Monday, January 24, 2011

RIP Fitness Pioneer Jack LaLanne

One of the great comeback stories, his interest in fitness sprang out of his chronic sicknesses as a teen. Set many records, broke many barriers along the way. He was 96. More....

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pianist plays despite pain

From CNN. I had the honor of hearing Mr. Janis perform in Orchestra Hall, Chicago, back in the 1970s, as part of the Allied Arts series. He is still productive, in spite of his arthritis, now at 83....

NY TIMES says JS Bach No. 1

Top 10 composers list of all time.

Gratifying that JS Bach was named to the honor; we covered his story in "Extraordinary Comebacks". During his lifetime, he was regarded as "not good enough" by the locals when they were considering who to hire for town composer.

Amazing, but true....what a comeback.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Comes back to the same job -- 28 years later

Hats off to new Gov. of California, Jerry Brown, who comes back to the same job he had 28 years ago. With an unimaginable deficit, however, it's not really the "same job," is it? Here's a rather downbeat look at his prospects to stem the tides of financial destruction facing California (and most other states). One might ask, is he 'worried,' or is he counting on his (formerly) rich Uncle Sam to bail him out? And, who, pray tell, bails out Uncle? His Asian friends? If so, for how long? These are the questions, dear reader, that must be grappled with this new year, 2011, and we think, for years to come.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Posture Matters! Who Knew!

In one of the more interesting stories that came out in the last quarter of 2010, TIME magazine reports on studies showing an increase in testosterone from merely standing or sitting in a "power position."

Quoting from TIME:

More powerful people — i.e., those who make more money and have higher-status jobs — reliably show higher levels of testosterone (no matter their gender) and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than people lower on the totem pole. The researchers reasoned that if you put low-power people in high-power postures, their hormones might respond accordingly.

To see if the researchers were right, I went to a Columbia lab, sat down in my typical slouch and spat into a little tube. Have you ever tried to spit on demand? It's harder than you think. Columbia assistant professor Dana Carney gave me a piece of gum to help. Then Carney put me in the hawk and feet-on-the-desk power postures, and 15 minutes later, I spat into another tube.

Carney sent both spit samples to a lab at Penn State. When the results came back a couple of weeks later, it turned out my testosterone had doubled in the short amount of time I spent in the power positions.