August 28, 2013

Weight loss: Cavitaton

Often advertised as a non-surgical alternative to liposuction (which I discovered in my research isn't really meant for weight loss but for body shape) Cavitation is a costly but perhaps effective treatment which can be provided by a beauty therapist. It is also known as cavi-lipo.

The treatment occurs in two parts, each using a laser. The chosen area of your body is coated in gel, incidentally the same gel used for ultrasound. At a very basic level the first laser is meant to shake up your fat cells and the second laser heats them so they “melt.” The melted fat is then processed by your body. The first laser creates an uncomfortable screeching in your head which disappears as soon as it is no longer touching your skin.

I read up on Cavitation after I had completed my series of treatments. I discovered that it is recommended to drink water beforehand and exercise for half an hour afterwards. These practices have led critics to claim that any loss of weight or size are due to these factors. I'm glad that I didn't know about these recommendations so my results stand out as purely a result of the treatment. The number of recommended treatments in a series varies (3-12) as does the time between treatments. It is generally agreed that 72 hours is required for your body to process the fat but therapists interpret that differently; some say it should be every three days, some only once a week. I had five treatments at intervals of three days. Contraindications also vary; it’s fine for the neck and breast or it isn’t.

Although it is not advertised as a weight loss procedure I found that it worked as such for me. It wasn't immediately apparent but I did eventually lose 3kgs. However, my weight loss may be due to continuing health eating on my part and reduction of weight retaining medication.

So, did it really work? What do you think?

Coming up:
- I finally did The Journey retreat
- (and later) More weight loss treatments

Cost: varies
Weight loss: 3kgs

Special thanks to: Kiwi Pole Fitness

August 21, 2013

Much Ado About Nothing

There are those who will see this film because of Joss Whedon's involvement. His stamp is all over this project; director, producer, script writer, musical composer and I'd say he had a big hand in casting as well. Whedon alumni make up the bulk of the actors, almost every face was recognisable. Look out for Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Castle) playing an actual police officer, a role which may have been chosen for him with his Castle experience in mind. Joss also contributed location scouting by filming the entirety at his home over 12 days. Of course Joss had the immortal words of Shakespeare to work with but somehow managed to make them sound like his own - both writers have a talent for witty banter.

Joss aside (if we dare do such a thing) the movie has merit on its own. Who doesn't love Shakespeare? Well, perhaps every English student ever. I predict English teachers will use this film to teach Shakespeare as the modern setting and way the actors talk makes it much easier to understand than traditional productions. Some actors handled the dialogue better than others. I found it difficult at first but once I stopped actively trying my mind translated the Shakespearean language. Likewise I easily acclimatised to the lack of colour, this is no old black and white movie, the differentiations in light are so crisp it is as if there were colour.

There was almost a dreamlike quality to the way the screen would fade to black at certain points and then fade back in. Were I more of a Shakespearean scholar I might be able to tell you whether these were the end of scenes from the play. I noted two changes of shot within a scene that were jarring - the camera angle didn't change at all but it was obviously a cut from one take to another. My only other gripe is that ill fitting costumes make Nathan Fillion and Sean Maher (Firefly) look larger than they are. I suppose filming being condensed into such a short period it is surprising that there are only these instances.

And most exciting (for me at least) is I figured out my two degrees to Joss Whedon. Go with someone who loves Joss's work as much as you do and enjoy trying to outdo each other picking where you recognise the actors from or take your English teacher...well, maybe just mention it to them.

I caught an early viewing of Much Ado About Nothing at the Embassy theatre thanks to the New Zealand International Film Festival. I held off on writing this review as I thought it would be more timely to post it just before the general release. Much Ado About Nothing is set for general release in New Zealand tomorrow (22 August) and will be showing at Event Cinemas.

Did you know that the Royal New Zealand Ballet's Giselle was also part of the Film Festival and is now showing in theatres throughout the country?

August 17, 2013

Warhol: Immortal

Did you know that the oft quoted 15 minutes of fame maxim originated from Andy Warhol? I'd say he's had more than his share as he continues to influence art more than two decades after this death.

Our culture is so saturated in Warhol images that they have lost some of their impact in familiarity. These days anyone with a computer can create Warholesque pictures. I had thought that Wellingtonians would be out in force to take advantage of the locals offer on Thursday (thank you Te Papa for that) but there were certainly no crowds when I attended. I'm not sure whether we just don't care or if everyone that did had already seen it.

The show tracks Warhol's progress from young man who almost failed art school, to commercial artist through to portraitist to the stars. Although I don't like modern art I was interested by the range of mediums in which he dabbled. He mixed painting, photography and screen printing, but most surprising were the video and wallpapers (including a room with cow wallpaper and floating silver pillows). The strangest things were the Warhol skateboards available in the attached store.

I can see how at one time his art would have been controversial but now it strikes me as commonplace which validates the final line of the introduction to the exhibit. "He is Andy Warhol, and he transformed what art could be."

On now at Te Papa
Showing: 1 June-25 August
Price: $17.50 

August 11, 2013

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)

When I think of Shakespeare I am often reminded of Black Adder (Rowan Atkinson) punching Colin Firth "for every school boy and school girl for the next 400 years." More English teachers should take their students to plays; traditional, adapted, modern and abridged. Shakespeare wrote 16 comedies but it hasn't felt like we are allowed to poke fun at him, not so anymore. The Triple-A Shortened Shakespeare Society (all named Andrew) and the Heretaunga Players are currently performing The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged).

In 90 minutes Andrews Watson, Elzenaar and Tait manage to cover everything Shakespeare wrote or was reported to write, although several only get a brief mention. The more well known plays Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and, Macbeth receive a more thorough examination.

Oh, but that makes it sounds horribly boring. I don't know how to describe the evenings entertainment without ruining the experience. Three actors portray every part which necessitates a quick change of costume, accent and props. There were a lot of props, so much so that the stage was littered with them at the end of the performance. Many devices are used including music (but not as you'd expect), sport (but not as you'd expect), conflict and, good old fashioned storytelling. The script has been adapted to the purpose making it feel as if the Andrews are just talking to the audience (like a trio of crazed uncles).

I think it's worth the drive to Upper Hutt which isn't really that far on the Motorway or, if you're vehicularly challenged, there's a train station at the end of the street (Wallaceville, not Heretaunga, which is weird).

Performances: 4pm: Sat 10-11th, 17th August
8pm: 8-10th, 14-17th August
Tickets: $20
Bookings: Expressions i-Site, 527 2168
Venue: The Studio, Ward Street Upper Hutt

Find out more about the Heretaunga Players on their website and Facebook group