We all know that death is a creepy topic, and we avoid serious discussion of it like the plague (oops, poor choice of cliche!). Well, Halloween is coming, and I highly recommend your listening to this half-hour interview on the subject of death. You will learn a lot, and be entertained as well. Then, to really get into the gory details (and learn a lot more), explore her website and watch some of her short videos.
Please watch and VOTE for this 30 second video I made with the help of neighbors. The “vote” button is next to the video. The video is part of a contest for a good cause which is helping to end corruption in government (Mayday.us); it is non-partisan. You will have to enter your email address, but you can trust the site. I would appreciate any comments or suggestions. Please share, tweet, etc.
This is worth reading:
Diana Nyad and the wisdom of age
The other day in the Seattle airport security line I was randomly assigned to an experiment: I did not have to remove shoes, computers or liquids, and went through the line much faster and happier.
Similarly, surgical prep and post-op could be more comfortable and efficient. This NPR blog post challenges, among other things, the practice of starving ourselves before and after surgery:
It’s been over 4 years since I last posted on this topic, and I am ready to offer an update.
I made the complete switch to Apple products, so our house now has an iMac, Macbook, iPad, Apple TV, and iPhone. There are trade-offs involved, but for me the benefits (one relatively functional system that combines software and hardware) outweigh the costs (moderately expensive, plus I have all my computer eggs in one corporate basket).
I would not have done this were it not for one cloud-based application that is not dependent on Apple: Evernote.
I have been using Evernote for five years, and now it contains all my personal and other information, organized in about 65 notebooks (as of today I have 6495 notes). Each note contains either a single piece of data (e.g., a product on Amazon I am considering buying), or a whole category of data (e.g., all of my contacts with my dentists). A note can be written by me, clipped from the web, a photo, a video, a sound file, an attachment, an email, or any combination.
Evernote works just as well if you use one notebook, or 200. How you organize is entirely up to you. I have my notebooks arranged under main categories, such as Health, Food, People, My Stuff. Under My Stuff, for example, I have notebooks for House, Bicycles, Yard, Computer Hardware, etc. Under Food I have separate notebooks for Wine, Recipes, Cooking Tips, In-state Restaurants, etc.
When you do a search, all notebooks are searched, or you can specify one. You can put multiple “tags” on each notebook and organize/search that way.
Now, if I need information (e.g., a history of an insurance claim), it is super easy to find, and almost effortless to update. What is even better, and essential, is I can access this data instantly on all my devices, or any mainstream device connected to the internet.
This is really my dream system, one I have been hoping would emerge in my lifetime, but never really expecting it to.
With Evernote, I have essentially gone paperless. On my always-present iPhone, I use an application called Drafts to assemble or compose notes, etc., then hit a button to instantly transfer the note to Evernote. Just as often, I email a note (or forward an email) to Evernote. As a Premium Evernote user ($45 per year), I can search any attached document, whether it is a .doc file, a .pdf, or something else (like a photo). The free Evernote program is powerful, too. You can switch back and forth from free to premium with no obligation or penalty.
I use other programs to store and access a variety of information I want to keep, such as Vimeo for videos I create, Flickr and Snapfish for photos, Yahoo for email (also Gmail).
I do keep backup data on hard drives, and Evernote allows me to keep its data (my data) on my devices, so it is available whether or not I have an internet connection.
The main problem going forward is I am increasingly dependent on a corporation (Evernote) and its continued availability and functionality. So far, despite a few problems along the way, it has been dependable, and its future seem assured.
Clitoris awareness, unlike penis awareness, is not a given. Female children and girls are less aware of the details of their anatomy than boys are. And historically the clitoris has been an object of denial, scorn and even violence (as in female circumcision). This article, for example, documents the psychological harm done by lack of accurate emphasis on this important organ.
So what does any of this have to do with cycling? Aside from anecdotal reports of spontaneous orgasms occurring during cycling (both men and women), there are other effects of bicycle seats meeting female genitalia, as well described in this blog post . Similar problems occur for men (sometimes resulting in impotence), but this is not Penis Awareness Week — one could argue that every week is.
If you find yourself shocked, embarrassed, or snickering about this blog post, you have just demonstrated the need for Clitoris Awareness Week. I admit, I first heard about it on Weekend Update (on SNL, a comedy TV show) and thought it was pretty silly. But further thought has convinced me it is also serious, and worth publicizing.
For all you ever wanted to know about the clitoris, and more, see this web site.
