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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Pill

I recently became aware, thanks to the February 26, 2018 edition of Time, of a relatively new antiaging product in this $250 billion industry. This molecule is found in all living cells and critical for regulating cellular aging and maintaining proper functioning of the whole body. It is called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide or NAD +. According to David Sinclair a co-director for the Biology of Aging at Harvard Medical School, “It’s one of the most important molecules for life to exist, and without it, you’re dead within 30 seconds.” During aging, levels of NAD+ in people and animals diminish. Recently, researchers found that by increasing levels of NAD+ in older mice it resulted in them looking, acting younger and it increased their life expectancy. In fact, the NAD+ levels rose significantly, and in about a week, the tissues and muscles of the older mice looked similar to that of younger mice. Some testimonials of individuals taking NAD+ in pill form. “Sinclair…. does not experience hangovers and jetlagged like he used to, he talks faster, and feels sharper and younger. His father takes it to. He’s 78 and used to act like Eeyore … Now he is going on 6 day hikes and traveling around the world.” Another co-director Leonard Guarente “It’s not intended to extend people’s life spans, but to help them stay healthier for longer.” And Sir Richard Roberts, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine “the only difference I’ve noticed is that the skin on my elbows is smoother than it used to be. Whether it’s Basis [Name of the supplement] or something else, I have no idea.” By bringing Basis to the market as a supplement and not as a drug, it’s not required to undergo years of clinical research and FDA approval. Also, a number of Nobel laureates have endorsed the supplement, but have not reported whether or not they have been paid. Because I would like to run forever, this product interests me. I have entered a tough 10 mile trail competition this Saturday. Having a three month trial, I will compare my running time to previous races over the last five years. After this Coloma River Run, I’ll evaluate and determine whether or not I’ll continue taking this anti – aging product. Eliminating hangovers, jet lags, talking faster, and traveling around the world are not my priorities. However, being able to run daily is important for me. Remember, my motto is “keep moving. PS Tony is joining me on the Coloma River Run. He doesn’t believe in taking supplements. However, after the run, we will compare our running times, and likely laugh. Once my wife Linda heard about this aid and my intention, she said “I want to start taking this pill too.”

Friday, May 11, 2018

One Step In Front of the Other

I was disappointed with the article “Why Men Quit and Women Don’t” found in the April 22, 2018 edition of The New York Times. This article was based on the results of the 2018, Boston Marathon. In this 26.1 mile run, 5% of men did not finish compared to 3.8% women. The writer gave her opinion as to the difference. She cited old wives tale like women are tougher. She said women have higher pain tolerance because they give birth; and women may be better able to realistically evaluate their expectations based on the circumstances. This year’s run was wet and cold. She also stated that women have a higher ratio of body fat compared to men and females exhibit more nurturing behavior than males. However, she didn’t cite any reference sources to support these claims. First of all, the Boston Marathon is the most prestigious and oldest run in the United States. On the other hand, it’s not a particularly difficult marathon. It has limited elevation gain and an absence of natural obstacles like in a trail marathon. Second, the only conclusion that one can make is that this year 5% of men did not finish compared to 3.8% of the women in this particular marathon. We don’t know if those percentages/numbers are statistically significant or not. The outcome may be by based on chance alone. A simple test employing a .95 confidence level, would conclude that 95 times out of 100, we would have that numerical difference. Third, we don’t have a random sample of men and women, so we can’t conclude that women are tougher and don’t quit. Let’s face it, a random sample of men and women cannot run a marathon. In order to run the Boston Marathon, one has to qualify based on age parameters. Fourth, any race, over 26.1 miles is considered an ultra-run. So employing a 26.1 mile variable, for one particular race, on one particular day and using that to generalize the results is preposterous. Why not use a 50 K, a 50 miler, a 100 K or a 100 mile run? Then, employing a scientific method, one might be able to generalize the relationship between toughness and ultra-running. A friend and a three-time winner of the 100 mile Western States trail run, reportedly might quit that race if he is not likely to win. Another friend, a former US 100 K record holder, was pulled from the Western States trail run at 94 miles [No Hands Bridge] and spent the next few days in the hospital recovering. He was paced by another world class runner, a female nurse and friend. When age 63, in 2003, I pulled from the Western States trail run at 62 miles. At the time, I was unaware that I couldn’t stand up straight and had to hold myself up using my pacer as a support. I knew something was wrong, but couldn’t and didn’t understand what it was at that time. Quitting a running race, has to do with many variables, and tolerance to pain, maybe just one of them. Be careful about generalizing based on faulty assumptions as well as not employing a scientific method. To learn about mental toughness, I refer you to my book “Bo’s Warriors Bo Schembechler and the Transformation of Michigan Football. Chapter 10 is about Mike Keller, who was an All-American at the University Michigan and the number 64th pick by the world champion Dallas Cowboys. Mike, after his playing career ended, worked in the front office for both the Cowboys and the Seattle Seahawks. He also worked in the front office for the Michigan Panthers of the USFL, as well as the Scottish Claymore Football Team in NFL Europe. His insights regarding the mental toughness of professional football players is second to none.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Healthy Aging

The February 16, 2018, edition of Time, raised the question “Do Religious People Live Longer?” This article identified studies or research related to church, temple and mosque attendance; and the use of prayer and its impact on longevity. In the initial section, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2016, was cited. According to the Time article, the results indicated that women that attended a religious service more than once a week had a 33% lower chance of dying during a 16 year study follow-up period. A second study published in PLOS One found that regular service attendance was linked to reductions in stress and even mortality. These worshipers were 55% less likely to die in the 18 year follow-up. A number of variables that may or may not have been addressed in these two studies come to mind. 1. There was statistical significance in the first study for women and apparently for both men and women in the second study. Why, the difference? 2. What were the worshiper’s ages in both studies? 3. What was the socioeconomic status of the worshipers? 4. The BMI index, pre health conditions and other health issues in both studies needs to be addressed in order to give some assessment as to the physical health of the subjects being studied. There is another significant variable that may be a valuable component in this research. Previous research studies regarding aging have identified that loneliness was a significant variable associated with health and longevity. As we are social animals, it is not surprising that being connected with and to other humans is important. Attending a group on a regular basis, significantly contributes to becoming a member. Perhaps, these two studies were measuring human connections provided by group affiliation and association. Studies attempting to evaluate prayer, disease outcomes, and long-term survival are inconclusive at this point. For example, a study published by the American Heart Journal, found a surprising result. In this study, people, undergoing heart surgery, were told that there were others praying for them. Unfortunately, these surgeries experienced more complications than a control group. Maybe, you can’t leave your praying to someone else before you have heart surgery. Praying can be thought of as self-talk. Positive self-talk or positive praying allows one to have a single focus, and can become associated with deep breathing or relaxation. We know that relaxation is beneficial for one’s health as it reduces stress, and eliminates external influences/noises and distractions. Deep breathing becomes yoga like .Furthermore, Yoga has been associated with decreases in both heart rate and blood pressure. I support yoga as well as positive self-talk messages. Prayers and going to church, temple or mosque may result in long-term aging and may have to do in meeting affiliative needs and combating loneliness. However, what good would long-term aging be for the mentally and physically unhealthy with conditions like depression, Alzheimer’s, dementia, diabetes, or some other discomfort? We know that some organizations are toxic and hateful. So join your groups carefully. For me, a more realistic pursuit would be creating a healthier lifestyle. In fact, I provided 7 such prescriptions in my book “It Has Nothing To Do With Age.”

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Trouble Is Civilization Part 3

Before the birth of Christ, we had oral and written language that governed human behavior with its various consequences. Within the evolutionary development of man, with the creation of large groups of people, rulers surfaced and implemented strategies to correct, control and limit man’s food, sexual, aggressive, and dominance needs. Per the 10 Commandments, swearing, honoring the father and mother, not murdering and committing adultery, not stealing, not lying and not coveting were considered affronts to God if broken. Marriage and monogamy were created, established and expected to be the norm. How’s that working out? The United States currently has produced the most advanced killing operation ever. Doesn’t that fact contradict the Judeo-Christian “thou shall not kill” rule? The 10 Commandments and the Hammurabi code correlates with the establishment of civilization. Now, man’s inhumanity to man was exacerbated. Since 12,000 BC, group and individual violence has dramatically increased. Mythical reasons such as my God is the only true God; belief in one God; fighting for land or territory; fighting for national resources; fighting for national interests were some of the reasons given to go to war in order to kill. Nowadays, killing and maiming, has become more widespread by mentally sick sadomasochistic individuals. Start with man’s nature; thwart growth by creating an atmosphere of insecurity, hate and prejudice; market Second Amendment mythology; produce a plethora of guns and military weapons, and you have a recipe for evil. Man’s nature is man’s nature. At this juncture, man’s aggressive drive and cruelty toward others is the biggest threat toward peace within our civilization. I wonder, if it’s possible for this society to reduce mechanisms that produce inequality and transpose it into equality reforms between and among people? We must first take into account man’s insecurity, sexual and aggressive drives and needs for dominance and promote rationality. In other words, a society based on humanistic principles can be a start. For instance, it’s necessary to eliminate man made prejudicial distinctions, divisions, and/ or illusions such as upper, middle, lower, white and black; patricians and plebeians; male and female and the rich and the poor. Unregulated classifications and divisions between people would nullify the myths that justify making some people legally, socially, morally and politically superior. If man’s evolution does not occur, we can expect continued acts of violence against other humans. Extinction follows. Sources: Civilization and Its Discontents, Sigmund Freud; Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Noah Harari

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Trouble with Civilization Part 2

