6 Little Known Facts About Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a major concern for both men and women in the United States. People are well-aware of the dangers, thanks to the breast cancer awareness movement. Some women are proactively seeking screenings to detect cancer early on and are adopting healthier lifestyles to help prevent it. Those who are diagnosed with the illness can resort to alternative cancer treatment options. Alternative cancer treatment centers offer different forms of integrative medicine, including chelation therapy and ozone therapy.

If you are interested in learning more about this disease in order to safeguard yourself, then you will find the following tidbits to be informative.

Second Most Common Cancer

Did you know that in the U.S., breast cancer is the second most common cancer found in women? It is also the second highest cause of cancer-related deaths in women of all ethnicities and races. Unfortunately, a lot of people are unaware of the risks, which are increased by poor lifestyle choices. If you were diagnosed with this type of cancer, you can consult with a physician at an alternative cancer treatment center. He or she will advise you of diet and lifestyle changes needed to improve your condition.

It’s an Epidemic

This dangerous disease is on the rise, especially for American women. Numbers reveal that there will be 230,000 new invasive breast cancer cases in America this year. About 39,000 of those women will die from the illness. What’s more inspiring is that there are over 2.5 million survivors of breast cancer in the U.S. It’s proven that early detection is key for surviving the disease. Death rates for this type of disease have decreased over the past couple of decades. Women younger than 50 are showing the biggest signs of improvement.

Your Genes Play a Role

If you have a close blood relative, such as a mother, daughter or sister, who has had breast cancer, your risk of cancer doubles. However, it’s also important to note that over 85 percent of patients have no family history of the disease. Unfortunately a lot of women over 40 skip annual screenings because they don’t have a family history of the illness.

Men Are at Risk

This comes as a surprise to a lot of people because it is a topic that is rarely brought up in the media. However, it is true that men can develop this type of cancer. This year, it’s estimated that there will be 2,100 new invasive breast cancer cases in men. About 450 is expected to die from the illness. The chances of a male developing this is 1 in 1,000. Although this number is small, men shouldn’t downplay breast cancer as a possibility.

Benign Breast Lumps

A lot of women find lumps in their breasts, which turn out to be benign growths. This means they are non-cancerous. These turn out to be cysts, blood clots caused by a trauma, benign tumors like fibroadenomas, mastitis, nodules or scar issue. None of these have been linked to cancer.

There’s No Age Limit

It’s possible for both the young and old to develop breast cancer. However, the risk of it occurring increases as you grow older. According to the American Cancer Society, the risk of getting this disease at 20 years old is 1 in 1,760. At 30 years old, this increases to 1 in 229, then 1 in 69 at 40 years old and 1 in 29 at 60 years old. By the time you’re 70, your risk increases to 1 in 27. The overall lifetime risk for breast cancer is 1 in 8.

Obtain Naturopathic Cancer Treatment

A holistic approach to breast cancer detection, treatment and prevention can be achieved with the assistance of an alternative cancer treatments physician.

Source by Katie Spiess

Understanding Dreams About Loss Of Control

Crazy things happen in dreams… in real life you are unlikely to find yourself in the back of a car that suddenly has no driver, or about to deliver your keynote presentation when you realise you have no notes with you, or other essentials. Thank goodness for that, life itself is less random, and the kind of logistical screw-ups we’re presented with are usually less dramatic – and largely of our own making.

That’s the key – when we dream of the missing tickets at the airport, our subconscious mind is presenting us with our own underlying anxieties, about something we feel insecure or out of control of. In many of the typical scenarios, it’s a big event: your first day in a new job, or an important family occasion, something that in real life you would plan and prepare for minutely. But this very degree of attention that complex planning requires, sends concern deep into your unconscious – so, in the middle of the night, it gets reflected back to you in your dreams: yes, I remembered the cake, the gift, the flowers, the drinks, but oh my goodness I somehow forgot to get dressed this morning, and now everyone is staring at me… and because they are staring, I can’t make myself walk, or speak, or do anything they expect me to, and the shame and stress and level of attention is growing by the second… I have completely lost control.

