Sunday, September 30, 2012


Quick announcement: Unleashed will be published bi-monthly (two weeks out of the month)

Feel free to send in your cartoons and art! We might just publish it. 

Cartoonist, Lesa Martin:
Lesa Martin, after retiring from a career of professional ballet and graduating from UCLA, has sparked a wonderful career as a multi-media artist. She has shown her work in the SF MOMA Rental Gallery, and has many ambitious plans concerning enticing new paintings people are itching to see! Her subtle humor leaves us thinking about life. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

THE MED BEAT: I Just Met You........ This is Crazy.............! But, I Have Endometriosis

Quick announcement: Unleashed will be published bi-monthly (two weeks out of the month)
For more information click here, also the origin of this photograph. 

Patient: I have endometri-what? 

Medical Doctor (MD): I think you might have what is called endometriosis-- it is more common than you might think!

Patient: So ... what is it? Am I, like, going to die?! Is it what's causing this pelvic pain?! GET ME MEDICATION!

MD: Now, hold on, endometriosis is not fatal, and quite manageable once properly diagnosed.

Duking it out due to sexual frustration and tension. 
Patient: Phew... ok, so what is it? And, what about my pain?! I have the worst pelvic pain! At best, it's a 5/10 pain, at worst a 9/10! And, after sex? I have terrible pain! My boyfriend is frustrated, and so am I. Even twisting the wrong way can create this radiating pain! It's here (points to groin area, ovarian areas [ovaries differ in location depending on the individual structure], and uterus). And, sometimes I'm nauseous. 

MD:  Exactly. These are all symptoms of endometriosis. Unfortunately, endometriosis is difficult to diagnose without a surgical procedure. The ultrasound and CT you had were normal, but these tests cannot detect the lesions that develop with endometriosis. These lesions are only detected with a noninvasive surgical procedure called a laparoscopy in which we find these lesions and remove them. 

For more information click here, the origin of this photograph.

Patient: What's the recovery for that? That sounds awful...

MD: It actually does not take that long. You're in, say, on a thursday and out the same day. You'll need to recover all weekend, but you should be on your feet by Monday. There is another option.

Patient: Thank God! What is it??

MD: Hormone treatment. You're already on birth control. So, first of all, skip the placebos. Endometriosis is the growth of endometrial tissue outside of the uterus and in locations such as the surfaces of: ovaries, Fallopian tubes, (outter) uterus, intestines, and sometimes even the vagina, cervix and bladder. You see, the growth of endometrial tissue is controlled by your menstrual hormones, progestin and estrogen. I wrote out a little blurb on endometriosis for you, here read it.

Patient (reading aloud): "Growths of endometriosis are benign (not cancerous). But they still can cause many problems. To see why, it helps to understand a woman's menstrual cycle. Every month, hormones cause the lining of a woman's uterus to build up with tissue and blood vessels. If a woman does not get pregnant, the uterus sheds this tissue and blood. It comes out of the body through the vagina as her menstrual period.

Patches of endometriosis also respond to the hormones produced during the menstrual cycle. With the passage of time, the growths of endometriosis may expand by adding extra tissue and blood. The symptoms of endometriosis often get worse.
Tissue and blood that is shed into the body can cause inflammation, scar tissue, and pain. As endometrial tissue grows, it can cover or grow into the ovaries and block the fallopian tubes. Trapped blood in the ovaries can form cysts, or closed sacs. It also can cause inflammation and cause the body to form scar tissue and adhesions, tissue that sometimes binds organs together. This scar tissue may cause pelvic pain and make it hard for women to get pregnant. The growths can also cause problems in the intestines and bladder.
(Woman's Health)." Holy shit!!! AHHHHHHH! 

MD: Don't worry, this is manageable, and again, it is difficult to diagnose without a laparoscopy so we cannot be sure. The hormones I would give you are injected and would basically simulate menopause for five months. The affects are not permanent, and you can still have children afterward! We can supply you with lubricant for sex as the vagina dries, and we can also give you medicine for hot flashes! 

Patient: I'm too young for this!!! I need to do more research before I commit either way. This is a lot to take in! 

MD: Good idea. Just so you know, you're young for endometriosis. Most women who have endometriosis aren't twenty, but develop symptoms in their thirties or older. Anyway, Just call my office when you'd like to pursue a form of management. It makes sense that you would have endometriosis; it is most common in caucasian, professional women, like yourself.

Patient: Do all women feel this way? Is there anything I can do in the mean time?

MD: In the mean time, here's a Vicodin prescription. Not all women feel pain from endometriosis, and their main symptom is infertility. This is fixed, if in the early stages, with the laparoscopy or the hormone treatment. 


