Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Feeling Too Tall or Too Short?

March 9, 2011

“Line up shortest to tallest!” the teacher calls out. “Not again,” some kids might groan — especially if they have to stand at one end or the other.

For most kids, height isn’t something they can change, so what do you do if you don’t like how tall or short you are? It might be girls feeling too tall and boys feeling too short. But some really tall boys might not like all that height and some shorter girls might get tired of all the jokes or of feeling like they’re staying little while their friends are growing up.

It’s in Your Genes

But the truth is that everyone is growing up — it’s just that they’re doing it at their own pace. In other words, your body grows on its own schedule. You can’t wish yourself taller or stretch yourself. Or if you’re already tall, you can’t do anything to hurry up your friends up so you’re not the tallest one.

For kids concerned about their height, there are two big questions:

  1. When will I grow taller (or stop growing)?
  2. How tall will I be?

Your genes, which you inherited from your parents, largely determine how tall you will end up being and how fast you’ll grow. Kids get taller more quickly during growth spurts, times when their bodies grow fast — as much as 4 inches or more in a year during puberty, for example!

When Does Height Happen?

Your biggest growth spurt happened when you were a baby. In that first year of life, you grew about 10 inches as you got bigger and stronger. Since then, you’ve probably seen your height increase a few inches a year. You might find out how much you’ve grown during your annual checkup at the doctor’s office or when your pants get too short. Uh, oh — we can see your ankles!

After babyhood, the next big growth spurt for kids comes during puberty, a time of many changes when boys and girls grow bigger and start to look more like adult men and women. But no one can tell you exactly when you’ll experience these changes.

Puberty starts at different ages for different kids and it is a process that takes a couple of years. So the getting taller part will happen at different ages, depending on the kid, and whether he or she is a boy or a girl.

In general, puberty starts:

  • between ages 8 and 13 in girls
  • between 9 and 14 in boys

During puberty, boys and girls will have a growth spurt and grow to their adult height. So that means girls who start puberty the latest will still be getting taller in their mid-teens. For boys, the latest to reach puberty will still be getting taller into their late teens. A few of these boys may grow taller even into their early 20s!

How Tall Will I Be?

You might want to know how tall you will be. Will you be nose to nose with your mom or dad someday? There’s no way to know for sure how tall a kid will be as an adult, but it’s easy to get a clue: Look at your parents and the other adult members of your family. How tall are they? Chances are you’ll be around the same height as your parents. If one parent is tall and one short, then you’re likely to end up somewhere in between.

But you could be taller or shorter, too. Boy, there are a lot of “buts” when it comes to height! That’s because your height is determined by your genes — the complicated code of instructions that you inherit from your parents. Genes tell your body how to grow and determine lots of things, including how tall you are.

But those genes don’t make you an exact copy of your mom or dad. Kids only get some of the genes from each of their parents, and parents don’t give the same bunch of their genes to each kid. If you have brothers and sisters, you know this is true. Brothers and sisters can look very different even though you have the same parents. Even identical twins can end up being different heights!

Here are some things some short or tall kids might have to deal with:

You’re too short to ride the rides you want to ride at an amusement park.
This one is upsetting. You’re all ready to board the super-fast roller coaster and the ride operator says you’re too small. Sometimes, you will be allowed to ride with an adult, so try to have one handy.

You still have to use a booster seat in the car.
Though you haven’t used a car seat for a long time, older kids are supposed to use a booster seat until they are 4-feet-9-inches tall. The seats are meant to position the seat belt properly in case of a crash. If your friends don’t have to use one and you do, you might feel funny about it. On the plus side, sitting higher makes it easier to see and might help if you get carsick and need to keep looking out the window.

You’re a girl who’s taller than the boys.
This can make a girl feel awkward, especially when it comes time to be paired up, like at a school dance. Eventually, this evens out, but it takes a little while because many girls have their growth spurts before the boys do.

Someone teases you about being too tall or too short.
This kind of teasing is the worst. You can’t change your height, so what are you supposed to do? As with most teasing, try not to let it bother you. Tell a teacher, parent, or another adult if it’s bothering you and the person won’t stop.

What Can I Do Right Now?

If you are still worried about your height, talk to your parents and your doctor. Most kids don’t have a growth problem that needs help from a doctor, but it’s always OK to ask if you’re concerned.

