The Wednesday Five: Edwidge Danticat in Haiti, Remembering Benazir Bhutto, Puzzling Career Questions and Why You Might Need a Pedicure

As January’s third week begins, we overhear good news and bad on a grab-bag of topics: health reform from Our Bodies Ourselves, a biopic on the slain Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto, and seven reasons to pamper your feet with a winter pedicure.

  • As the first anniversary of the Haiti earthquake captures the  news spotlight, so does beloved-of-WVFC poet Edwidge Danticat, who returned to her homeland to report on a year of internationally witnessed anguish and hope. At Guernica, Nathalie Handal interviews this vibrant voice of Haiti, who speaks on such topics as “rebuilding the island, art in a time of trouble, and inhabiting bodies.”
  • As Congress debates this week on a theoretical repeal of the Affordable Care Act law, Our Bodies Our Blog found both good and bad news, for older women, as some of  provisions of the law become effective this month.  On the good news list, at least for now: free preventive care for those on Medicare. Time to schedule that annual checkup!
  • At Brazen Careerist, Penelope Trunk contemplates  a dilemma faced those of us who find that life hands you multiple job descriptions: how to answer the simple question, “What do you do, anyway?” Trunk, the founder of three startups, gives a series of guidelines, beginning with the counterintuitive “Don’t focus on your job.” (After all, as the old song says: our life is more than our work, and our work is more than our jobs.….)
  • Look down at your feet. Right now. Are those toes wishing they’d get some attention from a professional in a  salon? At The Hairpin Jane Feltes, a radio producer, suspects they might be.  Her seven Reasons You Need a Winter Pedicure run from the super-practical — “ If you ignore them long enough, the dry, callousy parts of your feet can actually crack and bleed” — to the giggly: “go with a friend and pack vodka-crans to maximize your fun.”
  • The documentary Bhutto was released late last year, but we were so drawn in by Marcia Yerman’s post about it this week that we want to find the film. “With the assassination of Salman Taseer, the Governor of Punjab Province in Pakistan and an outspoken opponent of religious extremism, the divisions within Pakistani society are once again in the news,” Yerman notes. Perhaps there is no better time to see the documentary.”  She quotes the film’s director on Benazir Bhutto’s impact: ““She was the first woman in the world to rise up and lead a Muslim nation, and she gave her life for her country. The level of admiration and curiosity I have for her is wrapped up in this film. Like her or hate her, admire her or abhor her, she was a barrier breaker.”

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  • drpatallen January 20, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    The discussion of pedicures did not cover the issue of infections that are transmitted from improperly cleaned and sterilized equiptment. The box with the little blue light found in so many nail salons is not an effective anti-bacterial or anti-fungal treatment. Professional equiptment, sterilizers, used in dental or medical offices are required in order to eradicate these infectious agents. Manicurists often accidentally nip the cuticles or the skin around the nail, or cut away dry skin over cracked areas of the feet, providing easy access to very dangerous bacteria such as strep and staph. Transmission of fungus infections is even easier. Buy your own equiptment. Wash it at home with an anti-bacterial solution, dry and wrap in paper towels, put in a small plastic bag and take to and from your appointments in the nail salon.