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Rocky Rochon Furniture’s ‘Body Parts’ collection turns heads

Conceptually, Body Parts is meant to take the feeling of an antique piece and redefine how it’s done with current materials.

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Rocky Rochon Furniture’s “Body Parts” Collection has turned heads, especially a version of the Frame Chair on which a framed portrait replaces the cushion back. This is the kind of inventive flexibility and redefining of classic pieces that designer Rocky Rochon envisioned in creating the upholstered line of furniture.

Conceptually, Body Parts is meant to take the feeling of an antique piece and redefine how it’s done with current materials. The physical premise is that each type of seating has basic footprints for its ‘seat’ and that by interchanging the attached components, such as an arm, leg or back, the design can be transformed. Launched in Seattle, the line is now available at the new Rocky Rochon Studio in the West Hollywood Design District at 306 N. Robertson Boulevard, and online at Rocky Rochon Studio.

Just as the designer created a line of color-engineered paints, The Paint Laboratory, to solve the evergreen problem of how a paint’s color shifts depending on the light source, Rochon launched Body Parts to resolve the need for a change of function or style by a client over time. The collection begins with ‘base units’ from which to work – for designers and clients.

“As a designer I am constantly thinking about the problem-solution process,” says Rochon. “The ability to update a favorite piece of furniture is a unique solution. People typically think their only options are to fully reupholster or buy new when they want a refresh. Body Parts adapts this process by offering a more versatile solution. You can have your favorite piece of furniture and a completely new aesthetic.” 

How it Works: A dining chair has a seat that is often sized 15’’x15’’ up to 18’’x18’’, a loveseat 30’’x60’’, or a sofa 78’’x30’’. That seat can be tightly upholstered or have a loose cushion, it can be tufted, welted, etc. These base units can have attachments added to them, such as a particular type of leg, arm, or back. The base units have universal mounting locations at the underside of them, which allow for a variety of ‘add-ons’ that are invisibly attached without compromising the upholstery. This enables the pieces to morph into different designs or forms, to the point of changing its complete function. For example, a love seat sofa back can be detached from its base seat and be interchanged with a queen bed base and become a queen bed, or the aforementioned photo-backed chair, creating a completely different seating experience. Hence….’Body Parts’.

The following collection pieces are now in the LA showroom, with new floor samples arriving monthly: Louis Lounge Chairs, Parlor Sofa, Tuxedo Sofa, Sectional Sofa, Geometry Daybed, Tuxedo Bed, and the Frame Side Chair. Manufactured in Los Angeles, the current approximate turnaround time for a piece (depending on any special elements) is 8-12 weeks, and any piece can be customized per the Body Parts concept. Rocky Rochon Studio also has its own line of leathers, and is also working on its own collection of fabrics; but clients may supply their own fabric or leather selections for customization.

“The Frame Chair with the portrait as the seat back is my favorite. It really embodies the original concept of the line: to be innovative and return to being romantic; and to rethink a piece’s construction to make it more current, while dipping into the past for inspiration,” notes Rochon. “The portrait chair is striking because the backing is a 15th c. painting by Sandro Boticelli, but it’s a digital recreation, and held up by one sleek arm of steel. It’s the perfect mix!”

Though launched in 2019, the concept has been germinating for almost 25 years. Rochon was designing a set of chairs for a husband and wife, with the wife’s “Mrs.” chair being a reinvention of a traditional Louis XVI fauteuil chair and the husband’s “Mr.” chair being an English wingback lounge chair. In reworking the wingback, Rochon used leather, saddle-stitched directly to pieces of steel for a ‘rolled arm’ effect, and he bolted the steel arms to the chair’s underside. Appreciating both concept and romance in design, and redefining both for the real world today, the highly creative couple (he, an innovator, and founder of a major gaming company) allowed Rochon to experiment.

This process of deconstructing traditional pieces and reengineering all the components with fresh parts and current materials was the result.
“I can actually pinpoint envisioning Body Parts,” shares Rochon. “I found myself isolated with my 4-year old son Henry in my apartment for a week during a snowstorm. He was watching ‘The Lion King’ in the background, and I was sitting with a portable drafting board and just started drafting the whole concept. This was the springboard for Body Parts.”

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Vitamin D boosts chances of walking after hip fracture

Senior citizens who are not vitamin D deficient have a better chance of walking after hip fracture surgery, according to a Rutgers-led study.

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Photo by Kayla Maurais from Unsplash.com

Senior citizens who are not vitamin D deficient have a better chance of walking after hip fracture surgery, according to a Rutgers-led study.