So for most kids, it seems like there’s not much to do but wait to see how it all turns out. But you can do something right now: Eat healthy and take care of yourself. If you get the nutrition, sleep, and exercise you need, you’re likely to reach your maximum potential height. In other words, you’ll grow as tall as you were meant to grow.

And even though you may hear people say it, taking extra vitamins or supplements that you can buy in a store won’t help you get taller. Just stick to a healthy diet if you want to be the tallest you can be!

Kids who wish they weren’t so tall should still eat healthy and take care of themselves, of course. Eating less won’t make you end up any shorter unless you really starved yourself and made yourself sick.

As they get older, most kids learn to feel comfortable with their height, whether they turn out tall, short, or somewhere in between.

Article by KidsHealth.org

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5 Gifts to Improve Someone’s New Year – 2010 Gift Guide

December 6, 2010

1. Give the give of health

Gift a Single Recreational Cooking or Baking/Pastry Classes. There is a great starter 4-Week Healthy Cooking Series. For your gift all the service, ingredients and equipment to succeed in today’s restaurant kitchens and master techniques that can be used at home. Classes encompass current cooking trends and recipes so that meals will taste fantastic. This is a great way to learn to Cook and Bake, while making new friends and having fun!

2. Give the gift of confidence

There’s not much you can do about height but here’s a simple gift for under $20.00 that could help your friend step into the new year feeling like a brand new person.

3. Give the gift of wellness

Here are 3 ideas around Health and Wellness that extend on the idea of better eating:

I. Give a gift certificate for a day at the spa

II. Get a friend or family member a gym membership to help change their physical appearance and inner outlook on life

III. help a friend find a more balanced day with a gift certificate to Yoga Works
4. Give the gift of giving.

Kiva’s mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty. Kiva empowers individuals to lend to an entrepreneur across the globe. By combining microfinance with the internet, Kiva is creating a global community of people connected through lending.

5. Give the gift of organization.

File with style! These colorful, patterned Letter-Size Interior File Folders make organizing more fun! Made from premium, heavyweight coated card stock, they feature 1/3 cut tabs

China’s Beauty Boom on Oprah.com

March 4, 2010

For most of the Western world, style in the late ’60s and early ’70s was defined by miniskirts, mod dresses and platform heels. But for China, the most populated country on the planet, these were decades devoid of style.

In 1966, China’s Communist Party chairman Mao Zedong launched his Cultural Revolution and banned the pursuit of beauty. For 10 years, every man, woman and child was required to dress in masculine, military-style uniforms. Any display of femininity—like long hair, makeup or jewelry—was strictly forbidden. If a woman broke the rules, she faced severe punishment.

Now, there’s another revolution happening—a billion-dollar beauty boom. Lisa Ling travels 7,000 miles to Shanghai to see how China is redefining its standard of beauty.

Five years ago, Vogue magazine launched a Chinese edition. Angelica Cheung, the editor-in-chief, says it’s been a success since the first issue hit stands. “We were the first Vogue to actually make a profit in the first year,” she says.

Angelica says, in the past 10 years, women in this Communist country have started to enjoy all that the beauty industry has had to offer…and business is booming.

“Go into any store that sells cosmetics or skincare products throughout the country, and it will be packed,” Lisa says. “In fact, next to tourism, automobiles and real estate, beauty is the fourth-biggest industry in the biggest country in the world.”
Over the past decade, Lisa has traveled to China more than a dozen times, and in that time, she’s seen this beauty boom affect women’s lives dramatically. “In the early years, it was so obvious when you would see someone from the mainland because she just didn’t really have any style,” Lisa says. “It wasn’t important.”

Lisa says she used to draw crowds if she wore lipstick in China…but not anymore. “Now, when you go to China, it is so incredibly modern, and you’ll see some of the most stylish women you would see anywhere,” she says. “It’s changed remarkably in a very short period of time.”

The world will have to wait and see if this cultural shift is for better or for worse. “I think what’s happening in China is symbolic of what has happened all over the world,” Lisa says. “Is it a good thing when women are completely obsessed with enhancing their look and becoming more beautiful? It’s a hard one to say because we all sort of are. … But is it a little sad? It is, because it has changed so quickly. It’s, I think, always unfortunate to see large groups of people becoming sort of slaves to the whole machine, if you will.”
Ten years ago, cosmetic surgery was also banned in China, but today, it’s a multibillion-dollar industry.