People who suffer frequently from this kind of dream often have a huge amount on their plate in the conscious, waking world – complicated personal and professional responsibilities, often coupled with a poor sense of being on top of things and managing their commitments successfully. This is tough one because, for many of us, life simply is very complicated, and keeping all the plates spinning demands constant vigilance. That external reality we probably cannot change (although a review of commitments never hurts to be sure), but what we can change is how we manage and respond to those commitments.

You can use this kind of ‘losing control’ dream as a warning that you are becoming stressed and overloaded, and take it as a sign you need to call a time-out, and look at why your unconscious mind is telling you a plate is in danger of crashing to the ground (and even allowing you to rehearse how you’d feel about it, if you were to let it happen). Your dreams are direct messengers from your own unconscious, and if you are suppressing growing anxiety about your overload in your conscious mind, you have to learn to listen to and take advice from the rest of your mind.

Source by Sally Peace

What Is the Song ‘Life In A Northern Town’ About? You May Be Very Surprised!

This reached number 7 on the US charts and it peaked at number 15 in the UK. A song with a very wintry feel to it to match the title.

Great harmonies. Their record company thought this needed more drums but the band said no. I think the lack of a strong drum beat is what makes this song somewhat timeless. This seems to be pretty cut and dry. The title describes exactly what the song is about…or does it? The lyrics definitely describe life in a northern town. The Beatles and John F. Kennedy are mentioned so it must be life in a northern town in the early 1960s. In fact they even mention 1963. If you listen close though you will hear them singing about someone telling them all this. “He took a cigarette out”…and…”He said in winter 1963”. Believe it or not, this song is not about life in a northern town, its about Nick Drake, with references to where he grew up in England.

Drake was 26 years old when he died in November of 1974 of an antidepressant overdose which may have been suicide. His work was very influential to many British musicians and songwriters, and his legend grew after his death. He was best known for somber pieces composed on his favorite instrument, the guitar, and The Dream Academy intended the song as a tribute to Drake. It is certainly odd that his name is never mentioned in this song or any of his work. The last verse about going to the train station, watching it leave and never waving goodbye represents his death and how he won’t be forgotten.

Source by Paul VanScott

What You Need to Know About Dental Malpractice

Going to the dentist holds its fair share of worries. From worrying about problems with your teeth to stressing about the pain of dental procedures, you might have your plate full. But have you ever considered the outcome of your dentist doing something wrong that causes you more pain in the long run? Maybe you find yourself in that situation right now. You may have heard of medical malpractice, but the same can happen in the dental world, too. It’s important for you to understand what dental malpractice is, so you can learn how to fight it and receive the compensation you deserve.

What is Dental Malpractice?

The definition of dental malpractice is simple enough. When something your dentist does-or doesn’t do-results in your injury, you’ve been the victim of dental malpractice. Some common examples of dental malpractice may include:

· Delayed or incorrect diagnosis

· No diagnosis

· Unnecessary treatments

· Improper administration of anesthesia

· Severe injury because of treatment

· Treating the wrong tooth

Can You File Suit?

If you think you’ve been a victim of dental malpractice, you’re likely also wondering if you have grounds to file a lawsuit against the dentist that did you harm. In most cases, you can, but you first need to make sure you have a legitimate case of dental malpractice on your hands. Before you can file a lawsuit against your dentist, you’ll need to be sure you can perform four things:

1.Dentist-Patient Relationship – This is the easiest step, and is typically not disputed. You need to prove that you had a relationship with the dentist.

2.Medical Standard of Care – Next, you need to establish a standard for the level of care one can expect to receive from dentists in your area for your particular situation. You’ll typically need an expert witness to verify this step.

3.Breach of Standard – After you’ve established the standard, you’ll need to prove how your dentist breached that standard of care. This is often the hardest part, because you’ll need to prove without doubt that what your dentist did caused your harm.

