Dope Labs Podcast Blends Pop-Culture And Science In A Way We’ve Never Seen Before

Dope Labs Podcast Blends Pop-Culture And Science In A Way We’ve Never Seen Before

By Elise Castelaz

If you could guess the top two reasons anyone listens to a podcast, odds are you would say, “to learn something,” or, “to be entertained.” Unfortunately those two reasons tend to be mutually exclusive. You’re either laughing your butt off at your favorite comedian or grimacing at the gory details of the newest murder-mystery, without taking away much “textbook knowledge.” Or you really are learning some good stuff! History, science, politics… but you had to re-listen to that one part five times because it got a little complex.

On top of all this, odds are at least one of the hosts of your favorite podcasts is a white male. In fact, according to this 2016 study, only 18% of podcasts based in the US have a non-white host, but two-thirds of them have a white male host! As the numbers show, we definitely have a minority representation problem here!

If only there was a podcast out there that was equal parts entertaining and educational, and was hosted by bad ass women of color! Are you sitting down? Because this is big news- finally, the podcast we’ve all been waiting for has arrived.

Dope Labs is a brand new podcast that is going to help us all appreciate science in our day-to-day lives. The podcast is hosted by two women of color, Titi Shodiya and Zakiya Whatley, who have PhDs in Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science, and Genetics & Genomics and Cellular & Molecular Biology, respectively. The witty and wicked smart scientists both received their degrees from Duke University, which is where the duo met back in 2011.

According to our hosts, this podcast “ain’t for your momma and ain’t for your kids.” They are going to cover trending topics, or as they call it, “trash from the internet” (read: ASMR, insta-influencers, horoscopes, cuffing season, the list goes on.) and give it a scientific twist. So you will be up to date on all the latest, and casually be able to drop knowledge on psychology, chemistry, genetics, and more. Brunch is about to get way more interesting.

The way each episode will be laid out is modeled after an actual science lab at university- yes, these women are intelligent, hilarious, and clever. They start with a recitation, which is basically a preview of the episode. They cover all the basics and give you the context that you’ll need to follow along.

Next they dive in to the meat and potatoes, the dissection. This is when we get all of the actual deets, and they even bring in real experts to go further in depth. Who would have thought a Behavioral Ecologist would have so much to say about cuffing season? Find out for yourself in episode one! Finally the ladies wrap it all up in a pretty bow in the final section, the conclusion.

Could Red Light Therapy be the Fountain of Youth We’ve Been Looking For?

Could Red Light Therapy be the Fountain of Youth We’ve Been Looking For?

Red Light Therapy is becoming so popular right now. It seems like people cannot stop talking about it. I’ve seen these beds at tanning salons, the gym, and other hair and nail salons around town. I have enjoyed using them and noticed the benefits almost right away on my skin. Reduction of pores and acne have been great benefits for me, especially considering these have been lifelong struggles for me.  However, the benefits don’t end there. Red Light Therapy truly has so many benefits. And the research is still continuing. We don’t yet know the full benefits that it can offer us. We are also still learning about how to use it effectively.

What is Red Light Therapy?

Red Light Therapy gives your skin concentrated exposure to natural light. It is absorbed by the cells up to 10 millimeters deep. Originally used by scientists to grow plants, red light promotes the growth of cells. Red Light Therapy promotes energy in cells and prompts the cells to regrow and repair as related. You can imagine the good that this can do for our often dry and cracked skin.

What are the benefits of Red Light Therapy?

