Villains you sort of root for—Russell & Rhys in “The Americans.”

One of the few TV shows that's got its hooks in me is The Americans. Maybe it's because I grew up during the cold war. Or maybe it's because the villains often seem like heroes. Keeping bad guys and good guys straight is fun. Watch, esp if you think Russians are channeling  Soviets now.The new season of the show starts this Wednesday on FX (10pm PST).  This season is bound to resonate even more deeply than in the past four seasons because Russia and the Trump administration seem to be … [Read more...]

Prison rehabilitation: Turning zeroes into heroes?

 A recent article about carcerite, “prison syndrome,” is especially interesting in that it gives insight into the prison system in Italy. While bedeviled with overcrowding, just like the US, Italy has some "inspired" prison rehabilitation programs that're worth knowing about.However, the main reason I'm posting today's blog is to make us aware of the gamut of thinking about "prison rehab." What do you think of the comments below in response to the "prison syndrome" article?Mary Phillips … [Read more...]

Thanks to fans of my book and blogs re cleft lip and palate.

I appreciate all of you who’ve followed my cleft lip and palate blogs over recent years.  I'll continue to post info relevant to this most common of birth defects.I'm also grateful to those of you who've bought Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal about my experiences with my clefts regarding bullying, facial asymmetry, speech difficulties, etc.Since no good intentions or deeds ever go unpunished, I’m hoping you blog and book fans will consider giving copies of Cleft Heart to your doctor and dentist. Or … [Read more...]

Would be serial killer blows first attempt.

 Before this website transitions more fully toward villains and away from cleft palate and lip heroes (the kids, the medical pros that help them), a little humor is in order. Of course, lightheartedness is in the eye of the beholder. The victim of this "serial killer" is likely not amused. Nor are all the ancillary players, including Craigslist which has been bedeviled with being associated with murders, one of the most famous being that by Philip Markoff.  "Aspiring Serial Killer Botches First … [Read more...]

Beware villains who work for “The Greater Good.”

 We're in a dangerous political time when everyone seems to be an advocate of "The Greater Good." World history has been rewritten by leaders/demagogues/villains who believed they were doing everyone a favor.The United States is divided now into almost two equally-sized camps, each trying to outshout the other. Both believe they have a lock on "the truth." That's why the following article caught my eye.Villains who work for "The Greater Good."In the story below, Johnny Galecki says his favorite … [Read more...]

Lookism: Dr. Oz’ age-reducing elixir?

We've all seen the lookism click-bait before and after shots, esp of celebrities. They try to get us to buy anti-aging products. One that's been getting a lot of attention lately is Parisian Glow cream that claims to have Dr. Oz's endorsement. I've printed excerpts from a recent Parisian Glow ad below. However, if you read that ad carefully, it really suggests only that Dr. Oz recommends Vitamin C, and maybe he has. Whether he's endorsed Parisian Glow or any other anti-aging product is still … [Read more...]

TV’s 10 most evil villains today.

 This site is about faces and heroes, villains, and fools.  I've looked at asymmetrical faces—due to cleft lips and palates often—a lot. However, I haven't written many blogs about villainous faces which often feature asymmetry. For that matter, I've given villains short shrift, favoring heroes.  Villains are key. Villains are important in storytelling. Without villains, we cannot have heroes. If everyone in a story is good, it's difficult knowing whom to root for. This is doubly important for … [Read more...]