12,000 years ago, man was able to communicate better than earlier man, and keep track and control the production and distribution of wheat, rice, etc. Thus, civilization gave birth to the creation of more negative interpersonal conflicts. Man likely had to lie, steal, and cheat, in order to survive. Because of the conflict between man living in a civilization, leaders devised a system to combat and keep track of foodstuffs. The Sumerians about 3500 BC and 3000 BC established a base 6 numbering system. Now, accountants, or bureaucrats were able to record various transactions called writing. With writing, came rules with more attempts to regulate and control man. This development resulted and interfered with man’s ability to resolve conflicts and interfered with the fulfillment of his need and drive structure. Along came King Hammurabi in 1776 BC of Babylon, overseeing the world’s largest city at that time. He established the first significant written code for inappropriate behavior with consequences. Within this system, Individuals were either divided as superiors, commoners or slaves. According to the code, the Gods Anu, Enlil, and Marduk appointed Hammurabi to make justice and eliminate evil. Within this three tier approach, the consequences for broken rules varied. For example, “if a superior took the eye of another superior, they should blind his eye. If a superior took the eye of a commoner, then, they should pay and deliver 60 shekels of silver. If the superior took the eye of a slave, he shall deliver one half of the slave’s value in silver.” This code was not justice for all, even if was established by the God’s. These guys were prejudiced. Yes, man created illusions, which are followed like the blind leading the blind. According to the Old Testament, the 10 Commandments were given to Moses by God. 10 Commandment references can be found in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy. However, these 10 principles initially did not have clear consequences, other than displeasing God. Consequences came later with the holy day of Rosh Hashanah. To Be Continued

Friday, April 27, 2018

The Trouble with Civilization

More senseless murders happened, this time in Tennessee at a Waffle House. For a perspective on violence, let’s take a look at our beginning, some 700,000 years ago at behavior of the hunters and gatherers. They have been named Neanderthal, Homo erectus, Homo soloensis etc. We know that a drive for food and water; aggressive drives or needs to fight; to attack, injure or kill another; sexual needs or drives to have intercourse; and dominance needs to control one’s environment by suggestion, seduction, persuasion or command are in man’s nature. To survive, man had to satisfy his hunger. If some larger prey killed a more vulnerable prey, man likely had to wait his turn, in the pecking order, before he could engage. Let’s suppose another hungry group arrived on the scene. Chances are the stronger would take over and push the weaker aside and if necessary kill his human opposition. By the same token, let’s hypothesize that there were more mating males and fewer females. It’s not hard to imagine that once again, the stronger would prevail, and if necessary, injure, attack or even kill the rival. Let’s also hypothesize that a younger, stronger male wanted to be in charge of the group. If suggestion or persuasion didn’t work, it’s not hard to imagine the younger dethroning the older male. Once again, aggression, violence and death were outcomes. Thus, the fulfillment, by brute strength. Of man’s drives and needs were more easily met in this period. Much later, through evolution resulted in the cognitive, about 70,000 years ago, and the agrarian revolution, roughly 12,000 years ago, with greater numbers of people congregating in one locale. With this historic change, more and more people were subjected to residing in smaller settings; with extremely difficult labor conditions in planting, watering and harvesting the crops; building more permanent man-made structures; having less variety of food nutrients; being an employee; being dependent on the system; living in cramped spaces; and being subjected to contaminated sewage and water; with more disease and the inability to meet basic needs which leads to frustration and aggression. Within larger group formations of people congregating, group dynamics surfaced. Man either become a member of a commoner or slave group; had more pressure to conform to a particular group; could either gain power, control and influence over the group or become a follower of the group. Man seeks power, success and wealth for self. He also admires these components in others. Further, mythology flourished. In other words, the formation of larger groups created numerous interpersonal conflicts with the thwarting of man’s basic needs and drives coupled with bias, irrational thought, prejudice and fictional beliefs To Be Continued

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Modern Man and Humankind. Part 3

He’s an expert when it relates to forging, as he’s knowledgeable about plants, insects and everything edible. When he finds ripe fruit, he may stay a while and gorge. He doesn’t think about or worry about BMI index, diabetes, heart conditions or other physical ailments. He knows by now, what herbs provide relief from discomfort. He has become his own functional medicine expert specialist. Essentially his diet is varied depending upon availability of game and likely he is getting most if not all the important nutrients. He does not require supplements, nor diet books from the health food store. His well nutritionally-balanced diet suits him fine. Further, his diet likely changes from day to day. Moreover, he also does not suffer from infectious diseases brought about by the agricultural and industrial revolution. He is able to meet his sexual drive and needs based upon availability and is not hindered by man-made fictions like marriage. Child support and visitation rights are not issues. However, there is infant mortality. We are unable to say much about the spiritual and mental life of these ancient hunter gatherers. We have no recording device and are left at formulating hypotheses based on paintings, drawings and gravesites. However, we can speculate that they likely believed in animism. If true, this is a fiction that most animals, most plants and natural phenomena has perception and feelings. They can communicate with humans. Essentially, there’s no psychological barrier between humans and other beings. Communication is evident directly through speech .song, dance or ceremony. There is not a strict hierarchy in that nonhuman entities do not exist to provide for the needs of man. Further, they don’t have all-powerful mythical gods running the world. In essence, the world does not revolve around any humankind or other particular groups of beings. Sounds to me that there are some advantages in believing this fiction. However, what if an individual believed in another fiction like a supreme being? Would that individual be subjected to mediation, negative language, bullying, expulsion or physical violence, and perhaps death? We don’t know how competing beliefs were handled or disagreements or consequences from them. Sounds to me that there are some advantages in believing this fiction. Based on this brief bit of information, does anyone want to be a hunter and gatherer? If so, one can visit certain areas in the Arctic or the Kalahari where modern gatherers still exist. Don’t take too long, because, knowing man, we will eliminate them also. This is one price we pay for modern civilization

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Modern Man and Humankind, Part 2

With this routine or way of life, visits to the doctor, dentist, and shopping are likely .The family likely experiences stress, anxiety, depression, overweight issues and other physical health concerns like arthritis, slipped disc and other back related issues known to modern man. There’s plenty of diversions, such as cell phones, TV, movies, novels, sports, etc. but they do not provide or resolve mental and physical health conditions. Instead, for example, cell phone dependency has addictive habit forming qualities. You cannot leave home without it. Now let’s turn to the fictional life of a hunter and gatherer. He may awaken as result of the rising sun, or from the barking of his trusted and dear domesticated canine. He throws off the pelt and rises from the bed of leaves placed beneath him. Today, may be a hunting day. If so, he is likely to be joined by others for possibly the group chase without his sunscreen, orthotics, fit bit, compression socks, hydration pack etc.; corner, trap and kill. The animal has to be skinned and quartered. All parts of the animal are used by these talented individuals. Each has become an expert in tracking, running down and killing the beast. Large motor skills are well developed for this athletically conditioned individual. He’s able to run, climb and utilize his endurance by being able to outlast, with help of others, the four legged prey. He likely doesn’t suffer from meniscus, MCL and other injuries. His small and fine motor dexterity is outstanding as he’s able to make a flint, attach it to the spear in record time. He’s in touch and in tune with his bodily functions because it is necessary for survival. He doesn’t require going to the gym, running on the elliptical or using free weights. Nor does he have to engage in yoga as his dexterity is superb. He has become a knowledgeable specialist in so many areas of the outdoors. Yes the outdoors. To Be Continued

Friday, April 20, 2018

Modern Man and Humankind

Anyone willing to trade places with the hunters and gatherers? Perhaps, mythology, age and gender are significant variables? Let’s take a look at a fictional day for modern man, and then hypothesize about ancient humankind. Today’s man might be something like the following. He awakens from the ring from alarm clock, turns on the lights, dresses with store bought clothes, checks cell phone, and proceeds in the comfort of his domicile more than likely built by others. He might have coffee with the assistance from the grocery store with his coffee maker device. Procures cream from the refrigerator and sugar, along with his typical genetically modified, sugary, fat, salt breakfast He is accompanied at the kitchen table built by somebody else with his wife and kids. Then he climbs into his automobile, checks cell phone, turns the key, leaves his remote-controlled garage, fills his car with petrol and off to work with his long, stressful hour commute. He labors indoors generally for an eight hour plus day, provides income to support his family by paying for the groceries; gas, oil, and car payment; and the mortgage or rent on his house. Don’t forget that he requires automobile, life, health and homeowners and an umbrella policy insurance as well. These are a few economic stresses. On the job, his task might be singular, specializing in just one part of the whole. It might be repetitious and bureaucratic despite the fact that he has a college degree. He also has a college debt to pay off. His work may not be satisfying, but the illusion that it may provide a springboard for him to climb up the corporate ladder. Meaningful work is not the goal, but navigating with his boss, getting along with fellow workers is in a 9 to 5+ job. He also has to fight the stressful morning and evening commute in heavy traffic but can monitor his cell phone. Plus, he is away from his family for long periods of time. Returning home, he may fix himself an alcoholic drink to unwind from the workday, to ease his body discomfort, and listen to his harried helicopter wife who has to control the kids, with their school, and after school schedules. She is likely to be tired as well. Having electronic gadgets like TV, radio, computer, cell phone, fast food and kitchen appliances do not seem to make her life any easier. Do they really save time? Don’t forget homework and kids interacting with kids. They keep to this religious schedule, likely, five days a week and then look to the weekend for additional chores, maintenance around the house, sports schedules and maybe even time for themselves by themselves. There may be Sunday church or religious services, followed by family or friends for lunch or dinner. Maybe, they get to go on a 2-4 week vacation in order to exit the rat race every year which is another myth. If lucky, they go to the zoo and see large mammals and sea creatures like elephants, whales, sharks, tuna and dolphins not yet extinct. Too late to see mammoths, mastodons, ground sloths and sabretooth tigers as they are extinct. Don’t forget to visit botanical gardens as they could vanish also. Thank you civilization. To Be Continued