Lisa took cameras inside Shanghai’s Ninth People’s Hospital, one of the largest in the nation, to meet men and women waiting to get nipped and tucked. In the plastic surgery waiting area, she meets a college student and a woman in her 60s. Both women are there for the same procedure—eyelid reshaping surgery.

“They both walked in, met their surgeon for the first time and, in just two hours, were on operating tables,” Lisa says.

Every year, thousands of people request this popular procedure, which reshapes the smaller Asian eyelid into a larger, more Western shape. Dr. Sun Baoshan, a Chinese plastic surgeon, says he’s seen a dramatic increase in patients over the past few years.

“Four years ago, we had only 30,000 surgeries per year here, but last year we had 40,000 cosmetic surgeries at this hospital alone,” Dr. Sun Baoshan says. “This year, it will be 50,000.”
Americans are no strangers to extreme plastic surgery, but while in Shanghai, Lisa learns about a radical new procedure that’s gaining popularity in China—leg lengthening.

In this part of the world, Lisa says height is a sign of status, and oftentimes, it’s a prerequisite for success. “Minimum height requirements are not unusual for many jobs, for admission to some colleges, even to land a date,” Lisa says.

As medical technology improves, more people are going under the knife to have this painful, controversial procedure, which can help patients grow anywhere from a few inches to a full foot.

At the Shanghai Height Increasing Specialized Institute, Lisa meets Dr. Bai Helong, a Chinese doctor who modernized the leg-lengthening procedure. He says his patients want to be taller for many reasons.

“China has 1.3 billion people, so getting a job is quite difficult,” Dr. Bai Helong says. “As a result, a short person not only experiences difficulty in getting a job, but also trouble in their marriage, love life, family, career and many other areas.”

Jessy, a 27-year-old who’s interested in undergoing the procedure, says she’s willing to take a year off work to grow a few inches. Currently, she’s 5’3”.

“I want to be 5’6” or 5’7”. Just being tall makes me feel much confidence,” she says. “I’m always jealous when I see tall girls walking around. I just want to be just like them.”
Dr. Bai’s patients go to great lengths to stand a few inches above their competition. “Pain is definitely a part of the procedure, which is both horrifying and miraculous,” Lisa says.

To lengthen the leg, holes are drilled into the leg bone and screws are inserted to stabilize an adjustable leg brace. Then, surgeons carefully saw the leg bone in half below the knee, and the braces slowly stretch the bones apart. Over time, Dr. Bai says new bone grows into the gap and increases the person’s height.

Lisa says most patients are out of commission for at least six months after the surgery, and others remain in seclusion from friends and family for a full year. At this time, the bulky braces are removed, and the new bone is hard enough to withstand normal activity.

Despite the pain and price—anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000—Lisa says patients think it’s worth the sacrifice. “If this is something that does make people feel better, far be it for us to intrude our opinions,” she says. “But it certainly is very extreme. I had never experienced anything quite like it.”

Printed from Oprah.com on Thursday, March 4, 2010

Selling yourself short?

May 8, 2009

If you have ever been uncomfortable in your own skin, you’re not alone. Just take a look around; people are constantly battling the pressures and negative influences from the world, community and ‘friends’ around them.

Selling yourself short means you’re not giving yourself full credit where it is deserved. (i.e. “The professor told Jack not to sell himself short regarding his grade on his Mathematical exam; he scored the highest grade in the class.”)

Sometimes it can be a birthmark in a strange place, the fact that you’re shorter than the average person, you have a receding hairline, really anything… ‘Friends,’ co-workers, even family may even induce this low self-esteem. The best way to work your self out of it is to make changes, and think positive; always reinforcing the good things about yourself.

An ezinearticles.com report titled “Coping With Low Self-Esteem – Discover a Powerful Way to Change the Way You Think About Yourself” talks about the pain of low self-esteem, selling yourself short and how to turn it all around.

Low Self-Esteem is probably the number one reason people do not achieve their goals in life.