4.How Serious? – Finally, you’ll need to establish how serious the injury was. If the injury was minor, it may not be worth it to pursue a lawsuit.

Should You File Suit?

If you can perform the four steps listed above without problem, you’re likely a good candidate for a dental malpractice lawsuit. But does that mean you should still pursue one? Every situation is different, and it’s best if you take the time to consult with an attorney who deals with dental malpractice cases.

The more time you take to prepare yourself for a potential lawsuit, the faster the overall process will go. A seasoned and experienced attorney will be able to help you perform the fours steps listed above, and will be able to best advise you on how to proceed.

If you think you’ve been a victim of dental malpractice, it’s best to consider all options before your injury or condition gets worse. That way, you can receive the care you need to fully recover.

Source by Anna Bird

What Beginners Should Know About Pilates Fitness?

Though Pilates is not a new form of exercising, still it has become popular very recently, as people started becoming aware of its health benefits. Many people starting from movie stars to sports stars to senior citizens have started enrolling in a Pilates fitness programme. Many people avoid this as they think that these are only for developing their abs or their core muscles. But, there are much more associated with Pilates, such as strengthening the whole body to gain body balance, flexibility, muscle strength, posture and much more. It can be called a combination of yoga, martial arts and other western forms of exercises.

History of Pilates

Initially Pilates was designed by a German fitness specialist, Joseph Pilates, in the beginning of the 20th century. It is said that these kind of exercise regimen was formulated by him for people who were injured in the World War II to recover faster. Pilates believed that the mind and the body are interrelated and developed this system to strengthen “a sound mind in a sound body”. He taught many Germans and British people alike, and his students went on to open studios to teach these exercises.

Nowadays, many modern methods of exercising are combined with the traditional Pilates and new forms of Pilates are introduced in many Pilates fitness classes. All these classes follow almost the same principle and have the same benefits.

Who can do these exercises?

Pilates fitness programmes are for anybody and everybody. Sports persons, dancers, athletes, men, women, women in pregnancy and the postnatal period, senior citizens, people who are obese and oversized, can do these forms of exercises. If one chooses to join a Pilates fitness programme, then he or she should choose a quality fitness studio, which would actually tailor-make the exercises to suit one’s needs. Many people avoid them, thinking that they need to be fit to join some classes. But, this is not true. This is actually suitable for people with poor mobility and aches in joints too, as it improves the level of activity.

Pilates for Beginners

There are a lot fitness programmes that are devised to suit beginners as well as advanced learners. As soon as one decides to enrol himself in a programme, he or she should decide on what kind of programme- whether individual, duet or group sessions, is suitable for them.

Even after enrolling in a class, a beginner should always keep five things in mind

• Centring

• Concentration

• Precision

• Control

• Breath flow

These are the basic principles involved in all Pilates exercises irrespective of the equipment one uses. Pilates involves the whole body and mind, and as one starts doing these exercises the concentration is brought upon on the whole body. This not only helps one to do the exercise effectively, but also helps the body get accustomed to each and every move. Though these are the basics, a beginner will know much more when he enrols in a Pilates fitness program.

As a beginner, one does not have to be worried about the adaptability, as it is a beginner-friendly fitness programme.

Source by Tony Czerniak

It’s Time to Get Serious About Voice Search Optimization

How to Create an Effective SEO Strategy for Your Business Website

Last week I talked about what voice search technology means for your business. It’s such an important topic that I decided to write a second part related to SEO this week.

From Google Assistant to Siri, people are speaking rather than typing to search online more than ever.

According to Location World, more than 40 percent of adults used spoken search on a daily basis in 2016. ComScore estimates that over 50 percent of searches will be voice-based by 2020.

It makes sense: it’s much easier to speak a question than it is to type it. And it allows you to multitask while driving, cooking or walking.

This is not a fad, or something you should ignore – if you want to get ahead and stay ahead of the competition, now’s the time to do it.