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Civilization and Humankind Part 2

Yes, then, as is now, the hunters and gatherers employed thinking, memory, perception, sensing and feeling, and motor behavior. Their language was limited as was their fiction, fantasy and beliefs. Then, they began to further develop tools, form groups and increase their ability to communicate with others and increase further understanding of their natural world. However, fiction became more entrenched. Over time, the social animal became agrarian about 12,000 years ago, assimilated and accommodated into larger groups of individuals, arbitrary states and countries. The result of maturation and time passage occurred within the last 6,000 years and we now have a society, culture and way of life, considered to be most advanced. Fortunately, scientific advances within the last 500 years and technological breakthroughs have been progressing at warp speed. Unfortunately, man’s fears, anxieties, drives, needs, irrational and disorganized thinking, prejudices have not evolved. Essentially, we are somewhat like hunters and gatherers in terms of our nature, while corralled in our “advanced” civilization. Institutional groups are divisive. Institutions sell and promise fiction; pit” them “versus “us “mentality; are biased, narcissistic, and prejudiced; instill emotion to interfere with rational thought and behavior; become resistant to change; create false status; force and press for uniformity and consensus; and generate autocratic and authoritarian leadership. If mankind is to survive, our species and institutions have to change as we produce too many weapons of mass destruction; exhibit too much violence and killings; create dangerous levels of economic inequality and exploitation ; and have a dysfunctional democracy . Our species has to evolve by reducing anxiety and fear levels; become more efficient in meeting our safety [food, water and air] needs; and better able to fulfill drives and needs of sex, aggression, and dominance. If we are so lucky, then our species can likely create an attitude and philosophy of humanism for groups provided that it includes ethical and moral consequences for human interaction. It’s clear that our present civilization is not working for many, and requires something different. Time will tell. For in-depth understanding, consult Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents and Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens a Brief History of Humankind.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Civilization and Humankind

Let’s go back in time about 2.5 million years when there were hunters and gatherers. These nomads simply met their safety and survival needs, such as food, water and sex. In order to survive. However, they fearfully had to deal with ferocious beasts, and infections. When hungry or thirsty, they would search for food or drink. If they ran across something very tasty, they would gorge themselves and not worry about gaining excess weight since they were extremely active and likely didn’t reach middle age. The drive to procreate was based upon availability. In fact, back then there was collective fatherhood. That meant that the child was not born on the belief of the importance of a single sperm. Instead, the accumulation of sperm from different men in a woman’s womb was considered important because of all the multiple qualities such as the greatest hunter, the greatest storyteller, the greatest warrior and the greatest lover from multiples of males compared to one male. Further, there would also be more males available for protection and child care. The Bari Indians of today share a similar sentiment. Those hunters and gatherers, as far as sex was concerned, did not have to consider ideas, and increase fiction or consequences of monogamy, marriage, divorce, nuclear family, sin, child support, me too etc. They also did not concern themselves with obesity, reading nutrition labels, joining spas and purchasing workout equipment, diets, cardiovascular issues, high blood pressure, diabetes, health and prescription insurance. These nomads also didn’t have stress related to career, retirement, self-esteem, pursuit of happiness, being killed in school or at a concert, or nuclear annihilation. They were not exposed to daily propaganda, “brainwashing,” bombarded by social media, radio and TV. There were also not influenced by the idea or fiction of good or bad unions, corporations, political groups, capitalism, socialism ,democracy ,communism, free trade, tariffs and a whole host of rules, regulations and laws decided by a few. To Be Continued

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Searching for Integrity Part 3

Adding to an understanding of conscience, Shakespeare , many years ago, said something to the effect that “nothing was good or bad, but thinking made it so.” I would add to that the emotional center of our brain, our hypothalamus; our perception and sensorimotor process; our desiring, thinking and memory also affect our ability to judge, analyze, synthesize and assist in determining good from bad. As a result of inconsistencies, ambiguous definitions and the complexities found in our social environment, it’s no wonder that an individual conscience cannot sort out all the irregularities that have confronted it over time. Moral equivalency is suspect. Moral, ethical leadership is nonexistent and/or flawed. Lying and cheating is no longer a taboos as the ends seem to justify the means. The barriers of what was once forbidden, now seem to have holes in them. In essence, the moralistic side of individuals have now been diminished and have been regulated to be somewhat non relevant. Narcissism rules. Just listen or read the tremendous amount of hype- hypocrisy that exists with all the contradictory explanations and ignoring right from wrong. It’s no longer about the common good or we, but instead it’s about me, me and me. PS How I many current political, entertainment models with integrity come to mind? What a sorry state of affairs regarding the absence of integrity, when it comes to the use of algorithms, data mining, and expressions of hate and prejudice perpetrated by employing social media platforms.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Searching for Integrity Part 2

Throughout life, one is faced with numerous contradictions, inconsistences and double talk. For example, religion preaches that human life is important with its “do not kill” commandment, but the government wages military wars and lies about weapons of mass destruction .Local police forces kill unarmed civilians without due cause etc. Religion may “ban “abortions, but the government then limits food stamps and other important aid to single mothers for child rearing. Save the baby so it can be malnourished. Economics also comes into play with mass manufacturing of weapons and bullets. As a consequence, there are approximately 100 gun related deaths per day. The media, movies, TV, Interactive games, continues to glorify shooting, destruction and killing of humans as well. Furthermore, how important is human life when schools conduct lockdown drills during school hours? That unhealthy message within that institution is clear. What a great learning environment and an important lesson in civics. Because of the insecurity of the nature of man, politics and the media take advantage by promoting so-called hope, but drown it with fear. Guns, walls, immigration restrictions, supposedly promote safety, but instead prey on insecurities and create divisions within people. Carl Sandburg’s poem “A Fence” portrays division with fence, separateness, and death and rain references. Other confusions and irregularities of morality are expressed by our so-called leaders and celebrities. Some of these individuals are disrespectful of others through abusive verbal tweets and/or sexually inappropriate interactions. These political types, wage war, are indicted, lie, cheat, and exploit. These are our leaders and role models? There ethics are what? So much for integrity. To Be Continued

Friday, April 6, 2018

Searching for Integrity

What is good, bad, right, wrong, ethical, honest, dishonest, decent etc. is blurred. Ethical and what is moral have become divisive. Has our conscience or moral behavior failed us? At one time, our voice or our conscience was our guide or internal voice that guided and directed our behavior or actions. If there was a problem with our choices or decisions, we then experienced anxiety, guilt or dread. The development and influence of conscience begins very early as a result of the many interpretations of interactions with a caretaker and/or caretakers. Generally, if that behavior, throughout life, pleased the significant other, one was verbally praised or physically rewarded. On the other hand, if the behavior didn’t correspond with the caretaker’s idea of right or good, but instead was perceived as bad or wrong, one was punished in some way, either or both verbally and/or physically. That behavior might have been ignored as well by the parent. The verbal and physical behavioral consistency or inconsistency by the caretaker was important in developing a notion of the difference between right, wrong and good and bad. Understand that being consistent is very difficult and can be affected by the parents mood, perception, or thinking, at any particular time or day. Add other caretakers, siblings or figures into the equation, and the individual more than likely experienced many other inconsistencies or differences throughout a lifetime. That suggests that an individual would not be clear about what actions gets punished and what behavior gets praised. Would consequences get expressed in a caretaker’s absence? Add to the individual’s experience mixed messages like “Do what I say, not what I do” provides more confusion regarding good or bad. As the infant or child matures, he begins to incorporate and learn many other messages regarding good and bad from figures or models while developing conscience. In other words, the social network and culture of the child expands. Further influences between right from wrong, good from bad, become more difficult to understand. Teacher’s behaviors play an important part in furthering influencing conscience development, as movies, television, cartoons, commercials and the social media. Thus, the moral and ethical definitions , misunderstandings or irregularities continue to be modified, changed as the result of the many influences of interactions within our human world. To Be Continued

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Looking for Magic Part 2

Back in 1971, Dick Cavett hosted a TV show. He invited Jerome Rodale, age 72, “the guru of the organic food cult” as his guest. During taping, sitting next to Cavett, Jerome proclaimed that he would live to be 100. However, that guru then made a snoring sound and died right there in front of Cavett and his audience. So much for proclamations. In this skewed sample, the writer made a point regarding magic. I agree, that there is not, at this time, a 100 year longevity pill. We all know, there are seven different areas in the world where centenarians flourish. However, we also know that their lifestyle is more complex than a diet alone. Physical activity, nonsmoking, minimal stress, social network, are a few correlates of these centenarian groups. In our country. Dr. Thomas Frieden, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated “since 1900, the average lifespan, in the United States has increased by more than 30 years; 25 years of this gain has been attributed to public health advances.” This means that we must require more than ever clear thinking and appropriate funding for our EPA, oil spill remediation, clean water programs, global disease detection and prevention, mental health research, reducing the sources of lead exposure, pesticide contamination etc., if we expect to live healthier and longer .We have more than enough cancer. As I am older then the individuals listed in this post, my secrets have credibility. My magic formula was clearly identified when I listed 7 prescriptions found on pages 18 and 19 of “It Has Nothing To Do with Age” published by Winter Goose. For example, one my physical activities includes running 50 K trail runs. PS The current administration is letting us down by downsizing EPA and reducing funding in many important government programs areas affecting our health while increasing the military budget.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Looking for Magic