MD: Endometriosis is not the end of the world!!!

Though this interview is clearly fictional, the patient and doctor are modeled after real-life experiences, but only represent one case. The patient we found went through two months of undiagnosed pelvic pain, saw five different doctors, and was in and out of the hospital and ER before finally entertaining the idea of endometriosis. She is scheduled for a laparoscopic surgery later this month! 

A few last things to add about endometriosis! Symptoms are highly variable, depending on the amount of endometrial tissue growing outside the uterus and the stage it is in. Stage one generally consists of a small number of small endometrial lesions scattered outside the uterus. Stage two and three entail larger lesions and more extensive coverage. Complications are often more sever with stage four, in which organs are actually fused together, and the ultimate solution is to remove the uterus and/or ovaries. Noticeable symptoms of endometriosis often overlap with a series of other pelvic afflictions, like pelvic inflammatory disease (an STI), ovarian cancer, ovarian cysts (which can, again, be caused by endometriosis), ectopic pregnancy, and even digestive issues. The most common symptoms include: 

intensified, painful periods
episodes of sharp pain
uterine cramps
tender pelvic area
pain in pelvic area
pain during or after sex
pain during bowel movements and/or urination

When speaking with your doctor, be thorough and honest about your symptoms and the history of your condition. To fully assist your doctor and get the best treatment, even document your pain (ex. My pain started on _____ date, got worse on this date _____, etc). Endometriosis is manageable when in its earliest stages, so if you have any of these symptoms see a doctor before it gets worse! Remember, complications of endometriosis are complex due to the intricacy of the female reproductive system and pelvic area, which can make it difficult to diagnose right away. Be patient as you progress towards a diagnosis, but be proactive: seek out the care that you need and don't take no, or "I don't know," for an answer. 

To learn even more about endometriosis, check out medicine net's article. If you're really dedicated, see how much you really know.

Feel free to contact columnists at Unleashed 

Medical Section Columnist, Kurtis Morrish:

My name is Kurtis Morrish. I graduated from Cal last year as an Integrative Biology major. I am now in the process of applying to medical school in the hopes of one day serving people as a family doctor. By no means do I write to you as an M.D., but I have extensive experience doing all kinds of scientific research; boiling-down long, dry, mumbo-jumbo-dense medical journals into a reduction that is a little sweeter, useful, and hopefully informative for you. I hope to learn as much from my writing as you do, so please hit me up with further questions, concerns, or comments!


Women in the World and the Ripple Effect Section, Sasha Martin:
I made my own major, The Nature of Emotion as investigated through literature, psychology, anthropology, cognitive science and other interdisciplinary fields, and am minoring in Creative Writing. I created Unleashed for the general empowerment and knowledge of women and men everywhere, and continue to be involved as editor, designer and writer. I am an editorial and PR intern for City Lights. I happen to love the Unleashed staff quite dearly, as well as readers like you. It's amazing what words can do! Feel free to email me at Unleashed. I hope you enjoy! 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

CUT THE C%&*: How I Caught the Bieber Fever

Quick announcement: Unleashed will be published bi-monthly (two weeks out of the month)


Today, I developed a severe case of Bieber Fever. Instead of going to see the doc, I just turned up the stereo and continued reading an article discussing the young star, all along close to tears.
Bieber with Mrs. Avalanna Routh before she died.

It was centered around a six-year-old named Avalanna Routh who recently died of brain cancer. Like millions of other girls, she was a fervent Justin Bieber fan. A Facebook campaign was created for the little girl, highlighting her wish to meet Bieber. It went viral. Bieber responded by not only reaching out to the girl, but also holding a fake wedding ceremony, pulling her on stage at the Apollo theater, and taking her and her family on a Valentine’s Day date.

Alright, I’ll admit that when Justin Bieber came on the scene, I was not his biggest fan. I didn’t hate him, but I knew that his hairstyle made me feel slightly uncomfortable. If anything, I was more confused by the hype around him than angered by it. Maybe I never moved on from JC Chasez.

Right from the beginning of his rise to superstardom there was controversy around the young pop star. For every girl who wanted to be Justin Bieber’s bride, there were an equal, if not greater, number of boys who hated his guts. The web is filled with Justin Bieber hate sites and organizations. In fact, on Urban Dictionary (not one of the most credible of sources, I know, but it is a particularly useful resource during the adolescent years), there are 8 separate definitions for the search,  “Justin Bieber hater.”

This leads me directly to my psychological analysis of the “Beiber hater.” Not only has the kid really come into his own in terms of style, (who knew haircuts could do such wonders?) but he has proven himself to be a genuinely kind-hearted human being. Sure, reaching out to the girl with brain cancer is a form of PR, but he sure as hell didn't have to go so out of his way to hit the headlines-- he really went all out for the little Avalanna. 

