Prison life is hard. Outside can be harder. CSP revisited.

  Prison life gone bad? I've known, and been a victim of, someone who recidivised. Recidivism refers to committing a crime after being "rehabilitated" in prison. When it comes to prison life, it's a big "No No." To victims,  everyday taxpayers, ideologues supporting prison reform, and criminologists like me who study this sort of thing. Recidivism is a sign of corrections failing to "correct." A sign that prison life may've hindered more than helped an inmate. The story below is a … [Read more...]

Prison life 101: Help adjusting to life outside.

Despite America's current turn to the political right, there is still momentum in the US to reduce the number of inmates in prison—for financial as well as "fairness" reasons. That means a lot of inmates—mostly nonviolent offenders—will be soon confronting life outside cell bars and perimeter walls. They often falter making the adjustment from prison life to "freedom." We can expect a good deal of recidivism in the future in the US..  We're also entering a new era of Federalism where … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

Kids charged as felons for bullying: Racism?

 Back in May of 2016 about 100 parents, seniors and clergy marched in protest in Clayton, Missouri (near Ferguson). They didn't like an impending law that they felt would create a  “school-to-prison pipeline.” They said that the soon-to-be enacted law that charges bullying as a felony targets young people of color.Bullying and racism.The protestors called for an end to out-of-school suspensions for students in every school district in their area. Their protest may've  resulted in three St. … [Read more...]

‘Gone Girl’ still victimized by cyberbullying.

 In this my first first blog of 2017, I will begin a process of including more topics about villains, apropos of the theme of this website. Today, I'm writing about a cyberbullying villain.Heroes, Villains and Fools.Of late, I've  focused a lot on heroes, including unsung heroes who are facially-challenged or caregivers of such people. In the future, I'll try to write more about villains—especially those privileged ones who commit violent crime (murder) and nonviolent crime (fraud). The daily … [Read more...]

How countries rank re cleft lip & palate needs.

On a day when many of us see people around the world celebrating New Years on TV, I thought it appropriate to consider how cleft lip care resources vary around the world.There are many countries in the world where patients with cleft lip and palate cannot get access to specialized cleft repair. Flying surgeons and other types of cleft medical missions play an important role in providing surgical care to the areas of the world with limited resources.                                               … [Read more...]

How can Santa make the Holidays happy? By delivering 3D printers for cleft lip surgery.

You may see Santa and his reindeer streaming thru the sky tonight or see them on those radar images TV newscasters use to chart his path from the North Pole. If so, let's hope that he's delivering 3-D printers which'll help countries around the world take better care of  cleft lip and palate kids. 3D printers.What do I mean?  Well, let me first describe how 3D printers  work in case you're not familiar with this cutting-edge technology.  According to one source, the first step in the printing of … [Read more...]

Has Trump really caused an increase in bullying?

 This article by an editor at Reason.Com appears to be a fair, "let's-wait-and-see" assessment of the causes of the recent spike in bullying. That's why I'm posting it here in its entirety.Most of us are amateur social scientists to the extent that we know the difference between randomly selected subjects in a study and self-selected ones. That's the problem here.The author of the article, Robby Soave is an editor at reason.com.Explaining the spike in bullying."The Southern Poverty Law Center … [Read more...]

Cleft lip charity to benefit from Trump’s “Apprentice.”

                                                                                                                                            Besides revelations regarding Trump's cabinet picks, last week saw news about his signature TV show, "The Apprentice." Trump plans to be executive producer of his hit NBC show which will be hosted by none-other-than Arnold Schwartzenegger starting January2, 2017.Many feel Trump should focus on the new job he won in his stunning election upset. But, there is … [Read more...]

Cleft lip superboy (Joaquin Phoenix) fights bullies.

Cleft lip (really micro cleft) actor, Joaquin Phoenix, then known as Leaf, uses his super-breath and heat-vision to rain death upon the three stereotypical '80s bullies who dare to throw him in a dumpster. It's just a dream, and he's not actually Superboy.  Video called Superkid:  Cleft lip wonder.Superboy (1988-92) was a flawed but likable attempt to put a youthful spin on the Man of Steel by placing him in college and ridding Metropolis of crime between classes.  John Haymes Newton did a … [Read more...]

How US states rank regarding cyberbullying.

 Out of 46 states in the U.S., including the District of Columbia, Michigan ranks number one for having the biggest bullying problems in 2016. The study conducted by Wallethub measured, among other things, bullying and cyberbullying prevalence and the impact of anti-bullying laws in states.Michigan had total score of 60.18 percent, followed by Louisiana with 59.43 percent. The state with the least bullying problems is Massachusetts, with a total score of 23.33 percent. According to the study, … [Read more...]

