Random Ramblings

I'm sure this could be adapted somehow to be applied to the workplace or the school environment. It seems that queen bees emit a pheromone that inhibits aversive learning in their offspring, the workers. The result is that the workers tend to stay in the hive and not use their stingers even if something unpleasant occurs. So there aren't any worker bee riots and strikes when their hours are extended and their pay is cut (or held steady despite increases in the cost of living). I have not yet seen any reports of lawyers or the ACLU filing suit on behalf of the workers, but it may just be a matter of time. It could certainly be used to dupe people into signing petitions in support of worker rights and putting the Queens on trial, just as there have been petitions to ban dihidrogen monoxide, commonly known as water. I'm sure I've seen this sort of pheromone thing used in science fiction plots though I can't remember any specific titles.

Peter Sellers

I happened across Only Two Can Play this morning while having breakfast. It also stars Richard Attenborough, whom I did not recognize. Mr. Sellers is still one of my favorite actors. In this particular film he plays a married Welsh librarian who takes a fancy to a beautiful married woman and bumbles through trying to consummate the relationship. His wife is possibly attempting an affair with Mr. Attenborough, who plays a writer. As happens in many of Mr. Sellers' movies, various random little things go just wrong enough that he can't quite accomplish his goal. Oddly enough he still keeps his cheerful demeanor. It's been quite an enjoyable diversion this morning. He's my favorite hopeless bumbler character. He never seems to actually notice or at least to never mind that he almost always fails. When he does succeed he seems to be generally surprised/confused by his success.

The Fattening of America
A study from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health indicates that by 2015 74% of Americans will be overweight. 40% of American will be in the obese category. There seems to be all sorts of confusion about why this is happening. Could it be related to the increasingly sedentary lifestyle we lead? There are hundreds of TV channels and televisions in every room at most households. We have sedentary jobs and rarely get out of our chairs, unless it's to go sit in a different chair. At home we sit at the TV or the computer most of the evening. Rewards for accomplishments are often food-based. "Oh, it's a special occasion, let's have an appetizer *and* dessert." This might be ok if you make allowances for that caloric splurge in the rest of your week, but most people don't do that. Where people get into trouble is thinking "since I was 'bad' yesterday, it's too late to fix it so I'll eat whatever I want the rest of the week and be 'good' next week." And when that happens week after week, the waistline grows. What if you rewarded yourself by going out to a movie instead (minus the buttered popcorn) or bought yourself something as a reward. Take that dinner money and buy yourself some clothes, shoes, flowers, a massage, a pedicure/manicure, books, or lessons in something you want to do. Or save the money for a big(ger) vacation or bigger purchase.

Schools are eliminating physical education programs and nobody can figure out why our children are inactive. Don't you think that even 30 minutes a day or physical activity might make a difference? The school lunch program isn't helping either. With a completely sedentary day, does it make sense to feed kids cheeseburgers/fries, pizza, fried chicken and other high fat/high calorie foods? I realize that the school lunch programs are facing budgetary restrictions, but is it worth trading your kids' health for a few bucks? Atherosclerotic plaque deposits have been shown in grade school-aged kids. If you already have a family history of heart disease, why compound the problem with a high fat, high salt diet and no exercise? No wonder we're all getting fatter and sicker.

Some schools are starting to measure and record the BMIs (body mass index measurements) of their students and sending that information home with the student. I have seen reports where the parents get all up in arms because the BMI indicates the child is overweight. This apparently is expected to make the child feel bad, so should be banned. I've been an overweight child. Let me tell you, kids who are fat already know it. THeir peers are more than willing to point out the obvious. What the kids need is assistance in changing their lifestyle so that they can avoid becoming fatter. Most kids don't have the knowledge and skills to do that on their own and the media images they see (commercials, movies, TV shows) don't show them healthy options.

People complain about being too tired to exercise. You're too tired to want to go to work too, but you do that don't you? The funny thing is that after about a month of regular exercise most persons say that exercise actually boosts energy levels. It certainly boosts endorphin levels and metabolic rates. Reducing weight also can help with energy levels by reducing the cardiac load and by reducing the load that you haul around. Think about how heavy a 30 pound toddler is. Now think about that thirty pounds on your body. Think how good it would feel to "drop the toddler" from your body.

Here's an idea. Set aside 30 minutes a day just for YOU. Don't you deserve thirty minutes out of 24 hours? Go for a walk. Do some yoga. Stretch your muscles. Ride your bike. Lift weights. Get off the couch, out of the chair, out of bed and MOVE. If you haven't exercised in a long time (or ever), start slow. Walk around the block and call it done. You don't have to exercise until you're completely exhausted and/or soaked with sweat to gain benefits. The weight didn't go on in a few weeks and it won't come off in a few weeks. The fitness benefits won't happen overnight either. Give it a month. Thirty days. Keep track of what you do, how you feel and what you eat. See how it goes. Then compare what you wrote on day 1 with what you feel like on day 30. I bet you feel better.


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