Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Movie Tip: Trouble in Paradise

Iowa Guru & I saw this film tonight, and it proved a delight. We've always been quite fond of 1930's romantic and screw-ball comedies, but this one has escaped me before (she'd seen it before and just recently again on TCM). Directed by Ernst Lubitsch, it if full of innuendo, sly sophistication, and exquisite charm. (Fortunately, it was made before the Hollywood Code came into effect and limited adult takes on movies.) A film that most anyone would enjoy.

Frank Bruni on Jack LaLanne: A Dour Take

Both Iowa Guru & I thought that this was a dour take on Jack LaLanne's legacy. For me, living in the body brings great delight (for the most part). Exercise is second only to sex for physical delight (although a great meal or fine wine has many sensual delights). In any event, to think that exercise is something that we must do out of a sense of guilt or vanity is a truly sad and unnecessary take on the experience. While sometimes I moan and groan about going to yoga or going to lift, when I've done it, I inevitably feel better about everything. And I love games: basketball was a form of meditation and recreation for me for decades, and now I meet some of that need for the delight of competition by playing volleyball. I do agree that too many forms of exercise appear to be a matter of drudgery. How many runners have I seen that look genuinely pained? And treadmills--well, they do remind me a bit of hamsters. I now prefer a bit of stationary bike with faux countryside to give the ride some interest. Also, thanks to the likes of Art De Vany and Mark Sisson, I keep workouts relatively short & intense. For play on the other hand, I can take as much time as I want (although my body now limits me). Also, Frank Forencich of Exuberant Animal and Erwan Le Corre of MovNat show us how we can use and enjoy our bodies in the most primal and delightful ways. I wish I was young and agile enough to learn parkour or gymnastics like Damien Walters, but the yoga has been a true delight--and think what one might do there. So, Mr. Bruni, get out of your chair and smell the sweat. I like to read and watch more than the next person, but sometimes you got to go shake it, and you'll love it.

Mark Sisson on Jack LaLanne

This a wonderful celebration of Jack LaLanne, someone whom everyone in our generation remembers. Iowa Guru swears by him (I mean in praise of him). The fact that he was full of vim and vigor up to the time of his death at age 96 is quite a deal. Could he have done better? Perhaps. I think some of the folks that I read, like De Vany and Sisson certainly would recommend some different practices (on diet and variety of exercise), but it's hard to argue with his success. I'm going to follow-up with a different post, but let me be clear: here's to you Jack!

Meditation: Growing Understanding

This is just one of many studies that show the benefits of meditation. I think that the author doesn't probably know how much work has been done already on this topic by people like Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin, to name but one researcher that comes quickly to mind. (If you want more information, you should check out the Mind and Life Conferences sponsored by the Dalai Lama, where he brings together scientists with Buddhists to share perspectives and common concerns. They have some very interesting exchanges and the scientists have provided some very interesting information about meditation, the practice of compassion, emotions, and so on.) Anyway, this article might whet your appetite to meditate. My willpower waxes and wanes on this. I do find that a great night of sleep is the very best thing for the brain.