Red Light Therapy is found to have some of the following benefits for our skin:

  1. Wound healing and repairing of tissue- Repairing tissue can be helpful for so many things. Thing cuts, tears, scrapes, and other wounds. This light can help.
  2. Promote hair growth- I don’t know about you but I would love if my hair would grow. Red Light Therapy has been found to grow in patients who have alopecia (a disorder where the hair falls out). Treatment started as soon as the hair begins to fall out will be the most successful in regrowth. Unfortunately this cannot promote hair to regrow after it is dead because the light cannot enter the cell if dead. Please note that it can take approximately 2-3 months of consistent exposure to red light for the hair to begin to grow
  3. Treats carpal tunnel syndrome- A condition where the nerves are damaged, light therapy can be beneficial in treating it on a short-term basis. However, typically surgery is still required to fix it long-term
  4. Stimulate healing of wounds that typically struggle to heal, such as diabetic ulcers- Red Light Therapy even helps some of the deepest wounds that can take years to heal. Red Light Therapy can boost the skin’s ability to heal itself by 200%. This is a significant result
  5. Assist with Psoriasis treatment- Psoriasis is a skin condition that can affect people their entire life and Red Light Therapy can assist by reducing the lesions that it causes. Kim Kardashian has been very honest about her experience and use of Red Light Therapy to attempt to treat her Psoriasis
  6. Assist with pain and morning stiffness related to arthritis- this therapy is very soothing and can assist with some pain associated with Rheumatoid and other kinds of arthritis
  7. Improve complexion of skin- This is one of the most commonly talked about benefits of Red Light Therapy. It has been helpful in treating my acne and others have reported the same benefits
  8. Diminish wrinkles- By improving complexion in skin and building collagen, Red Light Therapy helps to diminish wrinkles. This is why it is so commonly talked about when discussing aging
  9. Fix skin damaged by sun- It’s no secret that sun damages the skin. This is why we should all use sunscreen daily. Red Light Therapy can help in long-term management of damage to the skin by the sun
  10. Prevent cold sores- It works to prevent reoccurring herpes related cold sores.
11. Diminish scars- Size and discoloration of scars are reduced by this light therapy. 12. Minor burns- this light therapy will send blood to areas that need it in order to heal, such as minor burns (think curling iron). 13. Sleep- it promotes the production of melatonin that the body uses to relax and go to sleep This is an incredible list. It is hard to imagine that this therapy could have such wide reaching benefits. And if so, why aren’t I doing it every day? The thought of having skin that looks youthful and healthy is appealing to most people. And it may help us all in many different ways to take the time to receive this treatment. There is also some, but mostly very little to none, evidence that Red Light Therapy may also help with the following conditions:
  1. Depression
  2. Detoxification for the body
  3. Boosting the immune system
  4. Reducing cellulite
  5. Weight loss
How to use Red Light Therapy?
             There are plenty of devices that you can purchase online to try at home. However it is unclear what the optimal amount of rays to receive are and because of this, a device at home may not offer the highest benefits that a professional device offers you. Professional beds can be accessed via tanning salons, spas, gyms, and other salons. You can Google to find the nearest and most affordable device near you. Unfortunately at this time insurance mostly does not cover the use of this therapy for health related reasons. This is likely due to the fact that research is still being conducted to show its benefits. What are some other kinds of light therapy? There are additional types of light therapy that may be worth exploring. They are as follows:
  1. Laser treatments- There are many different types of laser treatments that work to resurface the skin to fix acne, wrinkles, and other related conditions. To read more about laser treatments, read here!
  2. Natural sunlight- exposure to natural sun is crucial for the development of Vitamin D. It helps with overall health, protection against inflammation, lowers blood pressure, and assists with depression
  3. Blue Light Therapy- Violet or blue light is used as an alternative to other kinds of treatments. It assists with conditions that exist under the skin such as acne, hyperplasia, and enlarged glands. Blue light therapy can also be beneficial with depression
  4. Green Light Therapy- This can be extremely helpful in reducing chronic pain. For example, migraines. It also reduces inflammation to help manage pain
  5. Ultraviolet Light Therapy- this therapy offers treatment for neurosis, scalp diseases, sciatica, cramps, and others and has been being used for many years
So, if you’re looking for youthful and healthy looking skin, consistent Red Light Therapy or other light therapies may be for you! Please note that you should always consult your Physician or Dermatologist before starting a new skin routine. If you have wounds, acne, or Psoriasis and you haven’t tried it, Red Light Therapy may be the next step. And it may be the answer to remain youthful looking forever without surgeries and Botox! Can you imagine lacking wrinkles, scars, and any discoloration? Sounds youthful to me. Let me know if you try it and if it works for you. If nothing else, you can’t go wrong laying in a bed listening to music and feeling warm for 20 minutes or so. You have nothing to lose!