Here’s what to focus on:

It’s all about location, location, location

In last week’s blog, I covered the importance of using local keywords to attract visitors and customers. Using these local targeted keywords is a huge part of any SEO strategy for your website.

Mobile voice-related searches are three times more likely to be locally based. People are looking for what’s nearby right now, so the more specific you can get with your keywords and copy the more likely they are to find you.

Use your location with keywords as often as you can, and don’t forget to keep your Google My Business page and Yelp page updated with your current information – these results are served too, not just your web content.

Be more natural

What someone types into a search bar is going to be different from a spoken query. For example, if I want to find a hotel near the airport in Toronto, I’d type something like “hotels near airport Toronto” into the search bar.

However, if I’m speaking my search, it would be more like “what hotels are near the airport in Toronto?”

Google is looking for natural language, so you’re going to have to brainstorm the types of questions people might ask that include your target keywords.

Incorporate conversational, long-tail keyword phrases into your content as much as possible.

Some great ways to create natural content include:

• About and FAQ pages

• Blogs and articles

• Answering questions on your Google My Business Questions and Answers section

• Providing as much info as you can to Google My Business and Yelp, including hours of operation, products or services offered, parking, delivery or shipping options and so on.

Aim for featured snippets and People also ask

Both Google Home and Google Assistant read out featured snippets when answering queries, so you want to get to the top!

Featured snippets are selected search results that are found in a box on top of Google’s organic results.

Google wants to give users the best answer so it’s essential you answer questions clearly and update your website with fresh, engaging copy on a regular basis.

Research shows answers in the form of lists have done very well in featured snippets. The more conversational answers your site and online profiles contain, the better your chances of appearing in this coveted spot.

The same goes for “People also ask”. You might have seen this pop up when you type in or speak a question. Check out the example below – I asked, “where are the best boutiques in nyc?”

Below the top few results there is often a “People also ask” section. Each of those dropdown menus answers a related question using content from well-optimized websites or blogs.

Create copy for a 9th grade reading level

No matter what your business offers it’s never a good idea to write overly technical or jargon-filled copy. It doesn’t benefit the user, and it doesn’t benefit your SEO.

Research shows that content written at a 9th grade reading level – or below – appears more often as a voice result. You can use a tool such as the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level to determine what grade your content is at and adjust accordingly.

It’s not about dumbing down your site – it’s about answering questions succinctly and clearly rather than filling your webpages with unnecessary language that will only confuse searchers and search engines.

Focus on adding these strategies to your marketing efforts to increase traffic, leads and sales as adoption of this exciting technology continues to grow. The more you focus on voice search optimization now the better results you’re going to get in the long run.

Source by Susan Friesen

20 Things You Need To Know About Software Patents

On July 31, 1790, Samuel Hopkins was issued the first patent for a process of making potash, an ingredient used in fertilizer. President George Washington signed the patent.

Since that day more than 6 million patents have been issued.

I saw some potash/fertilizer the other day I need to tell you about. I don’t watch much TV, but I do enjoy the show Shark Tank. For me, it looks like a lot of fun to be on the panel. I have tremendous respect for anyone who makes enough of a success of him or her self to be in a position to invest. That’s what every entrepreneur works towards… that freedom and those choices.

That said, I saw some advice from “Shark” investor Barbara Corcoran the other day which made me cringe and I wanted to put this out there as an addendum to her advice. You see, Barbara is not in the world of software. She deals with real estate and products. In an interview with inc.com she said the following on the biggest mistakes small businesses make:

“Pissing away money on patents and PR. The right dance steps are:

1) Make the product

2) Get some sales

3) Make the big guys envy you, and only then get a patent.”

At the end of the article, I have linked to that quote (mostly so you don’t leave)

I cringed when I got to #3 because this advice could really put some technology entrepreneurs in a very bad place. #1 and #2 are smart!

Here is what I have learned going through the process of patenting multiple pieces of technology:

1) You MUST get a patent attorney. No, you cannot do this yourself. No, your wife’s friend who is an attorney cannot figure it out. Patent attorneys are highly specialized. Save up the money and find a patent attorney.