The findings in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggest that vitamin D deficiency could limit mobility in older adults, said senior author Sue Shapses, a professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

Shapses suggests that older adults take 800 international units (IU), equivalent to 20 micrograms, of vitamin D daily to prevent deficiency. Vitamin D is important for bone health, and people get it through some foods, exposure to the sun and vitamin pills.

“An important next step is learning how vitamin D affects mobility,” said Shapses, who is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and director of the Center for Human Nutrition, Exercise and Metabolism at Rutgers’ New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health. “For example, it is not clear if severe vitamin D deficiency is associated with direct effects on muscle, cognition and/or other organ systems.”

A broken hip – among the most serious fall injuries – is hard to recover from, with many people unable to live on their own afterward. In the United States, more than 300,000 people 65 or older are hospitalized for hip fractures annually and falling causes more than 95 percent of these type of fractures. Women fall more frequently than men, experiencing three-quarters of hip fractures, and the number of fractures is likely to rise as the population ages, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Regaining mobility after a hip fracture is important for full recovery and to reduce the risk of death. But vitamin D deficiency is associated with reduced mobility after surgery to repair a hip fracture.

The multi-site study of patients 65 or older in the United States and Canada examined the influence of vitamin D levels in blood serum and nutrition on mobility. The study focused on death rate or inability to walk 10 feet (or across a room) without someone’s help after surgery.

The findings showed that vitamin D levels greater than 12 nanograms per milliliter (12 parts per billion) in blood serum are associated with a higher rate of walking at 30 and 60 days after hip fracture surgery. While poor nutrition is associated with reduced mobility 30 days after surgery, that factor was not statistically significant. Still, in patients with high levels of parathyroid hormone, which leads to high levels of calcium in blood, mobility was reduced if their nutritional status was poor.

“This matters because vitamin D deficiency and malnutrition are common disorders in elderly patients with hip fractures and often occur together since both are complications of poor nutrition,” Shapses said.

Previous studies have shown that taking 800 IU of vitamin D a day can prevent falling and fractures. A Rutgers-led study published last year indicated that high vitamin D intake (4,000 IU a day) compared with 600 IU a day may reduce reaction time, potentially boosting the risk of falling and fractures. The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D is 600 IU daily for people from 1 to 70 years old and 800 for people over 70.

“These studies suggest that too much or too little vitamin D will affect mobility and falls in the elderly,” Shapses said.

The lead author is Lihong Hao, a post-doctoral associate in the Department of Nutritional Sciences. Co-authors include Jeffrey L. Carson, provost, New Brunswick at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Richard C. Reynolds M.D. chair in General Internal Medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; Yvette Schlussel, research scientist and statistician in the Department of Nutritional Sciences; and Helaine Noveck at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

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Study finds brains of girls and boys are similar, producing equal math ability

A study found no difference in the brain development of girls and boys. In addition, the researchers found no difference in how boys and girls processed math skills and were equally engaged while watching the educational videos. Finally, boys’ and girls’ brain maturity were statistically equivalent when compared to either men or women in the adult group.

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CREDIT: CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY

In 1992, Teen Talk Barbie was released with the controversial voice fragment, “Math class is hard.” While the toy’s release met with public backlash, this underlying assumption persists, propagating the myth that women do not thrive in science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) fields due to biological deficiencies in math aptitude.

Jessica Cantlon at Carnegie Mellon University led a research team that comprehensively examined the brain development of young boys and girls. Their research shows no gender difference in brain function or math ability. The results of this research are available online in the November 8 issue of the journal Science of Learning.

“Science doesn’t align with folk beliefs,” said Cantlon, the Ronald J. and Mary Ann Zdrojkowski Professor of Developmental Neuroscience at CMU’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and senior author on the paper. “We see that children’s brains function similarly regardless of their gender so hopefully we can recalibrate expectations of what children can achieve in mathematics.”

Cantlon and her team conducted the first neuroimaging study to evaluate biological gender differences in math aptitude of young children.

Her team used functional MRI to measure the brain activity in 104 young children (3- to 10-years-old; 55 girls) while watching an educational video covering early math topics, like counting and addition. The researchers compared scans from the boys and girls to evaluate brain similarity. In addition, the team examined brain maturity by comparing the children’s scans to those taken from a group of adults (63 adults; 25 women) who watched the same math videos.

After numerous statistical comparisons, Cantlon and her team found no difference in the brain development of girls and boys. In addition, the researchers found no difference in how boys and girls processed math skills and were equally engaged while watching the educational videos. Finally, boys’ and girls’ brain maturity were statistically equivalent when compared to either men or women in the adult group.

