Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dr. Kurt Harris, M.D. & PaNu

In my post yesterday about the Nightline segment, I should have also given a shout-out to Dr. Kurt Harris. First of all, he's a UI grad as both an undergraduate and from medical school, so of course this speaks well of him! But more importantly, he, too, provides a rich and thoughtful resource in his blog about nutrition and health. Each of the persons that I normally mention in this realm has a slightly different take on what is best, but a couple of really regular and standard points stand out: grains and sugars (especially fructose in high doses) will be the death of us. Really, the death of us. Dr. Harris is another excellent resource for this perspective. Check out his "Get Started" link, which is short and to the point.

P.S. The "PaNu" should be pronounced "pay new", but I lack the diacritical marking for a long "a". He's shortening "paleo nutrition".

Krugman on Trains: We Love 'Em

There seems to be an argument that we Americans don't and shouldn't like the idea of trains. BS! Krugman makes the practical arguments in his usual deft & slyly ironic manner. I've been infatuated by trains since I was a youngster. I rode in the engine of a train between Shenandoah and Essex courtesy of connections of my grandfather. (This places the trip no later than 1959, the year that he died.) Since then I've always loved to travel by train. It was great having a train connection between Champaign and Chicago, and traveling on the TGV from Paris to Geneva--wow! A truly sweet ride! Also, we enjoyed a fun family vacation traveling via Amtrack from Galesburg (IL) to San Francisco, on the Yosemite, LA, and Santa Fe, before completing the loop back to Galesburg. The trip was a wonderful site seeing tour. Iowa Guru & I are supporting the effort to get train service between IC & Chicago, but things are dicey, as Brandstad and the Republicans don't seem to like the idea. Let's hope (and write) that they change their minds.

Two more points:
1. A short Krugman follow-up post: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/02/trains-planes-and-automobiles/

2. Planes, alas, used to seem quite fun and an adventure, but this is no longer so.

Fountain of Youth? Maybe Exercise

Some good news. Some evidence, laboratory testing on mice, that exercise deters aging. In my experience, exercise keeps me feeling better. Will it help me to live longer? Maybe, but mostly, I want to enjoy whatever time I have. Besides, I enjoy exercise. I don't do painful, boring stuff. Today I played basketball. Crazy? Maybe, but I impressed myself. I'm not what I was, but I still can do a good deal. I shoot very well (if not guarded too closely by some young buck) and I pass extremely well (if you go the bucket, I get you the ball). Anyway, it feels good (although a bit sore tonight). Well, here's to the mice & me!

Art De Vany, Robb Wolff, and the Cave Man Life

Only network television could take a really cutting edge and interesting perspective like that held by De Vany & Wolff and turn it into something cutesy. On the other hand, while I didn't learn anything really new in this piece, I hope that others will. I think De Vany, Wolff, along with Sisson, Cordain, Taubes, and our own local Dr. Terry Wahls, are really on to something very important. While I am not a perfect convert (I confess to a birthday celebration cupcake today), and therefore my sinfulness notwithstanding, I think that this way of living--eating "paleo" or "primal" and working out this way--really is the right way to go. I've become more diligent in my adherence to these principles, and as a result, I'm looking better (Iowa Guru says so, it's not just my usual vanity) and feeling better.

I might also note that despite all of the cuteness and lack of substance contained in this segment, the authors that I list above all provide very well researched and considered proof supporting their positions. De Vany, for instance, a retired economics professor, uses his knowledge of complex systems and economics models to understand the human body. Taubes is a science writer from Harvard, Stanford, and Columbia. Of course, these degrees don't guaranty that he's correct, but he's not ignorant. (However, I think that he is mostly correct.) The others have similarly impressive credentials, and most importantly, commitment to seeking what is true and useful.

Okay, I gotta go home & eat me some meat (or fish) & greens!