Seidenites, sat to listen to a group of sassy and talented young women sing their hearts out. Our very own Rachel Metter is part of the All-Female A Capella group called “Empire.”  The record temperatures did nothing to stop Rachel and the rest of the group from showing us their singing talent. As I cooled down with a frozen yogurt, I listened to Christina Aguilera’s “Mercy on Me,” Pink’s “F*cking Perfect” and many other great songs. If Rachel was able to sing beautifully while the thermometer hit 98°, advertising has nothing on her. This just proves that when a Seidenite wants to get something done, nothing will be able to stop her.

By: Jessica Venegas

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Fascinating. But what does this mean? A future where only the shows with the most buzz will exist? And if the numbers in social media don’t climb high enough, shows will vanish into the list of “Shows That Were Cancelled Too Early”. Could the power of social media have saved “Arrested Development” or “Firely” or “Deadwood”? I hope I don’t see the day where shows that don’t create enough buzz disappear. Will it be mostly about “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” or “The Bachelorette”? I’d hate to see the lack of buzz killing some of my favorite shows. I may have to bite the bullet and tweet about the shows that not many seem to be watching. Consider this my first effort to save “The Big C” and “Nurse Jackie”.

By: Jessica Venegas

It was previously believed that zebras were white animals with black stripes, since some zebras have white underbellies. Embryological evidence, however, shows that the animal’s background color is black and the white stripes and bellies are additions.

This makes sense since the pattern is a result of pigment activation (black) and inhibition (white). That means black is the actual color of the fur, and the white patches are simply the areas that lack pigmentation.

(Source: Prothero D.R, Schoch R. M (2003). Horns, Tusks, and Flippers: The Evolution of Hoofed Mammals. Johns Hopkins University Press.)

(Source: Camazine.)

By: Jessica Venegas

Cardinal Biagio da Cesena criticized Michelangelo’s “The Last Judgment” saying that nude figures had no place in the sacred place, and that the painting would be more at home in a public tavern. So, what’s a genius to do? Michelangelo worked Cesena’s face into the scene as Minos, judge of the underworld (far bottom-right corner of the painting) with Donkey ears and a coiled snake biting on his genitals.