Duck Dynasty’s Mia’s cleft lip Journey – ending?

With the recent news* that "Duck Dynasty" will soon end its amazing, yet confounding, run on TV, I began to wonder if we'd hear any more about Jase and Missy Robertson's daughter, Mia. We haven't heard much about Mia since this article April, 2015 and the below information about an appearance on The Doctors. Hopefully, there'll be updates here at the Mia Moo Fund created by the Robertsons. The  Fund is an organization that is dedicated to raising awareness and funds towards the management, … [Read more...]

Lookism & the Resting Bitch Face, II.

This website is dedicated to the face— esp the disfigured, asymmetric, heroic, villainous, or foolish face. This means that the site and my blog take on some pretty interesting topics. In my  blog two weeks ago, I raised the issue of the resting bitch face (RBF) and joked about choosing between a witch or a bitch face mask for Halloween. That would've meant putting frown and anger marks on one's face. Or getting a mask of one of the celebrities who claim (or others claim) to "suffer" from … [Read more...]

Cleft lip news: bullying, ‘Wonder’ movie, Cher’s retreat.

This story by Sara Newman came to my attention recently. It provides useful info for families with cleft lip and palate kids. I've added the info about Cher and her facial differences camps."Anti-bullying messages are prevalent in today’s schools, but some kids still may not understand how mocking someone for their differences can have profound effects that last well beyond the school day.“It breaks my heart,” Michelle Aftimos of Pomfret, [Md] said of the bullying her son, Kyle, 8, has received … [Read more...]

Lookism & Halloween: witch or bitch face?

It is Halloween and the time that witch faces show up at parties and at neighborhood trick-or-treat outings. All sorts of other faces show up, too—esp some representing lookism gone wild (for example, sweet faces from Disney's studios and  pretty ones from Hollywood's glamor factories).Among meme-loving sophisticates, moreover, there's now the chance to put on a "resting bitch face" mask as well as a witch mask. In the last couple of years, both the New York Times and the Washington Post have … [Read more...]

Facial symmetry & why some clowns scare us.

  Stephen King's It— a 1000 page epic of a shape-shifting evil from beyond time— features a clown named Pennywise. The clown doesn't This dancing clown grins through all the horror and gore in It and exudes malevolent wit. While King’s villains are often frightening, Pennywise's wit approaches camp without really being funny.Zach Handlen describes It as "set largely in a single small town in Maine. [W] hile it spans decades, the main action takes place in two distinct time periods.—1958, which … [Read more...]

Twitter on wrong side of cyberbullying issue?

A hot tech company, Salesforce,* just decided not to bid for Twitter. . . perhaps because of cyberbullying. According to yesterday's Wall Street Journal,  Twitter Inc. was left at the altar on Friday after Salesforce.com Inc. walked away from pursuing a marriage. This all but extinguishes hopes for a near-term sale of Twitter as it struggles to accelerate revenue growth.A reversal by Salesforce Chief Executive Marc Benioff, who previously had signaled interest in a merger, calling Twitter an … [Read more...]

Facial symmetry is sexy, but why?

Facial symmetry has been felt to be attractive, even sexy, because our DNA correlates symmetry with good health. But Stephanie Pappas reports on a recent study that calls all this into question:Despite the widespread assumption that symmetry might be a sign of good health, studies have turned up little evidence of a link between the two. A few small studies have linked facial asymmetry with some short-term health woes, like scratchy throats, but many others have found no links at all.However, … [Read more...]

Which of Kate Middleton’s features most requested by plastic surgery patients?

What can I say? An article on plastic surgery that mentioned Kate Middleton, Scarlett Johansson, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, and other paragons of female beauty caught my eye. Maybe it did because the political news about Donald Trump this week has focused on his fat-shaming and battles concerning a former beauty queen. Celebrating the female face and body seems downright wholesome by comparison, even if cosmetic surgery feeds into the lookism of western societies.Plastic surgery and Kate … [Read more...]

Measuring facial symmetry in cleft lip kids and everyday people.

How the heck did Dr. Coe manage to visualize the tangle of my oral tissue and muscle when he sewed me—Humpty Dumpty— back together?  As I wrote in my memoir, Cleft Heart: chasing normal,            "With final form and functionality in mind, Dr. Coe set about joining the two sides of my face. The union had to be exactly right so that when the scars contracted, they would   not notch the red vermillion of my lip or distort the area between my lip and nose. ...All this had to be figured out fast, … [Read more...]