The article titled “No Magic Pill Will Get You to 100” published in the March 11, 2018 edition of The New York Times was thought-provoking. In this article, the writer provided interesting examples of a number of scholarly educated individuals pursuing a long or extended life. For example, geologist Anatoli Brouchkov ingested bacteria that he harvested from the Arctic. This bacteria was injected into female mice that seemed to extend their youth. The geologist said. “If you found some prehistoric microbes, how could you not put them in your mouth?” Then there was Valter Longo, director of the University of Southern California Longevity Institute. Dr. Longo [per findings of Satchidananda Panda of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies] undertakes long intermittent fasting. On the other hand, Dr. Charles Brenner, a biochemist, adds high doses of nicotinamide riboside to his milk regime in the hopes that it slows down his aging process. Turning to the research lab, Clive McKay, nutritionist, fed his rats a low-calorie diet while at Cornell. Today, from that study, there exists two male white rats that are 130 years of age equivalent to man years. Despite that Dr. McKay Incorporated a low-calorie diet, this athletic individual had two strokes and died at age 69. Another prominent scientist Dr. Roy Walford published “The 120 Year Diet “and “Beyond the 120 Year Diet” but unfortunately died of ALS at the age of 79. Then we find out that wild foods enthusiast Euell Gibbons died at age 64 of an aortic aneurysm. Unfortunately, he was born with a genetic disorder that predisposed him to heart problems. Another nutritionist, Adele Davis studied the dangers of refined foods like white bread. Unfortunately, she contracted cancer and passed away at the youthful age of 70. Physicians, familiar names and best-selling diet authors Nathan Pritikin [low-fat] and Robert Atkins [low carb] passed at age 69. To Be Continued

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Know Yourself

An article titled, “I Think I Can” in the February 25, 2018 edition of Time highlighted the power of thinking. Research published in Health Psychology studied 84 female hotel room attendants. These female employees told the researchers that they believed they completed little or no daily exercise during the workday. 42 or half of these female workers were told that they were meeting or exceeding national recommendations for 30 minutes of daily exercise. Within a month, these 42 females began believing they were now exercising because of their work. In fact, they lost weight, body fat and developed lower blood pressure, even though their daily work routines remained the same. A second study employing statistics from the National Health Interview Survey, and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey examined data on 61,141 participants. Questions pertaining to whether or not they felt they were getting more, less, or about the same amount of exercise as most people their age was the important variable. Further, many of these individuals wore accelerometers tracking their physical activity. Then the researchers correlated the above information to data from the National Death Index that measured death rates. They found a strong association between people dying early and their beliefs that they were relatively inactive, regardless of the accelerometer measurements. In fact, the reality was that they were getting as much exercise as others their age. However, the risk of early death was 71% higher based on their belief regarding the amount of exercise. In other words, the perception that other people their age were more active had negative health effects consequences. Likely, these irrational thoughts increased their level of stress hormones. Once again, the power of thinking is significant. It doesn’t matter if one’s beliefs are correct, truthful or factual. It’s the perception of the beholder. However, thoughts, about some topics, tend to increase stress levels, depending upon the meaning we give to these ideas. For example, levels of stress can be exacerbated when dealing with loss, work, divorce, marriage, health etc. Further, irrational beliefs such as seeking approval; having to be loved; needing to be perfect; blaming others; complaining about fairness; and dealing with prejudice and frustration further increase levels of stress. It’s our thinking that gets us into trouble. Defense mechanisms such as repression, rationalization, projection, isolation of affect, intellectualization, etc. attempt to reduce anxiety or discomfort, but distort reality, evoke behavior choices and have disastrous long-term effects. Thus, fictional beliefs, assumptions, distorted generalizations, fairytales, non- rational thinking, prejudice, or other nonsensical self-talk, or delusions not only evoke behavior, but lead to unhappiness, depression, and ill health. This parataxic thinking is a function of consensual validation, anxiety, and a distorted self-perception. On the other hand, believing “I can” when it comes to realistic, logical, rational syntactic thinking coupled with appropriate behavioral choices increases expectancies that result in positive goal setting and achieving. The ancient Greek aphorism “know thyself” fits perfectly but extremely difficult to attain since choice or behavior is influenced by perception which is influenced by need, or drive of the individual. PS A Florida mom of a 12-year-old bullied girl who took her own life apparently said “I never thought she would kill herself.”

Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Power of Fiction Part 2

Establishing a minister for loneliness or creating a commission on school safety is simply imaginary or fiction. Ministers or commissions cannot solve false beliefs; provide re-parenting; nor fix the flaws of the development of secondary narcissism. A few examples of false , erroneous , non-rational beliefs , include heaven, hell, Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, a dream home, happiness, let’s fight them there so we don’t have to fight them here, bringing democracy to the Middle East, and a fountain of youth that propel behavior .These irrational beliefs are pipedreams, fantasies, falsehoods, and, simply nonsense. These notions have been created by religious leaders, political types, and economic marketing because they are expedient, wishful thinking with some major ideal transformation at the end. Not only do these ideas or dreams exist in our mind, they also direct our repetitive behavior. Some of this fiction furthers our capitalistic economy. Dwight Eisenhower said it best in describing the war machine when he labeled it “the military-industrial complex.” I ask you what “dream house” has ever cured or compensated for feelings of insecurity, inadequacy or inferiority. By the same token, has the purchase of many automatic military weapons eliminated any underlying fear or insecurity? No, you have to keep feeding the fear by purchasing more and more weapons and bullets. We are born helpless, dependent, and inadequate. We cannot survive on our own. We are only able to survive within the context of caretakers. Intellectually, we have matured and made mountainous discoveries with breathtaking works of art. Emotionally, we can be stuck in the dark ages with our fears, prejudices, beliefs that propel us irrationally over and over again, with anger, and revenge, along with the ability to kill and maim our own. Yes, we are social and nonsocial, which is also part our nature. Society and culture exploits our fears and provides platitudes, prayers to solve our fragile insecure state of being. Pick your fantasies, dreams and fiction wisely. However, don’t expect a pot of gold when reaching that irrational goal state at the end. One of my fictional beliefs includes “keep moving.” PS According to Stephen Hawking “There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Power of Fiction

I am certain that Facebook and Twitter, with all the so-called “friends” has not solved the loneliness problem in the United Kingdom. A February 11, 2018 article in the New York Times titled “Is Loneliness a Health Epidemic?” addressed this troublesome issue. According to the article in question, Prime Minister Theresa May referred to loneliness as “The reality of modern life.” In fact, a consensus of public health leaders agreed with her and Great Britain now has a “Minister for Loneliness.” There have been numerous studies that have correlated loneliness and social isolation to heart disease, cancer, depression, diabetes, and suicide. In fact, our former United States Surgeon General has stated that “loneliness and social isolation are associated with a reduction in life span similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day and even greater than that associated with obesity.” The professor, who wrote the article, didn’t think that we have a loneliness epidemic. He cited various studies that had contradictory results to prove his point. First of all, we know that all studies are flawed based on the non-universal population sample studied. We know that a random sample of individuals is not really random because of the tremendous cost required to obtain such a sample. With that being said, it’s not surprising that the loneliness findings have different conclusions. Another problem related to a conclusion is the lack of a clear cut definition of loneliness. One definition of loneliness stated “Sadness because one has no friends or company.” Sadness, according to the definition, can also mean depression, which is a mood state. It is known that sadness is only one component or mood state of an individual. Loneliness suggests [the absence of real friends] that an appropriate degree of secondary narcissism has not been developed or established. When secondary narcissism is impaired, we find an individual that is too self-centered, not concerned about the other, and therefore narcissistic. This suggests deficits in being able to form appropriate and/or meaningful attachments. In the process of development, if that individual has also developed hateful sadomasochistic tendencies, coupled with depression, then we can expect future mass military style shootings. To Be Continued

Friday, March 9, 2018

Gadgets, Wood Chopping and the Amish

The February 26, 2018 edition of Time’s article “What Can We Learn from Amish People?” spurred interest. These devout people [with Swiss Anabaptist origins; related but distinct from Mennonite churches] live primarily in the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana. They continue to flourish somehow without such electronic gadgets- as TVs, computers, cell phones etc. In the 1900s, regular average life expectancy in our country was 47. However, the Amish had a life expectancy greater than 70. A century later, most of us have caught up to this group. Further, between 1992 and 2017 this population of people increased by 149% while the rest of the US population increased by 23%. Fitted with the pedometers, these religious folks are about as six times as active as the average American. Not only do they take more steps, they also lift, chop, saw wood and plant their crops. It has been reported, that these individuals have an obesity rate of about 4% compared to 36% for the rest of us. They also have lower tobacco-related cancers, and other cancers. Some Amish have the, PA I gene, which is associated with an average life span of 10% longer than people without this particular gene. These fortunate subjects have 10% longer telomeres [the ends of the chromosomes].All good for aging. Another advantage is that the elderly are cared for at home by relatives. They are not hustled off to some location of strangers being cared for by minimum wage employees. Not surprising, the Amish people also have significantly, by half, lower suicide rates. However, their diet is heavy on pancakes, eggs and sausage for breakfast and meat, potatoes, gravy and bread for dinner. As a result, the Amish have high rates of blood pressure and heart disease issues. This suggests that physical activity alone does not guarantee good health. It is been reported that neighbors, at times, have expressed discrimination, hostility by the throwing of stones and other objects at the Amish horse driven carriages. Yes, outside prejudices exist against this group. It would be interesting, to assess the degree of narcissism and group narcissism within this religious group to determine their prejudices. In conclusion, it would be prudent to see if changing their diet would increase their lifespan. They have mastered the keep moving.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Healthy Strategies