“It’s not just that boys and girls are using the math network in the same ways but that similarities were evident across the entire brain,” said Alyssa Kersey, postdoctoral scholar at the Department of Psychology, University of Chicago and first author on the paper. “This is an important reminder that humans are more similar to each other than we are different.”

The researchers also compared the results of the Test of Early Mathematics Ability, a standardized test for 3- to 8-year-old children, from 97 participants (50 girls) to gauge the rate of math development. They found that math ability was equivalent among the children and did not show a difference in gender or with age. Nor did the team find a gender difference between math ability and brain maturity.

This study builds on the team’s previous work that found equivalent behavioral performance on a range of mathematics tests between young boys and girls.

Cantlon said she thinks society and culture likely are steering girls and young women away from math and STEM fields. Previous studies show that families spend more time with young boys in play that involves spatial cognition. Many teachers also preferentially spend more time with boys during math class, predicting later math achievement. Finally, children often pick up on cues from their parent’s expectations for math abilities.

“Typical socialization can exacerbate small differences between boys and girls that can snowball into how we treat them in science and math,” Cantlon said. “We need to be cognizant of these origins to ensure we aren’t the ones causing the gender inequities.”

This project is focused on early childhood development using a limited set of math tasks. Cantlon wants to continue this work using a broader array of math skills, such as spatial processing and memory, and follow the children over many years.

Cantlon and Kersey were joined by Kelsey Csumitta at the University of Rochester on the study, titled “Gender Similarities in the Brain during Mathematics Development.” This research received funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

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Epson works with youth groups for environmental initiatives

Epson has partnered with two youth-led organizations to help raise awareness on environmental issues as part of its 2018 to 2019 environmental initiatives, in line with its vision to contribute to the development of a sustainable Philippines.

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Epson has partnered with two youth-led organizations to help raise awareness on environmental issues as part of its 2018 to 2019 environmental initiatives, in line with its vision to contribute to the development of a sustainable Philippines.

In its partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources–Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB), its youth arm GREENducation Philippines, and Rotaract Club of University District Manila (RAC-UDM), Epson Philippines aims to work with youths to inspire environmental volunteerism through a series of youth-driven projects and eco-seminars.

As part of its project with RAC-UDM, Epson will be building a garden made out of recycled plastics or eco-bricks for the students of Cecilio Apostol Elementary School. This initiative is the third phase of its collaboration project “Saving the Planet, Juan Bottle at a Time,” with RAC-UDM.

Epson and RAC-UDM donated cleaning materials and held a seminar on waste management and recovery for phase one, and conducted an eco-brick making workshop for phase two for the residents of Barangay 345 in Sta. Cruz, Manila.

“We’ve wanted to do this project for a long time and, we’re thankful that Epson is helping us finally make it a reality,” said Shera Solon, president of RAC-UDM. “This is a milestone for us and, we’re always excited to work with brands that share the same vision for the environment as our group.”

Epson previously invited GREENducation volunteers for an eco-seminar for its employees, with a goal of educating and inspiring the attendees to live a more sustainable life inside and outside the Epson in October last year.

Greenducators facilitated discussions on basic environmental concepts and Philippine laws, zero waste lifestyle and the art of upcycling. DENR-EMB’s Section Chief of Environmental Education and Information Division Maria Cristina Fransisco also discussed the prevalence of Microplastics, which are small and barely visible pieces of plastic that enter and pollute the environment.

“We always welcome the support from companies who are doing their own environmental initiatives. We are thankful for Epson’s active participation in advocating environmental sustainability,” said Francisco.

DENR-EMB’s GREENducation Philippines and Epson also launched recently the 1st EcoVision Short Film Competition, an inter-collegiate Public Service Announcement (PSA) video-making contest that aims to tap the artistry of Filipino students in raising public understanding of the environment and its conservation through the power of the visual medium.

With the theme “Green Solutions for Everyday Life at Home, School, or Office,” the competition focuses on simple ways that individuals can do to help in solving ecological problems, such as improper waste disposal and irresponsible use of plastics, among others.

“Epson is committed to the development of sustainable societies, seen in our commitment to support UN’s Sustainable Development Goals through our key innovation areas,” said Donna Ferro, brand and communications head of Epson Philippines. “We are glad to have found like-minded partners with Rotaract-UDM, DENR-EMB, and GREENducation as we conduct our 2018-2019 projects, which serve as our simple contribution to Epson’s overall environmental vision: to become an indispensable company that uses its efficient, compact and precision technologies to achieve sustainability.”

EcoVision Short Film Competition is now accepting entries until February 19, 2019, (11:59 p.m.). For the complete mechanics and submission process, interested participants may visitwww.epson.com.ph/ecovision.

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