While most of us like to find reasons for failure in outer circumstances, we don’t realize that it is the way we think about ourselves that will ultimately determine the outcome of our endeavors.

When you don’t believe in yourself failure becomes a viable option. It is strange how quick we are to accept thoughts of inadequacy about ourselves. However, when it comes to believing that we are good at something, we demand substantial proof before accepting that.

It is all a matter of mindset. We are what we think we are. Every decision we make is based on whatever thought patterns we have in our mind.

Our mindset has been framed by all the good or bad information we have received throughout our life. And -like it or not- it definitely governs our life.

Once your mind has accepted a certain thought pattern about yourself and what you are capable of, it will determine your actions in every area of your life.

If you think you are a victor, you will accomplish much and always have success in life.

On the other hand, if you think you are a victim or a loser who is not capable of much, that is exactly what your life is going to look like.

Thought patterns are powerful, but the good news is that they can be broken by a weightier source….

http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Bettina_Langerfeldt

Why are tall women considered superior to shorter women?

January 24, 2009

Why are tall women considered superior to shorter women?

Because if you’re tall like Uma Thurman, other women think you’re more intelligent, assertive and independent, and if you’re as short as Kylie Minogue, you’re merely considerate and nurturing

By Roger Dobson

Generations of women have complained about high-heeled shoes and the crushed toes and bunions they suffer for the sake of an extra inch or two. Now ground-breaking research has proved their sacrifice is not in vain.

Both men and women judge a tall female on first sight as more intelligent, assertive, independent and ambitious. For good measure, they are also judged richer and more successful, whatever the reality.

Psychologists at the universities of Liverpool and Central Lancashire have run the first scientific experiments to prove that “heightism” – which has always been associated with competition between men – colours our view of women’s talents too.

They found that when volunteers were shown digitally lengthened and shortened pictures of women, they made a series of instant judgments about their likely personalities, not all of them flattering. According to Dr Simon Chu, who led the research, it is “the first direct evidence that female height influences perception of their character”.

Tall women do not have things all their own way. The researchers also found that the male volunteers judged small women to be more nurturing and likely to be better mothers.

Shorter women also get support from a separate new analysis from University College London, which shows that women with an hour-glass figure – associated more commonly with small and medium-sized rather than tall females – are seen not only as more attractive, but more intelligent, flirtatious, healthy and fertile. They found that women whose waist was 70 per cent of the size of their hips were thought the most attractive, as well as the most intelligent.

In the Liverpool and Lancashire study, psychologists manipulated pictures of women standing against cars so that the same casually dressed woman appeared in different images to be tall or short. The height of the shorter women was just under 5ft 1in and the taller females 5ft 8in. A hundred men and women, aged 18 to 62, were then asked to rate the women for eight characteristics.

Men believed that shorter women were more considerate, nurturing and homely. However, women on the panel believed that there was no difference between tall and short women for these three traits.

Why men see short females as more caring and more homely is not clear. One theory is that taller women mature sexually later, because more energy is being expended on growing at a time when the reproductive system is developing. Other research has shown that shorter women have more reproductive success – which may be why men see them as more nurturing.

“The accumulating evidence converges on the view that short stature is linked with reproduction, while tall stature is linked with strength,” the report says.

At the same time, expending more energy on growing means that taller women are bigger and stronger, both of which are associated with independence and self-reliance.

Certainly, they are well represented on the public stage. Nicole Kidman, at 5ft 11in, has hardly been held back, although she was unable to wear heels while married to the significantly shorter Tom Cruise. Nor has Uma Thurman, at 6ft. Jodie Kidd, another six-footer, says her height has rarely been a handicap. “I’ve always been very content with the way I look. The only time being so tall has been a problem was when I was showjumping – my feet used to hang down and knock down all the fences.”

The aptly named Liz Large, who runs a clothing company for tall women, said: “I’m 6ft 1in, and it does mean you are noticed automatically. At work I was promoted very young – people just assumed I was grown up and a safe pair of hands.”

Dr David Weeks, a consultant clinical neuropsychologist at the Superyoung clinic in Edinburgh said: “In the past in Britain, being tall has been associated with leadership and social class. If you go back to the early 1940s when they were sorting out who was suitable to be an officer, there three factors – height, dash and moustache. The more, you had the better. Being tall can make a good first impression but it can also be far more enduring and long lasting in people’s perceptions.”