Under what conditions would you volunteer to participate in a study on weight gain? Well, 23, overweight men and women participated in a study referred to as “omics” reported in the January 28, 2018 edition of The New York Times. The researchers evaluated changes in genes as well as other biological systems that are affected by weight gain. In this research, the volunteers were asked to overeat. The subjects added about 880 calories a day to their diets and in the process gained an average of about 6 pounds per month. Then, the subjects were asked to cut back on the calories and lose that weight. Time wise, it took most of them at least twice as long to lose the weight they had gained .Further, these subjects were then asked to keep their weight stable and return after another three months for a final round of tests. The findings were that 318 genes worked differently after these 23, had gained even a little weight. Some genes were more active while other genes were turned off .Also, weight gain resulted in increased inflammation throughout the body and the possible beginnings of cardiomyopathy, which is an enlarged heart. Likely, most of the genes reverted to their previous normal state, once the men and women lost their added weight. The keyword here is most but not all. In other words, imbalances or shifts occur biologically even after small amounts of weight are added to your frame. A second study found in the March 2018 edition of Health evaluated obese men. In this particular study, one group dieted for two weeks and then did not for another two weeks over a total period of 30 weeks. This group was compared to those that dieted continuously. They found that intermittent dieters lost more weight. In essence, additional weight is not good, especially if you’re obese. Perhaps, intermittent dieting of two weeks on and two weeks off is something to consider. I like the word intermittent, which means, according to the American college dictionary: “alternately ceasing and beginning again.” I like the meaning because it’s a process and no one is perfect. I would classify my running and eating behavior as intermittent. I total, on the average, 50 miles per week running and walking on the trail. That total might cover six or seven days. As a result, I alternate the number of days; miles per day; and the amount of time running and walking. If the trail is sloppy and conditions are poor, I spend more time running on the street. Intermittent and variability are key strategies for my running regime. As far as eating behavior, it’s certainly easier Incorporating intermittent strategies in reducing the number of calories. My ratio is more restriction than overeating. However, when it comes to ice cream, I have Incorporated, a different ratio. I suggest that if one wants to limit calories and exercise, keep a concrete record in order to accurately compare. PS Whatever you do, keep moving.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Group Connections

We have heard many so-called solutions to our epidemic of violence ranging from raising the age to purchase weapons, eliminating the bump stock accessory, to adding more firepower to the burning inferno by arming teachers. The Parkland students encountered a real-life version regarding the learning of civics. They visited the state legislature in Tallahassee to find that the lawmakers had already voted not to deal with this important issue until next year. Those members voting not to deal with this issue reportedly received an A rating from the NRA, while those voting to deal with it this year ,didn’t do so well according to the NRA’s grading system. Another personality component related to this major problem is the motivational withdrawing of energy from others, as reflected in impaired attachments. This is coupled by difficulties with objective reasoning and less interest in the complexities that exist in the outside world. Examples of this personality component are often expressed verbally. The individual can talk incessantly coupled with not being open to another. One may verbalize about his all-encompassing knowledge about a whole range of topics; his superior wit, brain and intelligence; his prowess; his wealth or acquisitions; his superior family; and his famous friends are some examples. These are simply the objects of his attachment and are mechanisms to inflate a vulnerable ego. The individual identifies and becomes part of a group that provide safety , a sense of belonging to provide relief from feelings of aloneness and fear from the dangerous and immoral world. In addition, engage in the distortion of rational judgment. There’s also a prejudicial accompaniment. My clan, my religion, my race, my nation, my political party, my team is greater, better, more honorable, more superior, more fair, or more righteousness than the other. This inflation is in the absence of reason and rational judgment and is based on consensus, as there are many others in the particular group or groups. Once again, everything outside or different from” the group” is undervalued, perceived as dangerous, immoral or corrupt, and simply bad and not worthy. For those that are economically and culturally poor, with very little realistic opportunity to better their lives, pride can be gained by belonging to a particular group. Since the world is dangerous, unpredictable with violent others on the loose, one can experience a false sense of security by obtaining a weapon and belonging to that particular group which continues to promote and disseminate fear and anxiety about losing that killing device. The one that you’re going to kill is unworthy, violent, without morals, mentally ill or UN American. You are simply protecting your family for survival. Yes, survival is a necessary and an important biological function. In this case, this group essentially symbolizes violence and has tremendous input with many of our political representatives. Unfortunately, choosing a group is not necessarily based on rational judgment, but is based upon something lacking. PS I entered the Salmon Falls 50 K last Saturday with my friend Jonathan and his two teenage sons. I significantly smashed last year’s finishing time, as did Elijah age 16.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

More about Violence Part 2

At the other extreme, we have an opposing personality orientation that values love of life as in Jesus Christ and Mother Teresa. With these individuals, there’s a strong tendency to preserve life and to battle against sickness, disease and death. With this dynamic, there’s also exists a tendency to integrate, to unite, and to fuse with different and opposite entities. Growth is dependent upon having a future. With growth, we have an attraction to the process of life, which is to construct rather than to retain; experiencing adventure as opposed to living with certainty. In other words, life approaches the functional and the individual strives to mold, to influence by love, rationality and reason. In essence, we have a duality between the motivation to kill, hurt and disrespect self and others; verses, the drive to love, respect and give beyond oneself. With this duality of poles, we have significant degrees, mixtures, and blending’s of the two extremes. Aspects of the duality can be expressed not only in physical behavior, but in conversation, tweets, slips of the tongue, thoughts, attitude, feelings, dreams, and fantasy. Sometimes one trend of the duality becomes more dominant over the other. In fact it can even extinguish the other. Negatively, it’s like a hardening of the heart in that the love of death seems to be logical and a normal response per one’s life experience, which is essentially a passion to destroy humanity. Further, this negative aspect in man can become the dominant force and when that happens, it becomes malignant and psychopathological. Perhaps, instead of focusing on the typical political talking points regarding the Florida shooter, we should be focusing on the contradictory aspects of the nature of man. Long-live death as a norm should not be our motto.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

More about Violence

Currently, there’s conversation about guns, violence and killing. For some, there’s talk about their Second Amendment rights; fear of losing that ability to purchase weapons; and for others placing blame on the FBI, police force, school administration or on others. Why not utilize the clinical understanding of the underlying drive or orientation provided by Sigmund Freud and Erich Fromm? We know there are many mechanisms that get in the way of viewing underlying motivational dynamics. Often, Individuals would rather rationalize, project, than look in the mirror, face-to-face. Guns were developed in order to kill people and for survival. These weapons have been developed over centuries - from a single shot to a rapid-fire weapon. I am talking about loss of life, destruction, tearing of flesh, implementing pain and suffering, spilling the blood of others and agony to a community. At one extreme, we have the Manson’s, the Koresh’s, the Paddock’s, the Roof’s, the Hitler’s, and the Stalin’s. Their personality characteristics suggest they were attracted to power, control, and multiple killing. Force was used to humiliate, to destroy, coupled with an unleashed willingness to kill. Not only that, this orientation or pattern became a way of life. It was the powerful over the powerless and the killers and the killed. Their base was afraid and preferred to admire, to follow rather than face the truth. With faulty lenses, they perceived these ruthless types being great, as protectors, not as killers. Further, these sadomasochistic killers craved predictability, certainty, control, along with being orderly, possessive and pedantic. The individuals that were destroyed were not considered of value, nor human beings but rather as statistics, or things. These savage killers worshiped the gods of force, the attraction to death, sadism, and desire to transfer the organic into inorganic. To Be Continued

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Epidemic of Violence

We have had another example of violence in our country. Unfortunately, this also took place in a school setting; and again in Florida. It seems these murderous acts occur over and over. It should be clear by now, that we need to do more than pray. Socioeconomically, in the world, we do not have a monopoly on poverty, lowercase status, employment deficits, political inefficiency, or a deplorable educational system. We do not have a monopoly on mental health issues such as parental loss, family breakups, depression, anxiety and thought disorders. On the other hand, we lead the world in the acquisition of assault weapons, along with serious drug addictions. Some questions regarding this terrible act by this sadistic, narcissistic, young 19-year-old. At the moment, we don’t know whether or not this act was reactive and rooted in fear? Was individual getting back at this population over some wrong done to him? Killing 17 and wounding over14 because of being expelled from school seems to be a superficial explanation. Was he fearful and in danger from someone at the school, so he reacted violently? In other words, was revenge a motive or attempt to restore his self-esteem? Was the shooters faith a determining factor in that he was let down by parents, sweetheart, teachers, or other members of society? Was he suffering from some physical or neurological condition? I’m sure with all the attention that this young boy will receive, that a profile and motive or motives will be produced. That profile will not protect us from future acts of violence. We require more sensible ideas regarding minimizing destruction. It’s not a Second Amendment right to have a military killing weapon. Nowhere in the Second Amendment does it say we should not have background checks. Nor does it say in the Second Amendment that citizens should kill other children or students. We’re not going to end violence, but we might be able to limit its damages and live in a safer country. These do nothing, lawmakers should be replaced. Current legislation favor the gun lobbies, but not US citizens.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Finding Fairness

