Sunday, February 25, 2007

"Harry Potter" actor gets ripped for smoking on stage

The guy who plays "Harry Potter" in the movies is playing a stage role in the London production of "Equus," and it just so happens that the role calls for him to smoke a cigarette.

This has caused a world of shit to come down on the thespian's head by the anti-smoking lobby.

"It is regrettable that he is smoking, whatever the circumstances. "He is a role model for young people and if he decided to take up smoking in real life that would be of great concern. Even though it is an act, nicotine is highly addictive and he could find himself hooked."

So said an anti-smoking crusader in London.

The play's producer said that smoking is a key element of a scene in the play and that the actor doesn't even smoke in "real life."

Since art's supposed to reflect life, and since people in real life smoke, we'll side with the artiste on this score.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Times jumps on insula story

We noted a few weeks ago stories about the prune-sized part of the brain called the insula, whose mysteries could hold the key to unlock addictive behavior, including the nasty cigarette habit that kills so many people.

The NY Times has now weighed in on the insula.

The insula also reads body states like hunger and craving and helps push people into reaching for the next sandwich, cigarette or line of cocaine. So insula research offers new ways to think about treating drug addiction, alcoholism, anxiety and eating disorders....

...If it does everything, what exactly is it that it does?

For example, the insula “lights up” in brain scans when people crave drugs, feel pain, anticipate pain, empathize with others, listen to jokes, see disgust on someone’s face, are shunned in a social settings, listen to music, decide not to buy an item, see someone cheat and decide to punish them, and determine degrees of preference while eating chocolate.

Damage to the insula can lead to apathy, loss of libido and an inability to tell fresh food from rotten.

The bottom line, according to Dr. Paulus and others, is that mind and body are integrated in the insula. It provides unprecedented insight into the anatomy of human emotions.

Here's an idea ... instead of our government spending a lot of money to go back to the moon, how 'bout we put that money into figuruing out the insula?

Here's the rest of the NYT story.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Possible new cure for smoking

Dramatically increase your consumption of cigarettes.

That's how Ben Affleck kicked.