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Big day at the Globe

August 29th, 2011 No comments

A number of articles caught my eye in The Globe and Mail today:

Here’s a good piece by Sarah Hampson on the way people handle the last days of life. It’s neither schmaltzy nor grim.

This article on kids and boxing remind me of a friend of mine who practices Shotokan karate. Like many who practice (or dabble in, as is my case) martial arts, we wonder about the realism of it all: contact, no contact, headgear, no headgear …? In the case of my friend, head shots are winners in competitions, and although he won the competition, I have to wonder about the poor fellow he stunned with a solid head shot — with no padding, no headgear. In the end, the more I read about concussions, the more I realize how fragile we are.

Here’s a review of some post-workout drinks. We should keep in mind two things if we consider partaking: (1) the goal of business is to make money, and the world of the consume is filled with unnecessary products designed to make money, and (2) though a product may have a unique name and appear “indie”, it’s probably owned by a giant conglomerate such as Coke or Pepsico.

I’ve often found that a concept can be sharpened in the mind by studying its opposite as well. Here’s a little piece on The Six Habits of Highly Ineffective People. Better get off the computer ….

(No, the Globe doesn’t pay me to write this. I just get the paper. It’s not perfect, and it isn’t immune to the current tendency of the mainstream media to accept the way politicians and pundits¬†frame the issues … but it’ll do for now.)

(Mental note: look up “article” in the Thesaurus.)

A small tribute to Jack Layton

August 25th, 2011 No comments

As any Canadian knows, we’ve recently lost Jack Layton, leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, and by all accounts, a highly dedicated and capable public servant. I mean that in the highest sense of the word — a distinction that shows Mr. Layton in stark contrast to the self-serving politicians who squat on our airwaves producing nothing of value to those they purport to serve.

I’m not eloquent enough to give a fitting tribute to Mr. Layton, but his passing reminds me of the writings of Robert Gould Shaw:

I am placed in a position where, if I were a man of real strength and ability, I might do a great deal, but where, under present circumstances, I am afraid I shall show that I am not of much account.

I believe that Mr. Layton, unlike many of his contemporaries, has showed that he was of much account.

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“I just wanted to try something different.”

November 15th, 2010 5 comments

Breaking news: The End of Pilates as We Know It?

According to The Globe and Mail, Pilates is no longer on the Hot List of workout routines. To most of us, this isn’t a big deal, as Pilates is just another workout fad to most people … just like Step Aerobics, Jazzercise and Tae Bo.

So what does RnR have to say about this? Let’s use point form, because I’m in a hurry!

  • People who advocate slow, careful, introspective fitness correction are like mechanics who insist that people know how their car works, whereas most folks just want to drive the damn thing. (This analogy has less power in these days of computerized cars, of course) Don’t tell me how to find my center, I just want to feel the burn, baby!
  • The hotness of an exercise routine has less to do with its value than its appeal. In other words, it only has to do enough good to satisfy a basic feel-good factor. After that, it has to give people what they want at that slice in time. If their wants change, they move on.
  • An important factor in making a routine “hot” is how people feel when telling their friends about what they do. Trust me, I don’t tell people I’m doing Yiquan or Mizongyi when they ask what I’m up to — “tai chi” will do, and that’s acceptable only because I’m over forty.
  • Some fads may do a lot of good, while routines viewed as “old school” and “normal” may not be optimal.
  • As long as people have short attention spans, serious “refine and repeat” fitness routines that require patience and introspection will never be popular.

Thoughts?

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Makes you think.

January 4th, 2010 No comments

An old school chum of mine just suffered a heart attack. He’s just out of intensive care.

Hope he’s going to be okay.

Damn.

(update: he’s fine, and going home today. Phew. Apparently blood testing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It doesn’t tell you if the pipes are clogged, just that the water’s fine. So we need to be vigilant, even in the face of good blood work. Wow.)

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