11. Diminish scars- Size and discoloration of scars are reduced by this light therapy.

12. Minor burns- this light therapy will send blood to areas that need it in order to heal, such as minor burns (think curling iron).

13. Sleep- it promotes the production of melatonin that the body uses to relax and go to sleep

This is an incredible list. It is hard to imagine that this therapy could have such wide reaching benefits. And if so, why aren’t I doing it every day? The thought of having skin that looks youthful and healthy is appealing to most people. And it may help us all in many different ways to take the time to receive this treatment.

There is also some, but mostly very little to none, evidence that Red Light Therapy may also help with the following conditions:

  1. Depression
  2. Detoxification for the body
  3. Boosting the immune system
  4. Reducing cellulite
  5. Weight loss

How to use Red Light Therapy?
             There are plenty of devices that you can purchase online to try at home. However it is unclear what the optimal amount of rays to receive are and because of this, a device at home may not offer the highest benefits that a professional device offers you. Professional beds can be accessed via tanning salons, spas, gyms, and other salons. You can Google to find the nearest and most affordable device near you. Unfortunately at this time insurance mostly does not cover the use of this therapy for health related reasons. This is likely due to the fact that research is still being conducted to show its benefits.

What are some other kinds of light therapy?

There are additional types of light therapy that may be worth exploring. They are as follows:

  1. Laser treatments- There are many different types of laser treatments that work to resurface the skin to fix acne, wrinkles, and other related conditions. To read more about laser treatments, read here!
  2. Natural sunlight- exposure to natural sun is crucial for the development of Vitamin D. It helps with overall health, protection against inflammation, lowers blood pressure, and assists with depression
  3. Blue Light Therapy- Violet or blue light is used as an alternative to other kinds of treatments. It assists with conditions that exist under the skin such as acne, hyperplasia, and enlarged glands. Blue light therapy can also be beneficial with depression
  4. Green Light Therapy- This can be extremely helpful in reducing chronic pain. For example, migraines. It also reduces inflammation to help manage pain
  5. Ultraviolet Light Therapy- this therapy offers treatment for neurosis, scalp diseases, sciatica, cramps, and others and has been being used for many years

So, if you’re looking for youthful and healthy looking skin, consistent Red Light Therapy or other light therapies may be for you! Please note that you should always consult your Physician or Dermatologist before starting a new skin routine. If you have wounds, acne, or Psoriasis and you haven’t tried it, Red Light Therapy may be the next step. And it may be the answer to remain youthful looking forever without surgeries and Botox! Can you imagine lacking wrinkles, scars, and any discoloration? Sounds youthful to me. Let me know if you try it and if it works for you. If nothing else, you can’t go wrong laying in a bed listening to music and feeling warm for 20 minutes or so. You have nothing to lose!

The 10 Most Anticipated Books to Read This Spring

The 10 Most Anticipated Books to Read This Spring

Reading in the spring and summer is one of my favorite sunny day activities! I love grabbing a new book and laying out with a cold drink and diving into a story and set of characters. Spring and summertime reading reminds me of being young and school being out and finally being able to push aside the textbooks and enjoy a plotline of my choosing. As we transition soon out of winter into a new season, here are some of the most anticipated books to read of 2019’s spring season! Enjoy!

Beautiful Bad

Annie Ward offers readers a seriously intense new book in Beautiful Bad. Maddie and Ian live a perfect life that any of us would be happy to have until an accident prompts Annie to attend therapy. Annie eventually reveals her anxiety and fear about her husband and the safety of their child, proving that even the most seemingly beautiful relationships can be tumultuous. Why is Annie so afraid and who is Jo from their past? You will have to pick this one up to find out.