The word fair or fairness was recently expressed in conversations with friends. “How fair is that?” or “that doesn’t seem fair to me” are two examples. Fair is defined “in accordance with the rules or standards, legitimate and with synonyms: just, equitable, honest, upright, honorable, and trustworthy.” Certainly there’s a difference between how a king views fair compared to common folk. King Solomon, when confronted by two women regarding the ownership of a baby, told the women he would cut the baby in half and give each a half child . The birth mother replied, “No, give the entire baby to that woman” Wise King Solomon then knew whom the real mother was. Fair falls between the eyes of the beholder. For instance, two adults have intercourse and an embryo is conceived. Was that being fair to the embryo? What if one set of individuals come from high status, upper 1% economically, a certain religion, a particular country, a white race or other combination of socioeconomic factors compared to individuals from a low level of socioeconomic conditions, etc.? What about the DNA, or genetic level differences between the individuals? At conception, there can be profound differences associated with these significant facts. During time in the womb, a mother may smoke, drink, take drugs and have experiences with other environmental stresses that affect embryonic development. Obviously, the embryo has no control over the many factors that affect its development. One can easily argue about the idea of fairness. With birth, the infant is then subjected to parenting whims without any control. How often and how soon does the baby receive nourishment or get held when crying? Is it fair to the mother that she bears most of the feeding, diapering, and nurturing responsibility? What about the number and degree of positive reinforcements given compared to the number and degree of punishments given within parenting parameters? How was fairness determined in this arena? Being fair is usually defined, determined and implemented by the one that has the power and control. Education begins and there is more variability as far as the competence of teachers, reputation and excellency of the school and school district. Once again, fairness is determined by some other. Then we have coaches, and many other adults defining and determining the meaning of fairness per their own interpretation. The same process continues within the world of work with all the employment and salary situations that arise. Don’t forget about the perception of fairness within the marriage union. Society and culture has so many laws, rules and regulations that are administered and interpreted and enforced by some or a few. As a result, fairness or its absence can only be determined by perception. Perception is the result of cognitive and emotional dynamics. One’s cognitive and emotional makeup is determined by the entire mosaic of influences beginning from conception to the end of life. Unless you are the king -emperor, or can define, create and administer fairness, maybe fairness is simply a fantasy, and not applicable. PS Jimmy Gaoppolo, Tom Brady’s backup for most of the 2017 season and then traded , agreed to a $137.5 million contract or 27.5 million per year over five years with the San Francisco 49ers. This makes him the highest paid NFL player per year.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Trouble Removing Excess Weight?

Tips for dealing with excessive weight were found in the February 5, 2018 edition of Time magazine. The following strategies have worked, and can assist you. 1. Eat a big breakfast. A study in the Journal of American College of Cardiology reported that people who skipped breakfast were more likely to be overweight and coupled with dangerous plaque buildup in their arteries. We don’t want that. Hormonal imbalance contributes to people consuming unhealthy foods during the day. I prefer vegetables, fruits, and a yogurt smoothie for breakfast. 2. Drink one less soda per week. Cutting back on soda was associated with gaining less weight. I admit that I look forward for a Coke or Dr. Pepper after running a 50 K trail run. I’m looking for quick recovery. 3. Eat like an Italian. The Mediterranean diet has many health benefits from treating acid reflex to improving cholesterol levels, and even extending lifespan. In fact, long-term studies of people on Mediterranean diets were found to less likely develop cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, kidney disease and breast cancer. Counting calories was not necessary either. It’s suggested that its’s beneficial to sit down with friends or family while eating. Choose your friends wisely. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, olive oil and lean sources of animal protein are good choices. 4. Exercise to keep weight off. Burn calories to keep the weight off as long as you do enough of it. I agree totally. 5. Get a good night’s sleep .Seven hours a night was recommended .Consuming less sugar was a reason stated. Avoiding caffeine, electric devices, establishing a relaxing bedtime routine and not going to bed, full or hungry are other considerations. The next three strategies are easier to incorporate. Notice, any behavioral or routine change is difficult to accomplish. Repetition compulsion is one explanation. 6. Eat more slowly. Chewing your food well, increases the number of calories your body burns during digestion, compared with eating fast, which barely burns any calories and has been linked to an increased risk for metabolic syndrome. Moreover, a cluster of health problems are attributed to excess abdominal fat. 7. Dump the fake sugar. Drinking one or more artificially sweetened beverages a day, resulted in a higher risk for weight gain, obesity, diabetes and other health issues. Further, they also make people crave sweeter foods; and that interferes with the way the body metabolizes real sugar. I add natural Stevia for my morning coffee. 8. Don’t worry about workout weight gain. Often, when starting a new workout routine, you may put on a few pounds. Water is generally behind most short-term weight changes. And it’s important to prevent dehydration. Keep hydrated. If you are experiencing more energy and your clothes are fitting better, go for it. Remember, keep moving. PS For my reward after completing Saturday’s difficult Jed Smith 50 K, Tony and I visited Baskin-Robbins. Yes, prior, I downed a Coke.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

For Improved Health

To improve your well-being, consider the following the 8 steps or conditions found in the October 2, 2017 edition of Time. For example: 1. Explore life without social media. It suggested that more frequent Facebook use has been linked to more or poor physical and mental health; including diminished life satisfaction. Another study suggested that the more time people spent on social media per day, the more likely they were to have symptoms of anxiety. It was recommended that taking a break from Facebook resulted in higher life satisfaction, and positive emotions. Can’t argue with that one. 2. Order delivery and send your laundry out. It is been found that people who spend money on saving time, such as hiring a gardener, or paying extra for grocery delivery reported greater life satisfaction. People from across the income spectrum benefited from buying time. This would especially work, if you’re buying time from doing something that you don’t want to do. It helps to have the money to do it. 3. Embrace your offbeat emotions. In one study, people who felt the widest range of positive emotions, had the lowest levels of inflammatory markers in their blood. Lower levels of inflammation may translate to reduce the risk of illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. Next time you experience positive emotions like enthusiasm, interest or inspiration, that’s good for you. 4. Let go of grudges. Data from 148 people, found that people who had been more stressed in their lives had worse mental and physical health. They discovered that if people were quick to forgive themselves and others, that characteristic alone virtually eliminated the connection between stress and mental illness. 5. Take a perfectly imperfect vacation time away from work is good and can assist with minimizing stress. This means minimizing travel stress, or being in a situation where you felt unsafe. Planning seems to be a key here. Having alone time, or taking a break are important as individuals have different stress levels. Who likes to go to the airport and fly on a plane? I don’t. 6. Visit your local tiny green space. Getting outside, being in nature with a more active lifestyle is helpful for your mental health. More research suggests that any kind of green space, such as back yards, neighborhood parks, or dog walks can improve your well-being. Additionally, it’s important that these spaces are functional, easy to get to, clean and well lit. It’s also provides an opportunity to meet and chat with people as well. For me, being in nature is my compulsion for repetition. 7. Keep your friends as close as family. It has been found that friends become more important to health, during the aging process-per research conducted in nearly 100 countries. In fact, having supportive friendships, while aging, was found to be a better predictor of well-being than having a strong family connection. As we all know, we can choose our friends. 8. Deploy random acts of kindness or doing a favor boosts emotional well-being, even if you’re good deed isn’t recognized. One researcher stated “humans are wired to give. We are a cooperative species and there are mechanisms in us that promotes social behavior.” But remember, the goal is to benefit that person as opposed to trying to impress them with generosity or even expect something in return. These eight strategies are not at all an exhaustive list. Further, there is also no guarantee for well-being. Natural dangers, hereditary and our society and culture provide many barriers and challenges beyond control. This doesn’t mean that we have to be victims. However, just today I was reminded that we have been at war in Afghanistan for 16 years. Now that’s crazy.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Just Do It

I smiled when I read an article titled “Where to Get Healthier This Year.” In the January 14, 2018 edition of The New York Times. According to the Global Wellness Industry, which is a nonprofit organization for the industry, the wellness travel market grew to $563 billion in 2015 compared to $489 billion in 2013. A few examples are as follows: 1. Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles and Beverly Hills has seven wellness rooms in partnership with the real estate company Delos. Amenities include toiletries from the beauty brand Lather, air purification systems that reduce allergens and promote restful sleep, showers with chlorinator’s and healthy in room dining menus created in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic. 2. In the adventure cruise line, Linblad Expeditions in partnership with the exercise and spa brand Exhale began a series of three and four day well-being trips in the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. Activities range from kayaking around the Baja shore line, snorkeling with sea lions, and classes led by Exhale for power yoga and high intensity interval training. 3 Intrepid Travel in partnership with Golden Triangle: Yoga, and Bollywood includes three days in the city of Rishikesh to practice yoga on the banks of the Ganges. 4. Singapore Airlines introduced Deliciously Wholesome in-flight meals which are rich in complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and fiber. 5. Delta Airlines offers guided meditation at its Asanda Spa Lounges in the Sky Clubs at John F. Kennedy International and the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The service is called the Deepak Chopra Dreamweaver. In Denver’s International airport, one can practice meditation and yoga in the airports Concourse A. This is called Yoga on-the-Fly. This is a studio with five 60 ft.² rooms that offer iPads loaded with yoga and meditation sessions. My travel incorporates a lifestyle that is more economical. For example, I always take my running shoes, socks, running shirt, tights, water bottle, power bars and running hat on every trip regardless of driving or flying. Second, when at the airport, I always stand or walk. Third, when, on the plane, I walk the aisles and stand in the back of the plane during the flight. Fourth, while in my seat on the plane, I perform progressive relaxation and focus on my breathing. Fifth, I keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Dining can be a little more complicated as far as proper nutrition. Breakfast is generally oatmeal, fresh fruit and coffee. Sometimes, I even bring my blender, for a smoothie, if the location doesn’t have one. While eating lunch and dinner, I tend to eat as much veggies as I can. At my destination, I incorporate both the weight room, equipment and go out for a run. Going out for a morning run allows me to familiarize myself while learning about my new environment .I also find a Pickle Ball court for games. Just last Sunday, going out for a trail run with Paul, Tony and our two Border collie’s; we encountered a runner; we made a comment; and he replied something to the effect “just being out here is the key.” One important thing about health: Just keep moving. PS Yesterday, I began tapering for my Jed Smith 50 K ultra-run on February 3.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Morality Part 4