2) Not any patent attorney will do. Most of them are as worthless as the day is long when it comes to technology or software patents, but they will take your money anyway. Find a patent attorney who specializes in technology/software. If you need a recommendation, contact me.

3) Patent attorneys are Federally licensed. If you are in Florida, you don’t have to see a Florida attorney (which is unique).

4) Be prepared to write! If you think it’s as easy as bringing your idea to an attorney and having him or her write everything up, think again. No fewer than 10 pages of technical documentation, drawings and images were submitted for any of the patents I applied for. If you bring your attorney garbage, he will either produce a subpar patent or charge you a fortune… maybe both.

5) Use the patent attorney’s artists. The drawings may seem simplistic and they cost an extra $100 or so per image, but that’s another thing you should not try to do yourself unless you like rejection and wasted time.

6) Write your patent as broadly as you can. Your patent can and will get rejected and that’s OK. Go for more than you need… go big! You can scale the patent back and hone in on your final patentable piece based on feedback from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). You can’t add to elements later if they weren’t there when you started. Want to increase your odds of a patent? Go for a LOT and adjust as you get feedback.

7) You MUST have your patent idea SUBMITTED BEFORE you go to market. This is where Barbara’s advice is very dangerous. In the world of software, you cannot patent something that is being used by the public. Once it’s out, it’s “public domain” unless you have submitted your provisional patent.

8) Patent laws change daily based on court cases. Many people (including Mark Cuban) think the ability to patent technology is harmful to the evolution of technology. It is entirely possible you get rejected.

9) You can get a provisional patent, or a non provisional patent. The definition of the provisional patent is the following: Under United States patent law, a provisional application is a legal document filed in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), that establishes an early filing date, but does not mature into an issued patent unless the applicant files a regular non-provisional patent application within one year.

In short, a non-provisional is a “real patent.”

10) Getting a provisional patent in place is less expensive that a non-provisional patent. It includes a patent search and assures your place in line. You can launch your product when you have your date for your provisional patent.

11) A non-provisional patent can take up to 5 years to get approved or rejected.

12) Most software patents are rejected because they are not mechanical or they don’t have a proprietary algorithm.

13) It is absolutely possible you could be issued a patent and then lose in court if someone infringes on your patent. Having a patent and being able to enforce that patent are two completely separate things.

14) When you submit your patent, you are teaching the world how to do what it is you “invented,” accept that this has drawbacks as well.

15) To apply for a US patent can cost upwards to $20,000.

16) Once you have your US patent issued, you have 1 year of protection/time to file for any individual countries you wish to be protected in. The “Patent Cooperation Treaty” has 148 countries, which can be viewed here http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ShowResults.jsp?treaty_id=6

17) Each country you apply for a patent in will have its own filing fee. Nothing is free in the world of IP.

18) If you are lucky enough to be granted a patent, that patent is granted for a period of 20 years… keeping in mind “granted” does not mean “protected.”

19) The big companies (Apple/Google) have departments which do nothing but file patents all year long. As always, the little guy is at a distinct disadvantage. Barbara is right that getting on the bigger companies radar may be a good thing but not in every instance. Big companies squash little companies all the time like it’s a sport.

20) You can opt to have your patent published or unpublished in the patent journal distributed worldwide. There are pros (exposure) to being published, and cons (maybe being ripped off?) by choosing to publish. That’s a choice you have to make.

So there you have it… what my experience with software patents has taught me. Barbara was not talking technology when she was quoted about patents, so be careful whom you listen to on this subject… it could cost you big if your idea is good enough.


Source by Eric D Beans

More About Downs Syndrome

How to Cope Well with Down Syndrome

Down syndrome is often considered as a lifetime problem, so patients really need a lot of support and to learn coping measures to deal with the different challenges. The response of patients will differ, as well as their personal, mental and emotional ability to handle the new situations. Find out the best approaches that lead to independence and wellness.