Not that being short is always a handicap. Dr Ros Taylor, a clinical psychologist who has researched image, believes that any advantage a tall person has lasts for a maximum of 30 seconds, after which the positive impression has to be backed up by substance.

“It’s not as if when you are tall that in itself gives you power. It is an initial advantage, and it certainly is an advantage, but if you don’t have it there are other compensations” – an argument that Kylie Minogue, 5ft 1in, and Charlotte Church, 5ft 2in, would support wholeheartedly.

What Happened to America’s Height Advantage?

December 11, 2008

What happened to America’s height advantage?
Posted 7/15/2007 12:31 PM

By Matt Crenson, Associated Press
NEW YORK — America used to be the tallest country in the world.

From the days of the founding fathers right on through the industrial revolution and two world wars, Americans literally towered over other nations. In a land of boundless open spaces and limitless natural abundance, the young nation transformed its increasing wealth into human growth.

But just as it has in so many other arenas, America’s predominance in height has faded. Americans reached a height plateau after World War II, gradually falling behind the rest of the world as it continued growing taller.

By the time the baby boomers reached adulthood in the 1960s, most northern and western European countries had caught up with and surpassed the United States. Young adults in Japan and other prosperous Asian countries now stand nearly as tall as Americans do.

Even residents of the formerly communist East Germany are taller than Americans today. In Holland, the tallest country in the world, the typical man now measures 6 feet, a good two inches more than his average American counterpart.

Compare that to 1850, when the situation was reversed. Not just the Dutch but all the nations of western Europe stood 2½ inches shorter than their American brethren.

Does it really matter? Does being taller give the Dutch any advantage over say, the Chinese (men 5 feet, 4.9 inches; women 5 feet, 0.8 inches) or the Brazilians (men 5 feet, 6.5 inches; women 5 feet, 3 inches)?

Many economists would argue that it does matter, because height is correlated with numerous measures of a population’s well-being. Tall people are healthier, wealthier and live longer than short people. Some researchers have even suggested that tall people are more intelligent.

It’s not that being tall actually makes you smarter, richer or healthier. It’s that the same things that make you tall — a nutritious diet, good prenatal care and a healthy childhood — also benefit you in those other ways.

That makes height a good indicator for economists who are interested in measuring how well a nation provides for its citizens during their prime growing years. With one simple, easily collected statistic, economists can essentially measure how well a society prepares its children for life.

“This is the part of the society that usually eludes economists, because economists are usually thinking about income. And this is the part of the society that doesn’t earn an income,” said John Komlos, an economic historian at the University of Munich who was born in Hungary, grew up in Chicago, and has spent the last quarter century compiling data on the heights of nations.

Height tells you about a segment of the population that is invisible to traditional economic statistics. Children don’t have jobs or own houses. They don’t buy durable goods, or invest in the stock market. But obviously, investments in their well-being are critical to a nation’s economic future.

For several years now, Komlos and other researchers have been trying to figure out exactly why the United States fell behind. How could the wealthiest country in the world, during the most robust economic expansion in its history, simply stop growing?

“It’s absolutely fascinating,” said Eileen Crimmins, a demographer at the University of Southern California. “Maybe we’ve reached the point where we’re going to go backwards in height.”

Like many human traits, an individual’s height is determined by a mix of genes and environment. Some experts put the contribution of genes at 40%, some at 70%, some even higher. But they all agree that aside from African pygmies and a few similar exceptions, most populations have about the same genetic potential for height.

That leaves environment to determine the differences in height between populations around the world, specifically the environment children experience from the moment of conception through adolescence. Any deficiency along the way, from poor prenatal care to early childhood disease or malnutrition, can prevent a person from reaching his or her full genetic height potential.

“We know environment can affect heights by three, four, five inches,” said Richard H. Steckel, an Ohio State University economist who has also done research on height trends in the United States during the 19th century.

The earliest stages of life are the most important to the human growth machine; at age 2 there is already about a 70% correlation between a child’s height and his or her eventual adult stature.

All of this means a population’s average height is a very sensitive indicator of its most vulnerable members’ welfare.