We are unable to see the truth as we employ defense mechanisms to justify our thinking. There seems to be no amount of rational convincing to convince us of the flaws of our identifications. We are ruled by the underlying unconscious emotional dynamics within our system of right and wrong. It’s our nature, and it gets in the way of rational truth. This means that symbolically, the one we identify with becomes our conscience. As a result, these entanglements become our guides to right, wrong, good and evil that clouds our thinking with irrational beliefs and poor judgment and behavior. Just try to attempt to convince someone who has a different religious, political or economic set of ideas to your way of thinking. Just think of all the despot leaders that have led their followers astray down paths or trails of death, destruction and despair. Our society has an incongruent and contradictory moral and ethical code that doesn’t apply equality to all. This fact makes it very unlikely that a consistent and regular balance of rights, wrongs actually exist because of the quirks and variabilities among us. The result is the difficulty in developing a sense of trust .It may be simply easier to develop a sense of distrust. If so, this can lead to a hopelessly deprived and frustrated narcissist. If this occurs, then our degree of narcissism or self-centeredness interferes with how we treat or interact with others. This early development affects, unconsciously, the character types we seek out with our identifications. There are numerous barriers and contradictions with confounding rules and regulations developed within our political, economic, criminal justice and religious systems. It’s no wonder that our parental figures along with other identification models are compromised as well. Within a dysfunctional culture and society, man has difficulty determining right, wrong, and acting with integrity in acting on a moral code that’s based on altruism. Instead, we have too many individuals that have developed a greater sense of narcissism. With extensive narcissism, we become more self-centered and less concerned about the welfare of the other. As a result, we have established some of the necessary ingredients for an erosion of conscience, the morality of behavior and the inappropriate conduct of man.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Morality Part 3

In addition to parents, there are other people available for the child in which to identify as he watches TV, plays video games, witnesses movies and attends preschool and elementary school. Identification is defined as “generally, a phase of recognition, in remembering; a process by which an individual unconsciously or partially so believes, imagines himself behaving, as if he were the person with whom the tie exists.” The identification can also be with an idea, an economic system, a political figure or political point of view, a religion, a celebrity, socioeconomic status, country, football team, or book. There are a plethora of identifications that are made in forming one’s view of right, wrong, might, and weakness in the development of conscience based on what is said and done. Religion, with the 10 Commandments, has provided us with a terrific set of rules, morals, ideals and values in getting along with fellow man. However, because of the nature of man, not taking the Lord’s name in vain; honoring the father and the mother; thou shall not kill; and thou shall not commit adultery seems nearly to be impossible to follow. The statistics of killing, adultery, swearing and beating up elders highlight man’s nature. Our society’s moral and ethical behaviors are what in practice? For the male, there are plenty of sports figures in which to identify. As a kid, Gordy Howe was my favorite hockey player; Johnny Groth my favorite baseball player; Doak Walker favorite football player; FDR favorite political figure; Lone Ranger favorite radio figure; Maureen O’Hara favorite actress, and John R Tunis favorite author. Today, present day models include Marvel comic action figures; affects our James Bond [he even has a license to kill and had the power and charisma to sleep with beautiful women], Wolverine, Jason Borne, Jack Reacher, and a whole host of violent videogame characters. Because of the unconscious dynamic of the identification process, these individuals and ideas can do no wrong, speak no evil, and do no evil, irrespective of their behavior toward fellow man. It’s as if we have a filter that screens out in plain sight negatives, inconsistencies, flaws and their disrespect of authority and societies rules. It bad that because of our underlying emotional psychology dynamics [helplessness, insecurities, frustrations, fear of loss of love, rivalries], we tend to seek out these powerful larger-than-life figures. It’s like they are the Pied Piper and we follow in their footsteps blindly with our inability to use rational or critical thinking. OJ might be another example. He was loved, admired, respected with his power, charisma, celebrity success and was married to an attractive white woman. Yes, he fell from grace from not all, but many. So it happens that our identification heroes can fall really hard from grace. To Be Continued

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Morality Part 2

Next ,we have a whole host of caretakers, including father, siblings, day care, preschool, teachers and others interacting throughout the developmental stages of the infant. Without a doubt, the only consistency that exists is the inconsistency between the adults in their manner of nurturing, protecting, taking care in meeting the needs of the growing infant. Once again, all of us, have our own unique psychologically-based techniques and our idiosyncratic idea of being a caretaker. The perception of the infant is the key to its psychological emotional growth with the ability to trust or have confidence that its needs are going to be met. How much or what degree of frustration tolerance [how long is it going to take before my needs are met or resolved] is necessary for survival? Just because I cry, how long is it going to take before relief comes? Remember, frustration leads to anger. Within its psychological development, the young child now begins to initially identify with the mother and then the father figure. This means an incorporation of words, behavior, values, rules, and restrictions, standards that are exhibited or demonstrated by the caretakers. The child begins to learn when these parental figures reinforce “good” as well as “bad” behavior. What a parent likes, is often exhibited as in a smile or some verbal expression. By the same token, what a parent dislikes can be exhibited in a gentle, or not so gentle behavior. Is the motto or belief of the caretaker “Spare the Rod and spoil the child; children are to be seen not heard; do what I say, not what I do?” In any event, the child can be disciplined by a lengthy explanation while their arm is being pinched. To be sure, mixed messages and variability for identical or similar acts can be expected. Once again, there’s often inconsistency, as well as unpredictability in parental responses to good or bad behavior. Good or bad behavior is initially defined by some idea in the mind of the caretaker. These ideas very significantly, especially between males and females. Regardless, the identification occurs. Furthermore, with praise, the child experiences positive feelings. However, with parental disapproval, loss of love or some other form of punishment, the development of guilt is established. Ideally, child’s behavior is to seek out pleasure or approval from the identified and avoid bad behavior that leads to feelings of guilt. Bad behavior generally pertains to poor or inappropriate actions toward another. In other words, conscience is an internalized standard and if there is disagreeable thinking or behavior, guilt can be triggered to guide appropriate behavior. To Be Continued

Friday, January 12, 2018

Morality

In A Dictionary of Psychology, conscience was defined as: “ an individual’s system of accepted moral principles, or principles of conduct, or alternately, and usually, the functioning of such system with reference to enact, contemplated or performed, which threatens violation of the principles, involving emotional as well as intellectual function.” It is my position that there has been a significant clear-cut weakening or erosion of conscience in our country. As a result, the statistics regarding opioid dependence, frequency and length of wars, increase of suicides, especially military veterans or personnel, the high number of divorces etc., are associated with this erosion. These facts also suggest a significant confusion and contradiction of many of our long-standing ideals and beliefs. With the definition of conscience, we can now focus, with a brief simplified view of, some factors that contribute to the problems associated with the development of conscience. It is generally accepted that the development of conscience begins very early .This dynamic actually begins with the interpersonal or mutual relationship between the infant and his caretaker or caretakers. That caretaker is normally the mother but can be any other object, such as a babysitter, home health caretaker etc. The helpless and dependent infant begins life with its physiological or biological needs [food, water, changing of diaper, and cold, warm, or other discomforts requiring to be met by that significant other. However, there is no one Bible, manual, cookbook, or app of instructions for a guide. The infant cries which is one indication of an unmet need. Crying can vary in pitch, loudness, and duration. That obviously is one way in which the infant initially communicates. Simply, the task of the caretaker is to meet and resolve that unresolved need. The caretaker may or may not know the reason for the crying of the baby. The caretaker cannot be expected to be able to understand all crying responses or know when to appropriately intervene. More than likely, there’s irregularity as to the time of the response, as well as the manner of response. The caretaker has emotional needs and schedules as well. This means that sometimes the caretaker allows the child to cry it out; sometimes the caretaker may respond with irritability; and sometimes the caretaker gives the perfect timely warm and nurturing response that resolves the difficulty. None of us can remember the exact ratio of positive to negative responses that we received from our parents during that phase of development. However, one thing is clear in that the caretaker’s response significantly affects the emotional development of the infant. Can the infant trust a regularity with the right response? Or, does an Irregularity of response confuse, irritate or frustrate the baby? If so, trusting that the caretaker is going to be there appropriately affects the development to the degree of love and anger that develops towards the caretaker or caretakers. The question “do you love me” comes to mind throughout one’s lifetime development. To Be Continued

Friday, January 5, 2018

Being Old?

The title “Are You Old? Infirm?, Then Kindly Disappear” found in the December 17, 2017 edition of The New York Times featured the life of an 82-year-old female with post-polio syndrome, which forced her to use a wheelchair. A few years ago she went shopping for a mattress at a mall. She claimed her legs were so weak that she had to use a wheelchair. In fact, a friend had to push her around that day. According to her, the wait for service was unusually long and she became invisible. She turned radioactive in that people looked over her, around her, and through her. People also withdrew from her and she thought maybe it was because they thought she wanted something from them. This woman also called doctor offices the worst because the receptionist, seemed to address her as if she wasn’t there; thinking she didn’t have an appointment; didn’t have a medical card; and didn’t have a brain. Frank Bruni, the writer, wondered if this treatment toward an older woman being in a wheelchair and so forth was widespread and he noted how cruel it was. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 2 million Americans use wheelchairs for daily activities and 8.5 million depend on canes, crutches or walkers. With a population aging, we have roughly 50 million Americans age 65 and older that represent about 15% of our population. I don’t know if this woman’s experience and perception applies to other older females in a wheelchair. At this point in time, I have very little or no contact with individuals in wheelchairs. I do, however, encounter people on the trail that have devices held in their hands to stabilize their walking. In fact, today, there were two women with dogs that carried these devices. I did not have any trouble chatting with them. As a rule, I don’t like to be around “Old” individuals. An old individual is one that continuously talks about their disease and/or their illnesses. They also refer to events that they did in their past. Sometimes they also comment about what they have to do. A number years ago, I had a conversation with my mother about moving from her apartment into a retirement facility. She said she didn’t want to be around old people. Mother lived to the young age of 93. Taking my mother’s advice, 99% of my friends are younger than I am. If someone that I encounter wants to dwell talk about their illness, etc. I excuse myself and leave. The conversation regarding illnesses can be a real downer and simply depressing. On New Year’s Day, for approximately the eighth year in a row, my friend Tony, 12 years younger; and another friend Chris 18 years younger than me, ran the Resolution 10 mile trail run. I’m aware of my performances over the years, as that is important to me. I wrote a recent post about grinning, while running, to improve oxygen flow. During runs, we periodically laugh, joke and tease each other. The grinning is good because it also relaxes facial muscles, which is normally were we hold our tension. In fact, during this New Year’s run, I took part in a selfie with three very young women. After the run, we hooked up again, congratulated and laughed with each other. Like I’ve said before, “keep moving” as you’ll have more enjoyment.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Smile