Expert Advice

It is important that you consult the professionals first, before determining the proper approaches that lead to a better and healthier lifestyle. You may belong to an online forum or local support group. Start to talk about the situation with others who share the same concerns and sentiments with you. It is important to know that patients’ reactions can differ depending on their own personal experiences and capabilities.

Find out the most reliable ways and coping measures that worked for most patients. Talk therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy and other rehabilitative methods are some of the proven ways. There are also medications that may be prescribed, if other symptoms or conditions are present. These should only be used if truly recommended by the experts.

Help Starts Within

You need to start by finding the right coping measures for yourself to provide full support to your child. You may experience feelings of guilt, fear, shock and disbelief. Take note that your baby is the one who needs the most attention and support at this time. Take charge of your emotions and understand the ways to improve and adjust accordingly. You can start by rearranging the home to offer safety and security for the baby, changing your schedule to provide more time for him or her and knowing the right diet, toys and other tools for independence.

Family Support

Other members of the family should also help during the most critical stages of the child’s life. Although milestones may be reached at a later age, every person in the house should contribute to boost overall wellness. If you intend to breastfeed your baby, you should ask your physician first, since babies with Down syndrome tend to have low muscle tone or hypotonia. They may have difficulty breastfeeding properly. Breastfeeding can actually help in immunity and other functions for the baby.

Siblings can take turns taking care of the baby. Other relatives can also come over to help the child improve social skills and communicating. Take your child to different venues with different people to boost its confidence. The family should coordinate well to meet the needs of the baby until it is ready to do things alone.

Taking It Slowly

The coping techniques need to be incorporated slowly for patients to deal with the challenges and learn to become independent. Do not pressure the patient so much to reach new heights and give compliments and praise for small efforts. Parents should also be kind to themselves and stop blaming the wrong reasons. Down syndrome is a genetic condition that people truly do not have any control over.

The effects and symptoms of Down syndrome usually last a lifetime so individuals and families need to be ready for these. Parents should not also stop themselves from giving birth to more kids because they have a history of the condition. Although it is not entirely impossible, a lot of parents can actually continue giving birth to normal children despite the previous one being afflicted with Down syndrome.

Source by Betty Osbourne

Useful Information About Chipmunks

Chipmunks are hard to hate. Not only are they one of the most adorable, furry little critters you see around these parts, they are also one of the most entertaining to watch play and hop around. However adorable, chipmunks can also be little trouble makers. They love to munch on seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, and even dig up plants to eat their roots, all of which make gardens and lawns a prime target this time of year.

If you are having trouble with nuisance chipmunks, it may help to familiarize yourself with some of their common behaviors and habits in order to find a solution to the problem. Continue reading to learn some useful and interesting facts about chipmunks, including what you can do to put a stop to their destruction.

Interesting Chipmunk Facts

Technically, a chipmunk is a rodent, as they are part of the Rodentia order. They are also mammals, of the family Sciuridae, just like squirrels, prairie digs, and marmots. There are 25 known species of chipmunk, one of which is not native to North America.

They eat an omnivorous diet, just like humans. They commonly dine on fruits, nuts, seeds, cultivated grains, vegetables, fungi, insects, arthropods (spiders, butterflies, scorpions, crustaceans, etc.), and sometimes even small amphibians like tree frogs.

Chipmunks have large cheek pouches that they use to stuff full of food they find, then they bring it all back to their underground burrows where they store their food for the winter. They mostly forage on the ground, but will also climb trees to get acorns and fruit.

Did you know that chipmunks are actually loners? Although more than one chipmunk family can reside in the same burrow, they travel alone and basically ignore all other chipmunks around them until mating season starts up again in spring. This is good news for homeowners with a chipmunk infestation in the attic. Most often, it is just one lone chipmunk, which does a lot less damage than an entire colony of squirrels. However, females can give birth to litters of 8 or more, so an infestation can be larger if it is a nursing female.