My Lovely Wife

Set to release this May, Samantha Downing brings us My Lovely Wife. This is a story about a small town where young women begin to disappear. All of our nightmares, right? In Downing’s new book, one couple’s relationship begins to unravel as the agreements they made about their interaction with the woman who went missing didn’t unfold as planned. What will be the couple’s fate as local police start to learn more about what happened to Lindsay? You won’t want to put this one down.

Last Girl Lied To

Last Girl Lied To is one I personally can’t wait for from Laurie Flynn. Fiona and Trixie are best friends and obviously know everything about each other. As they should. But when Trixie disappears on a night they attend a party together, Fiona soon learns maybe she didn’t know everything. As she sets off to find the truth, she meets Jasper and Beau, whose relationships with Trixie complicate the story. This is an emotional ride and a thriller you won’t want to put down.

Optic Nerve

To be released April of this year, Optic Nerve introduces us to Maria. Maria, who lives in Buenos Aires, is a lover of art. She explores artwork, the artists who offer the work, and ultimately makes sense of her life through this lens. As she dives deeper into herself, how she creates meaning, and the relationship between one and one’s art or love of it, you may find yourself wanting to do the very same. Do you know where your local art museum is? This is Maria Gainza’s first piece of work to be translated to English. Enjoy!

City of Girls

City of Girls should be your next read! Vivian Morris is a 95 year old woman who tells us about her becoming. She takes us back in time to 1940’s New York City and Manhattan where she makes a mistake that leads to scandal, love, and ultimately, understanding. Read about how Vivian develops her unapologetic sense of identity and the freedom that comes with abandoning shame. Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book will be out in June and should be read by every young woman! Pre-order it now.

Meet Cute

Meet Cute is the spring read for you. Kaitlyn and Dax are an unlikely pair. He is a former actor and totally crush-worthy! She is a calm, rational, and average girl (but what really is average anyway?). Their relationship comes to a halt when he betrays her, but then he needs her help. What will happen when she offers assistance in his time of need and she finds herself enjoying him again? Will they reconcile or will he betray her again? If you’re a rom-com movie goer you will really enjoy this one from Helena Huntings!

Daisy Jones & the Six

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Daisy Jones & the Six will be available in March of this year and it is one of the most anticipated books this spring! Daisy has the most beautiful voice and finds purpose, despite feeling broken, in singing and songwriting. When she meets Billy and joins the band The Six, things really take off! This is all based in the 1970’s and Daisy wants to experience everything about that decade- love, freedom, and drugs. A must pick up!

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a debut novel by Ocean Vuong that will be available in June of this year. It is a letter offering his family’s history to his mother who does not read. It offers information to her that she has never known and shows the true love she showed him as a single mother. It also offers an honest view into the intersections of race, class, and identity. This isn’t simply a story about survival, it’s a story of self-advocacy, love, and finding joy.

Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls also introduces us to a strong child’s story. Madden develops relationships with other girls without fathers. In these friendships she finds the lifelines to face the painful environments to which she has been exposed. Hers is a story about the families that we are born to and the families that we create. It is beautiful and wild. It offers trauma and ultimately, forgiveness. The path to rebuilding is long but beautiful. T Kira Madden is unhinged in her debut memoir.

Caterpillar Summer

The bond between a young brother and sister is so important. Especially when their Mom works so hard and their Dad recently passed away. Caterpillar Summer introduces readers to Cat and her younger brother, Chicken. Cat has always taken care of him but when her Mom recognizes that she is struggling to do so, Chicken spends a summer with his grandparents. While there, Cat learns things about her family she has never known. And it turns out there are plenty of secrets to know. What will Cat do now that she has the information? And will it help her piece together her family?