Grinner’s Circle was the title of an article in the December 10, 2017 The New York Times. The article mentioned that Eliud Kipchoge periodically smiled during the final miles of his fastest ever two hours 25 seconds marathon. Researchers from Ulster University and Swansea University ran an experiment related to running economy, which is a measure of how much oxygen is used to stride at a given speed. 24 men and women volunteers were studied. They had to wear a facial mask that measured their respiration while they ran on a treadmill till they were exhausted. They then rated how they felt and described strategies they used to keep going, ignoring their bodies, discomfort. In a subsequent lab visit, each volunteer completed a series of four 6 minute runs during which they were assigned. 4 different approaches 1.smile continuously, but sincerely 2. Relax r upper body 3. Frown 4. Use their normal mental techniques. Findings: as a group, the runner’s economy was as much as 2.78% more efficient smiling than during the other trials. A disclaimer per the following commentary. I did not read the original study. Therefore, my critique may be suspect. 2016 Olympic marathon winner Kipchoge’s strategies, training, genetics, etc. would paint a more complete picture of perhaps the greatest marathoner in the modern area. Smiling for him, might be related to the fact that he was running the fastest marathon ever and he knew it. The variables, 24 volunteers was not a random sample, which limits the generalizations; running six minutes on a treadmill limits the findings to running six minutes on a treadmill; and the 2.78% differences may or may not have statistical significance compared to chance. As running performance varies day-to-day, the initial baseline measure of running on a treadmill to exhaustion may or may not be an accurate baseline measure. Further, running track or on the trail is significantly different than running on a treadmill. We can’t conclude that the six minute treadmill measure of running economy or efficiency equates to running any distance longer or shorter in time than 6 minutes. Performing running and smiling sincerely is artificial and difficult to achieve. For instance, when running on the trail, one has to be aware of tree roots, fallen trees, rocks and other hazards. These hazards tend to interfere with smiling. Setting up a field study is difficult, but would more likely lead to more sound conclusions. However, grinning during your runs certainly can’t hurt you. It may even work as a placebo. There’s nothing wrong with employing a placebo if it improves your running. God knows that we have many thoughts going through our mind when running at marathon or ultramarathon distances. Telling yourself to smile, if nothing else, makes you look like you’re enjoying yourself. Smile and keep moving!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Man's Inhumanity Part 2

Psychological understanding can explain, in part, why there is much variation in how man treats man. One explanation suggests that although man’s powerful sexual drive or impulses varies in degree from man-to-man, that it can be limited with a mature rational process within moral constraints. Briefly put, when dominant sexual and aggressive impulses are accompanied with a weak ego and/or poor impulse control {imbalance of executive functions within the cerebral cortex] structure, man’s immature thinking is further weakened with its defense mechanisms [repression, reaction formation, projection denial, etc.]. The result is the individual was not adequate in dealing effectively [inhibiting the behavior] within an exploitive and abusive situation. As an example, is when the perception of the perpetrator is totally false? Employing defenses of repression, denial and projection, the individual distorts the reality by acting as if the other was also sexually attracted [she likes me, she’s giving me positive signals] and very much wanted to engage [ her no really means yes, it’s part of the game she’s playing] in sexual behavior, even though it’s totally not the case. Add spiking hormones, previous and current history of reinforcement or consequences for inappropriate physical and sexual abusive behavior, seduction, temptation-flirtation exchanges, money in employment settlements, influence of alcohol, drugs, exploitation trappings, unresolved mental and physical health issues to the equation, and we are faced over and over again with one individual or individuals dominating and subjecting the other [persecutor- victim or sadomasochism dynamics] to its whims. It’s not very likely that man’s treatment of man is going to change, despite the teachings of religion, education or the rule of law. Paraphrasing Einstein “doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is crazy.” Our culture emphasizes and idolizes beauty and power. And with beauty, the beast arises. Happy Holidays

Friday, December 22, 2017

Man's Inhumanity

There has been much recent “news” about discrimination, sexually abusive behavior, racism, and exploitation between people. We know that Homo sapiens can be classified as being sexual, aggressive, irrational and amoral. The hunters and gatherers demonstrated their sexual prowess and the fittest survived despite numerous external threats and obstacles. As we changed to a more agrarian society, religion was established. Wonderful and humanitarian ideas arose in an attempt to place limits or control man’s characteristics. Killing was considered to be bad and sinful. Within marriage, adultery, was punishable and prohibited along with incestuous behaviors and marriage between relatives. There were other moral standards established, regarding theft, dishonesty and coveting with various interpretations and traditions per religious groups. Because of limitations and the fact that committing a sin was not a powerful enough deterrent in the way that man treated man, societal rules of law were established with punishable and concrete consequences. In fact, in 1986, our Supreme Court ruled that sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Despite religious covenants and commandments, state and federal laws attempted to influence man’s treatment between human being. We have witnessed much abuse. From US presidents, US politicians, movie moguls, movie stars, media and sports celebrities, the examples of abuse and/or assault continue. Even with consequences like settlements, loss of employment, divorce, the negative behaviors are still expressed. To Be Continued

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Keep Moving

An article in the November 26, 2017 edition of the New York Times titled “Stepping Backward” highlighted a study conducted by psychologists at Brunel University, London and the University of Birmingham. In this particular study, 100 healthy boys and girls ages 13 and 14 were employed. Apparently, these subjects were socioeconomically represented and incorporated a broad cross-section of adolescents. These young students filled out questionnaires about how they felt about their exercise and their fitness. Every subject was given an activity monitor as part of the program. The goal was 10,000 steps each day. These results were recorded on a “leaderboard” that highlighted the most and least active in the group. After two months, the students completed more questionnaires and participated in focus group discussions. The student’s interest seemed to diminish after about a month or so. They started complaining about the monitors and reported that it made them feel lazy if they didn’t manage the 10,000 steps each day. Many said they considered themselves more physically inept than they had before the start of the study. A fairly large percentage of the students reported that they felt less motivated to be active now than before getting the monitor. According to one of the psychologists “You can’t just give a child a fit bit for Christmas and expect him to be active.” This study was not about the monitor, but about physical activity. Linda just mentioned to me after her walk “I hate walking, it’s not fun even with the distraction of music.” Physical activity can be boring and difficult regardless of age. Psychologically, physical activity can be enjoying depending upon the meaning for that individual. Then, if one has a high need for achievement, that individual can find a sport in which physical activity plays an important part in its success. Or, if one has a high need for affiliation then one can find a physical activity that has to do with a partner or partners. Remember, Hamlet “there’s nothing either good or bad, but thinking, makes it so.” Recently, Thom Darden told me that he bought his mother, a gym membership because he was concerned about her lack of physical activity. He then accompanied her to the gym. When he returned home, he found out that she was no longer attending the gym. Like those teenagers having a gym membership or a fit bit does not translate into physical activity. Physical activity works best when it is incorporated and is a significant part of one’s psychological makeup {history, need structure, intrinsic, pleasure, fear of failure etc.}, gives or provides immediate and concrete benefits or results [not because it is necessarily good for you or would likely increase one’s lifespan etc.], and is in the here and now. In conclusion, “life is like riding a bicycle: to keep balance ,you must keep moving.” Albert Einstein

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Kyle Busch, Move Over

I just returned from the Ron Fellows Performance Driving School in Las Vegas. According to the brochure, the school “offers high-performance driver training to improve driving technique, provide professional racing instruction, or simply enjoy the opportunity to drive one of America’s fastest production cars.” The brochure also said “participants are trained to test driver and vehicle limits on an exhilarating, purpose- built road course in a safe, controlled environment.” Further, “the racetrack offers an exciting combination of fast sweeping corners, quick esses, off camber turns, over 125 feet of elevation change and four high-speed straights with replicas of some of racing’s most famous corners, including Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 5a and 5b, the Watkins Glen “Bus Stop”, Road Atlanta’s Turn 1 and Laguna Seca’s “Corkscrew.” I was scared, impressed and had my adrenaline flowing during the two days of classroom and track experience. On that first day, I was intimidated and not sure that I could incorporate the eights steps to cornering along with launch control through the racetrack. On the second day, my confidence, driving ability, and muscle memory took over, especially after being a passenger with the pro-driver. He was fast, smooth as I experienced G force motion. I realized that the Corvette was not going to roll over going around those “S” curves at breakneck speed. Then I was the driver as the pro was now the passenger. I eventually learned that I was not going to roll over my Corvette either, as I became more efficient and faster over the racetrack. Then I had opportunities to show what I could do on my own. Linda was in the pace car with the pro-and I was in a group with three other Corvettes. The instructor would comment and give instruction to us rookies during our runs. Linda said that I was keeping up with the pro who was traveling 120 mph. I didn’t have time to notice the odometer as I was visually scanning ahead and downshifting attempting to make sure that the cars balance was appropriate as I was clipping the apex of the curve. By the end of the class, and my last track driving rush, I was thrilled by the experience. I now have a better appreciation of the amazing engineering of my Corvette and what that automobile can do. As far as I can tell, Detroit gets an A for its engineering. I am impressed. As I said before, keep moving.