Chipmunks live in underground burrows that they dig themselves, which usually consist of an elaborate network of tunnels that can extend up to 11 feet in length. They keep their sleeping area clean, while keeping waste and droppings in another area. The entrances to their burrows are well-concealed, and usually only detectable by a trained eye.

Chipmunks hibernate. They fill their burrows up with as much food as possible in late summer and fall in order to have enough provisions for the winter. Aside from hibernation, chipmunks sleep an average of 15 hours a day, mostly because they do not have to stay on alert for predators since they live underground.

Unfortunately, chipmunks do not live for a very long time. In the wild, their average lifespan is between 2 and 3 years. In captivity, they can live a little longer, up to 6 or 7 years with strict owner commitment. This is usually most common at licensed wildlife rehabilitation facilities.

What To Do About Nuisance Wildlife

If you have a nuisance wildlife problem, your best course of action would be to request professional advice from a licensed wildlife removal and control company. They have the training, experience, and knowledge to give you helpful advice or service.

Source by Sarahbeth Kluzinski

Spots Is a LOL Satirical Novel About Commercial Spots

Spots by the talented author, Simon Plaster, is his latest satirical novel featuring a small-town reporter, Henrietta, who is from the actual small town of Henryetta, Oklahoma. In Spots, Henrietta travels to Oklahoma City, where the novel is primarily set, to report on the days leading up to a TV awards show in which awards are given to the best actors/actresses in TVCs, or TV commercials, otherwise known as “Spots.” Because of this, other than Henrietta and her mother, Wynona Sue, many recurring characters from Plaster’s other novels in the series are not featured in Spots, but that is more than made up for with his cast of new characters, including ones from famous commercials, like William Shatner, the insurance gal, Flo, and the two guys who currently are in commercials for Sonic.

The plot of Spots revolves around the antics and intrigue associated with the actors and actresses up for awards in Oklahoma City, when the Academy of Television Commercials Arts and Sciences is forced to relocate its annual awards ceremony from Las Vegas to OKC. Henrietta, who is now a reporter for OKC’s Tinseltown SCENE newspaper, wants to get a scoop that she hopes will result in her winning a Pulitzer Prize.

Besides the usual gossip and rumors circulating around, and the rivalries that exist between TVC stars, like one Plaster writes about between Flo and her almost identical sister, Chloe (Clo), who is in commercials for Transgressive Insurance Company, there are rumors brewing about a scheme to murder at least one of the TVC stars-but, which one, Henrietta wonders, might be the first to die? Will it be possibly Flo or Chloe, maybe, or the bald-headed man from insurance commercials who seems to know an awful lot about what people do, or maybe one of the Sonic guys, or even Jimmy Mayhem, Colonel Sanders or William Shatner?

Deano DeBoffo is also one of Spot’s main characters. He’s a famous Hollywood producer/director and he wants to create a docudrama that is basically one long commercial, called “What’s In Your Wallet?” A part of the plot of Spots involves his efforts to convince some of the TVC actors gathered in OKC to sign up with him to be in his planned movie.

Spots is a very entertaining satirical romp poking fun at awards shows and the actors/actresses appearing in some of the most famous TV spots in recent memory. It is probably a novel that would be most enjoyed by Young Adults and older, as Plaster also references many older commercials that many adults will fondly remember, like the Alka Seltzer ones, with catch phrases like, “That’s one spicy meatball!” and “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh, what a relief it is!”

I found the in-fighting between many of the TVC stars to be very amusing, and also whenever Simon Plaster wrote scenes including Jimmy Mayhem. Plaster has written, with Spots, one of his best satirical novels yet. Will the reporting that Henrietta does for OKC Tinseltown SCENE land her the Pulitzer Prize she feels she so richly deserves? Who is behind the rumors and apparent attempts to kill off TVC stars? Check out Spots to find out! It’s an entertaining satirical novel I highly recommend, along with Plaster’s other novels featuring small-town reporter, Henrietta, like Hmmm, Ticks: A Tail of Climate Change and a Girl, and Hogback!

Source by Douglas Cobb