The Best Winter Workout Leggings

The Best Winter Workout Leggings

“I can’t wait to lace up my sneakers and trudge through an inch of snow, fall into a freezing mud puddle and slip on unforeseen ice and fall on my face!” said no one, ever.

Isn’t it hard enough just lacing up your sneakers? No one really wants to exercise in the wintertime, but it is one of the better seasons to kick start a decent cardio regimen. The air is crisp, there’s little to no competition for the nearest track or trail, and the over-abundance of wintertime desserts aren’t near as guilt-ridden.

The most difficult part of hitting the pavement in the winter (besides actually doing it) is arguably finding clothes to wear.  After all, you need to find clothes that will provide enough support, stamina and weather resistance while you’re making your butt and thighs look fabulous.

Through a little research I’ve found that there’s a list of bells and whistles that I’d like in my winter athletic clothes.  But, those features don’t’ always match what I’m willing to spend.

I mean, yeah, it’s nice to have a $100 pair of leggings that provide top notch quality and materials. But, it’s also nice to have an extra $100.

With that in mind, I decided to search for the perfect winter leggings based on three important factors.

The first factor is sizing.

Are the running pants created for people who aren’t just smalls and mediums?  Will they work for lots of types of people?

Second- quality and functionality.

Obviously winter leggings need to be made for winter.  If it’s cold, raining, or snowing, will you be soaked and uncomfortable? What other functionality do they have? Do they have at least one pocket? Are they high waisted, breathable, made of high quality?

Third, I’m looking for leggings that are affordable.

No, you might not be able to get the highest quality athletic clothes for $10, but are they worth $20, $30, or $50?

Based on those criteria here are some of the top leggings I found on Amazon.

These first leggings, are moderately priced which is nice.  They come in sizes up to XXL and there are 5 different designs to choose from, including an adorable marble pattern, which I adore because I will shamelessly waltz into a coffee shop post-workout and begin my “cool down” with a drink and a self-rewarded sit down.

These tummy control workout/running leggings reach all the way down your legs to protect those already sore calves and offer what they call a “4 way stretch”.

I should also mention they are non see-through so no need to be timid if you have to hit an extra hamstring stretch mid-run. Overall they hit all three of my most  important elements to buying winter running leggings.

Dragon Fit High Waist Yoga Leggings

$20.98-$22.98

This next pair comes in an unreasonable amount of choices and is highly affordable. This might be my favorite out of the three I’m comparing because not only does it fulfill my list, it supplies more than enough features.

Suggesting to order up one size from what you would normally buy might be good advice for lots of this style and they offer up to large, so for my plus size sisters, there are plenty of other options but they may just surprise you and if you decide to buy one of each style, just send these back in exchange for another.

I am that confident that out of these three you will find at least one that works beautifully for your shape and lifestyle.

They are specifically designed for winter weather with moisture wicking, heat retention and thermal heat adaption. 

I also am really into the fact that they have a skirt with attached leggings option which you don’t see all the time.

Lastly, a really neat part is that it’s made of anti-microbial deodorization fabric ‘cause a girl be sweating and no one needs to smell anything other than MAYBE my coffee breath when it’s all said and done.

TSLA Women’s Thermal Wintergear Pants

$9.98-$16.98

The last pair is a trusted brand and made for runners and cyclers alike.

I enjoy the addition of reflective pieces and the zippers just to supply another option for breathability and so you’re not having to sit, lie down  or grunt as you peel them off when all you want to do is start your shower.

They are fleece on the inside and that has me really wanting them for winter. All the options are for different accents and not colors of the actual pants but who really cares more about that than if they are excellent for winter circumstances?

All in all, a very good, mid-range priced pair of running tights that will probably last for the next few winters considering their style, makeup and comfortability.