Cute, nice, successful…he is the quintessential bachelor. The “Bieber hater” is a jealous breed. Chances are they will never attract girls as effortlessly as he does.

So I would say, instead of spending time bashing, hating, someone you barely even know, invest that time in cultivating a talent of your own. Besides, I don’t think the kid is disappearing any time soon.

Feel free to contact columnists at Unleashed 

 The "Is This Real Life?" Column, Samantha Salis:

Sam is a Psychology Major and Political Economy Minor at UC Berkeley. She is a dedicated young woman, ambitious and sharp as a whip. Our dear Samantha tutors high schoolers and works at a Psychology lab at UC Berkeley. Even with this busy schedule, Ms. Salis creates the time to divulge to us her insider perspective on the world around us, backed with thorough researc. Enjoy!

ALL AROUND THE WORLD: It's Not Just the Devil Who Wears Prada

Quick announcement: Unleashed will be published bi-monthly (two weeks out of the month)


“Oh. Okay. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You just put on a lumpy blue sweater because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back…,” Miranda Priestly whispers in her characteristically nonchalant voice while Andy Sachs, who was teasing the idea of fashion just a minute ago, stands speechless among all the dresses and shoes on the rack.
This scene is way too familiar for all the fashionistas out there who can probably recite every single line from The Devil Wears Prada. Not so long after Vogue’s special September issue swept fashion lovers off their feet, New York, London, Paris and Milan turned their museums, factories, palaces and even streets corners into runways that embrace the most anticipated fashion weeks of the year. New York, the city that opened the fall fashion week season, experienced the first wave of climax when Jason Wu and Rag & Bone revealed their brand new design for spring and summer, 2013. As the models sashay down the runway with their delicate hairdo and impeccable makeup, the audience, are so enthralled by the glamour that they forget the real role this billion-dollar industry is playing in the society. For the people who are not walking down the runway or sitting in the front two rows, the conversation between Miranda Priestly and Andy Sachs seems extremely relatable. When the models are strutting down the catwalk and fashion lovers are flying between New York and Paris to find the latest trend, why should we care?
Of course it is such a thrill to see celebrities, fashion designers, critiques and stylists to put on such a spectacle every once in a while, but those dreamy $3,000 gowns and $2,000 handbags seem to belong to a different world. What happens on the runway does not simply stay on the runway; it leaks into the streets, onto the racks in department stores and their catalogues, and finally in a seemingly inconspicuous way, into peoples' closets. 
Chanel’s little black dress is the best example. Nowadays people take the color black for granted; from long evening gowns to a heavy knit black sweater, people associate this color with formality and versatility. But, prior to the age of Coco Chanel, black, especially for women, was the color reserved for deep mourning; for women, wearing a piece of black garment, without appropriate circumstances (like a funeral) would be considered inappropriate or even indecent. Coco Chanel, however, sent America’s Vogue magazine a simple sketch of a short black dress, which ended the period of 'indecency' for the color black. It is the decision made by the fashion designer Coco Chanel and fashion critiques from Vogue that changed the destiny of the color black in a culture, leading the women from rigorous restriction to the simple elegance that is accessible to everybody.  Moreover, Chanel’s timeless tweed jacket attracts so many followers and imitators that brands like Zara and even Forever 21 start to carry jackets that closely resemble Chanel’s little black jacket.
Even though the fashion industry is all about change, there are styles and elements that overcome the challenge of time and become everlasting. These elements are seldom about superficiality, as opposed to the common perception of fashion. Chanel cuts women’s dresses to knee length so they can enjoy the outdoors through this newfound freedom and mobility; Louis Vuitton invented lightweight and airtight flat-bottom trunks that revolutionized the way of travel; Prabal Gurung, a rising fashion star from Nepal, embraces his wide clientele from Kate Middleton to Lady Gaga, while putting his motherland and culture into a global spotlight. “Nepal is a third-world country caught between India and China,” Gurung explains in an interview, when asked about his design for Michelle Obama’s red dress at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2010, “she told millions of people back home that all you need is a dream and dedication for things to happen.”
When it comes to fashion, time is the best judge. By the end of the day, when all the models have left the runway and all the lights at the fashion show are turned down one by one, some elements will stay, some will be forgotten, and some will wait for a couple of decades before making a grand comeback. As for the elements that stay, they soon will be integrated into every level of the society in a conspicuous yet mysterious way. “That blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs,” Miranda Priestly continues, “and it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room….”

