Are you guilty of making hegemonic assumptions?

Hegemony: noun \hi-ˈje-mə-nē, he-jə-ˌmō-nē\. heg·e·mon·ic adjective  Political or cultural dominance or authority over others.

For example:

“The hegemony of the popular kids over the other students means that they determine what is and is not cool.”

I lived most of my life neither knowing this word nor saying it out loud until my daughter Larissa was working on a sociology paper at university on something called “hegemonic assumptions”.   

Here’s how these assumptions might look: when white, middle-class people of privilege start thinking we understand what it’s like to live in poverty because we spend one afternoon every Christmas volunteering at an inner city soup kitchen, we’re making a whack of hegemonic assumptions.
Continue reading

Selling healthy nutrition: what the experts just don’t get

Earth to Cleveland Clinic: under no circumstances is a bowl of oatmeal (even one as photogenic as this one featured on your Twitter feed) a “swap” for bacon.

The only possible swap for bacon is another piece of bacon. Turkey bacon is NOT bacon. Those dreadful soy protein veggie bacon-bits are NOT bacon. And a bowl of oatmeal is most certainly NOT bacon.  The only bacon product worth eating is real bacon. Period.   Continue reading

Self-tracking device? Got it. Tried it. Ditched it.

It took a while to improve upon the humble pedometer. This tiny wearable device, typically attached on or near one’s waist, has been tracking how many steps and how much distance we travel each day ever since its invention by Abraham-Louis Perrelet back in 1780.

But with the relatively recent explosion of wearable digital activity trackers on the market, I’m now waiting for the randomized control trial that compares Fitbit or any other similar device head to head with that simple old-fashioned pedometer. In other words:

Q:  Just because you make it digital, does it make it better? 
Continue reading