Not surprisingly, rich countries tend to be taller simply because they have more resources to spend on feeding and caring for their children. But wealth doesn’t necessarily guarantee that a society will give its children what they need to thrive.

In the Czech Republic, per capita income is barely half of what it is in the United States. Even so, Czechs are taller than Americans. So are Belgians, who collect 84% as much income as Americans.

And those height differences translate into real benefits. A number of studies have shown that disease and malnutrition early in life — the same things that limit a person’s height — increase a person’s chances of developing heart disease and other life-shortening conditions later on. Though tall people are more likely to get cancer, they suffer less mortality overall than short people.

International statistics bear it out. Life expectancy in the Netherlands is 79.11 years; in Sweden it’s 80.63. America’s life expectancy of 78.00 years puts it in somewhat shorter company, just above Cyprus and a few notches below Bosnia-Herzegovina.

“Obviously America is not doing badly. It’s not at the level of developing nations,” Komlos said. “But it’s also not doing as well as it could.”

His latest research paper, published in the June issue of Social Science Quarterly, suggests the blame may lie with America’s poor diet and its expensive, inequitable health care system.

“American children might consume more meals prepared outside of the home, more fast food rich in fat, high in energy density and low in essential micronutrients,” wrote Komlos and co-author Benjamin E. Lauderdale of Princeton University. “Furthermore, the European welfare states provide a more comprehensive social safety net including universal health care coverage.”

In the United States, by comparison, an estimated 9 million children have no health insurance.

Komlos’ most recent data indicate a small uptick in the heights of white Americans born between 1975 and 1983, a suggestion that the gap may finally be closing. But there has been no similar increase among blacks, a suggestion that inequality may indeed play a significant role in the height gap.

In another recent paper, Komlos and Lauderdale also found height inequality between American urbanites and residents of suburbs and rural areas. In Kansas, for example, white males are about as tall as their European peers; it’s big cities like New York, where men are about 1.75 inches shorter than that, that drag America’s average down.

Now Komlos has started comparing the heights of children to determine at what age Americans begin falling behind their peers across the Atlantic. Not surprisingly, he sees a difference from birth, an observation that suggests prenatal care may be significant contributor factor to the height gap.

But it is unlikely that Komlos will ever find one simple factor to explain why Americans have fallen behind other rich countries in height. In all likelihood it is caused by a combination of things — a little bit health care, some diet, a sprinkling of economic inequality.

“In some ways it gets to the fundamentals of the American society, namely what is the ideology of the American society and what are the shortcomings of that ideology,” Komlos said. “I would argue that to take good care of its children is not part of that ideology.”

Whether that’s true is debatable; the height gap doesn’t measure how much Americans love their children. But at a minimum it does indicate — in raw feet and inches — whether the nation is giving its youngsters what they need to reach their full biological potential, or selling them short.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Limb lengthening tests human will power

December 2, 2008

Patients endure unimaginable pain
for a few inches

Growing pains
Christy Ruhe stood 4-foot-3 before choosing to undergo a leg-lengthening process that broke her bowed legs, then stretched and straightened them to make her seven inches taller.
See pictures from her painful, but gratifying experience.

By Gretchen Parker, AP

Limb-lengthening surgery is controversial among dwarfs, and it is painful. Still, many choose to undergo the bone-breaking and difficult therapy to gain inches in height. One patient who made this decision, Christy Ruhe, allowed an Associated Press reporter and photographer to closely follow her two-year progress. This is her story.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio – The tiny, silver BMW roadster slides out of the garage and zips toward the freeway. Christy Ruhe adjusts the rearview mirror and rests one hand on the steering wheel. The car, her dad’s, is a perfect fit. She looks like she’s been driving it forever.

Two years ago, she couldn’t have reached the pedals.

Christy recently finished a procedure that surgically broke her bowed legs, then stretched and straightened them, an agonizingly painful ordeal that would leave even her questioning how much she could endure.

Once 4-foot-3, she’s now just 2 inches shy of 5 feet tall.

She had always craved just a few more inches. Enough to drive any car and pump her own gas, or reach the pedals under the piano. Practical things, but seven inches would accomplish so much more.

To understand why Christy would put herself through the grueling surgeries and therapy is to understand a spirit determined to be as independent as possible.

Continue reading this story at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4242093/