 Feel free to contact columnists at Unleashed 

The Culture Columnist, Asheley Gao:

My name is Asheley Gao and I’m a junior at Cal, majoring in History of Art and minoring in French. I grew up in Asia, the land of dragons and jasmine green tea, as a kid with too much imagination. Indulging myself in exploring different cultures and what they have to offer (art, movies, cuisine, you name it!), I’m on my way to becoming a woman whose country is the whole world. Along with all the excellent writers at Unleashed, I would love to share with you my adventure and take you all around the world.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

THE RIPPLE EFFECT: The Sky is as Blue as Your Eyes, Honey

Quick announcement: Unleashed will be published bi-monthly (two weeks out of the month).


You're in a bar and the person across has the most stunningly bright blue eyes you've ever seen. The kind of blue that makes you wonder: where are the clouds? What do you say? "Er... I know this is kind of strange to say, but, well... er... you have the most amazing eyes-- like the sky!" You may be more aggressive about it, but this last part, this linking of what we see to pieces of nature, that's what is interesting. Why not automatically associate it with a piña colada jelly bean or the cyan blue of an old Chevy. It might just be easier to say "the sky". And, for those of us trying to sound sophisticated, it does lend a certain poetic depth. But, how did the sky become such a pivotal point of reference in descriptors today? How did the sky become a basis for metaphors, like the association of a dark sky with a bad mood, or a sunset with death?

The idea of describing the sky, or even using the sky in relation to a rather corny pick-up line seems common place today. But, more than a hundred years ago, the sky was not so readily described. Much of literature didn't even bother describing the sky, unless a dramatized sunrise or oddly shaped cloud could give the story an extra flare, simply because authors considered the sky as a literary feature to be too rudimentary to need description; I mean, after all, "just look up!" So, when did this trend start of revolving entire settings or introductions or moods around even the most calm and ordinary sky? 

Well, it seems to have begun with the shot that lead all of Europe to stand-to: the shot that was heard 'round the world. The coming of WWI. The initial call for arms held hands with naïve glorifications of good old fighting. So much so that on Christmas, all the participating soldiers of WWI came together in No Man's Land, outside of the trenches, to share cigars and tut tut for old time's sake. Within the next four years, after thousands upon thousands of deaths and the endlessness of battle, all such whimsies were gone, along with the hope that lighted them. What on earth does this have to do with the sky? Patience, keep reading. Now, think for a moment: what must it have been like to be in these trenches? If you were in an English trench, for instance, they were crudely constructed, mud sliding in at the feet along with sheets of water when it rained; the smell and dust of dry earth surrounded all sides; the feel of encasement. What is the only escape? The sky. 

Men would look up for hours on end. As they marched along trenches or hid in preparation, or even smoked a cigarette, they looked up at the sky, away from the continuous jail-like confinement of dirt. Not only this, but soldiers would have to stand-to at sunrise and sunset, always participating in scheduled drills at these times. Sunset determines when to call it a day; sunset is the time when one counts the dead. Sunrise is the time when men must go back to fighting, when energy, however depleted must be restored. A soldier's life literally revolved around the color of the sky. 

Imagine having nothing beautiful or familiar to look at but the sky? Imagine smelling the stench of hundreds of men's excretions into one trench, of death, of rotten food. Imagine the mess of dirt and rags, of bones and flesh. You would look away for moments too. And to the sky you would go. The sky was no longer just an element of nature, but the “heavens” (Fussell 20). Sassoon, a soldier of WWI, wrote that “the sky was one of the only redeeming features of the war” (Fussell 52).

Great War poetry is heavy with descriptions of the sky, some poems completely revolving around it. Birthed into literature and humanity was a hyper-awareness of the sky and its role in everyday life. This is a perfect example of how the development of society, linguistics, even technology, greatly influence literature. Something I would have never thought of like being in a trench during WWI, can bring about some of the most beautiful recognitions of the sublime quality of a simple sky. This is the power of words; the sway of humanity; the warmth of literature. And, at the end of the day, what does literature influence? People. Do you see the ripples? Have they touched you yet?


Fussell, Paul. The Great War and Modern Memory. New York: Oxford UP, 1975. Print.

Feel free to contact columnists at Unleashed 

Women in the World and the Ripple Effect Section, Sasha Martin:

I made my own major, The Nature of Emotion as investigated through literature, psychology, anthropology, cognitive science and other interdisciplinary fields, and am minoring in Creative Writing. I created Unleashed for the general empowerment and knowledge of women and men everywhere, and continue to be involved as editor, designer and writer. I am an editorial and PR intern for City Lights. I happen to love the Unleashed staff quite dearly, as well as readers like you. It's amazing what words can do! Feel free to email me at Unleashed. I hope you enjoy!