Excellent, with one exception
Pros: Durable, Stylish, Lightweight, Comfortable, Versatile
Cons: Need to upgrade chain
Best Uses: Leisurely Rides, Uneven Surfaces, Street Riding, Commuting, Exercise
Describe Yourself: Casual/ Recreational
Was this a gift?: No
I am a 69 year old male and traded in a 4 year old Specialized Expedition Sport for this one. I much prefer the “women’s” design, with low step-over, to the high cross-bar type. The Trek and Specialized bikes are comparable, but I like this one better — smoother ride, better fit. Initially, the gear shifting on this bike was rough and clunky, and the bike store owner finally told me the chains Trek uses on this bike are of inferior quality. He gave me a free upgraded chain, and it made a tremendous difference. I ride about 10 miles per day for exercise, fun, and grocery shopping. My wife has the Navigator 1.0 (and likes it), but the 2.0 is definitely worth the price difference. One odd thing is that the tires on the 2.0 hold 60 -80 psi, while those on the 1.0 hold 45 – 60. The bike dealer did not know this, so be sure to check for yourself.
DASH was developed to fight high blood pressure, not as an all-purpose diet. But it certainly looked like an all-star to our panel of experts, who gave it high marks for its nutritional completeness, safety, ability to prevent or control diabetes, and role in supporting heart health. Though obscure, it beat out a field full of better-known diets.
Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes, or TLC, is a very solid diet plan created by the National Institutes of Health. It has no major weaknesses, and it’s particularly good at promoting cardiovascular health. One expert described it as a “very healthful, complete, safe diet.” But it requires a “do-it-yourself” approach, in contrast to the hand-holding provided by some commercial diets.
Mayo Clinic Diet
This is the Mayo Clinic’s take on how to make healthy eating a lifelong habit. It earned especially high ratings from our experts for its nutrition and safety and as a tool against diabetes. Experts found it moderately effective for weight loss.
With its emphasis on fruits and vegetables, olive oil, fish, and other healthy fare, the Mediterranean diet is eminently sensible. And experts’ assessments of it were resoundingly positive, giving this diet an edge over many competitors.
Weight Watchers is a smart, effective diet. It surpassed other commercial diet plans in multiple areas, including short- and long-term weight loss and how easy it is to follow. It’s also nutritionally sound and safe, according to experts. Among its pluses: An emphasis on group support, lots of fruits and vegetables, and room for occasional indulgences.
Volumetrics outperformed its competitors in many categories. It earned particularly high marks for being safe and nutritious, and experts said it could have a positive effect on heart health and diabetes. “This is an eating plan that everyone can benefit from,” one expert said.
My recommendation is to read my previous post (here) and then choose the diet that appeals to you most, with the intention of sticking to it for at least a year. After that, choose another. The point is to stick to some kind of eating plan for the rest of your life.
It’s a new year and I resolve to write more blog posts this year than last. So, I’ll start with what is on many people’s minds now: which diet should I choose? Here is the latest from a respected source – Cleveland Clinic.
This New Year’s, losing weight will undoubtedly top many Americans’ list of resolutions – and it’s an important one. One reason? Heart disease is the main health threat caused by obesity. Make your efforts to slim down more successful this year by becoming wise to the “secret of calories!” …
Just follow these 5 rules:
1. Understand the basic principal of dieting for weight loss. With all of the opposing diet plans forbidding carbohydrates or preaching against fat, it’s easy to see why confusion prevails. But, Cleveland Clinic experts say, recent studies comparing these different diets have found that the proportion of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in your diet do not influence weight loss.
This means, in a nutshell, you can lose weight with any diet as long as you burn more calories than you take in. That’s the secret.
2. Know how many calories you need. Would you believe that of the half of Americans who are dieting at any given time, only 12 percent know how many calories they should consume daily? This number, which for adults ranges from 1,600 to 3,000 a day, depends on your age, gender and activity level. [Here is a useful daily calorie calculator]
3. Change your calorie intake to lose weight. If you want to lose weight, eat fewer calories than you burn. Eat 500 to 1,000 fewer calories per day and you will lose weight, often one to two pounds per week. But don’t be discouraged when weight loss begins to slow after a few weeks of dieting – this is a normal event as your body adjusts to your new diet. Keep watching calories and exercising and you will keep heading toward your weight loss goal!
4. Don’t be fooled by fad diets. More isn’t always better. In fact, it can be harmful. Any loss of more than two pounds a week is usually just water weight. Studies also show that the faster weight comes off, the quicker it is regained. Stick to a diet that has a goal of only one to two pounds weight loss a week [even better, in the long run, would be one pound per month].
5. Choose a diet you can live with. For your weight loss and weight maintenance efforts to succeed, you must continually manage your calories. No one diet is better than another. Studies show dieters tend to lose five to 10 pounds over the course of a year, regardless which diet they pick. What’s important is to pick a diet that works for you and that you can stick with. And if you’re not successful, pick a different diet next time.