Baleaf  Thermal Fleece Athletic Running Cycling Tights

$21.99-$36.99

Marlene King Reveals The Perfectionists Will Be Full Of Enough Mystery To Satisfy The Original PLL Fans

Marlene King Reveals The Perfectionists Will Be Full Of Enough Mystery To Satisfy The Original PLL Fans

It’s a good time to be a ‘Pretty Little Liars’ fan, the suspense is never ending and a new thrilling spin-off is coming to ABC’s Freeform network. If you’re a fan of the original show then you know the search for ‘A’ was a nonstop rollercoaster. Get ready to put on your best sleuthing outfit because there’s a new batch of ladies with secrets to spill and clues to drop.

The spin-off show, ‘The Perfectionists’ is diving head first into another murder mystery. This time with a few changes, like a new rendition to the theme song, the tone is much darker. If that’s not enough to send chills down your spine, Freeform has already released the first look into the show’s opening. Viewers are introduced to new characters as they’re seen walking with no end in sight. So many questions and yet, not enough answers just yet but fans are able to let their minds wander.

Full of more secrets and clues, the showrunner, Marlene King revealed in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, “In every episode, there will be one shot [in] the intro that is an Easter egg of something that’s to come in the episode.”

 

If fans of the original PLL know anything, it’s to expect the unexpected when it comes to the town of Beacon Heights. Nothing and no one is off limits and while murder is the ultimate plot, some things don’t die off.

That’s right, expect to see the infamous ‘A’ throughout the series plotting her next move throughout the series.

 

Get ready to gear up PLL army because the mystery and murder have only begun.

What Is Leaving and Coming to Netflix in March

What Is Leaving and Coming to Netflix in March

Everyone knows that Netflix is on top of their game right now! I mean, be real, how often do you spend your Sunday binge watching the newest Netflix original? I know I always click the Yes button when Netflix asks me if I’m still watching. Regardless if you are a binge watcher or just catch the occasional show or movie, you should know what’s leaving Netflix this month and what’s coming to Netflix this month. You may even find yourself planning accordingly.

There’s so many new options coming to Netflix this month that we couldn’t possibly feature them all, so here’s our favorite picks:

Queer Eye Season 3

If you haven’t cried watching someone turn into who they want to be then do you even have a heart? The third season for Queer Eye will undoubtedly bring us bigger and better transformations than the previous two seasons. Make sure you catch up before Season 3 starts.

The Notebook

“If you’re a bird, I’m a bird” will always be the first quote I think of when I think about love. And Ryan Goseling doesn’t hurt. You may find yourself begging your boyfriend to watch with you because The Notebook is coming back! And if you’re a first timer, get ready to witness the love story for the ages.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

New friends spend an interesting night together navigating past loves and drunk friends. As the night comes to an end, how will they end it?

Amy Schumer Growing

If you’re not following Amy Schumer’s pregnancy journey on social media, what are you even doing? Amy brings us a hysterical look at her life and her experience while expecting. This is a must watch!

Additional titles coming to Netflix this month include:

  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Tyson
  • Wet Hot American Summer
  • Winter’s Bone
  • Your Son
  • Disney’s Christopher Robin
  • Girl
  • If I Hadn’t Met You
  • Santa Clarita Diet: Season 3

Here’s a list of what’s leaving Netflix this month (RIP):

  • Bruce Almighty
  • Fair Game – Director’s Cut
  • Ghostbusters
  • Ghostbusters 2
  • Hostage
  • Pearl Harbor
  • The Breakfast Club
  • The Cider House Rules
  • The Gift
  • The Little Rascals
  • United 93
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: The Eighteenth Year
  • Drop Dead Diva: Seasons 1-6
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
  • Click
  • Baby Mama
  • Charlie St. Cloud
  • Role Models
  • Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
  • Party of Five: Seasons 1-6
  • The Real Ghostbusters: Seasons 1-5

 

I hope you’re not too bummed about the movies and shows that are planning to leave Netflix. I do have to say that we are seriously sad about the loss of Beauty and the Beast. That being said, there are some great new ones being added. I know I’m already planning to pop some popcorn and invite some friends over for a movie marathon. Let us know what you’re most looking forward to watching by commenting below!

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