John Kelly's blog

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40 years ago today - the greatest play in baseball

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Forty years ago today, April 25,1976, fire was about to be set to an American Flag by the two trespassers (a father and son) in the outfield of Dodger StadiumRick Monday takes away the American Flag and becomes a national hero.  The Cubs’ 30-year-old outfielder served six years in the Marine Reserves. As a gesture of patriotic thanks L.A. executive Al Campanis presented the flag to Rick a month later in a pre-game ceremony at Wrigley Field. 

 

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The top twenty highest calorie burgers

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From this article, The most caloric burger at 20 chain restaurants, a partial list of calorie-dense burgers:

# 1 Johnny Rockets Bacon & Cheddar Double Cheeseburger
Calories Per Serving: 1,770 cals

# 8 Burger King Triple Whopper Hamburger
Calories Per Serving: 1,160 cals

# 10 Whataburger Chop House Cheddar Cheeseburger  
Calories Per Serving: 1,100 cals

# 19 McDonald's Double Quarter Pounder Cheeseburger
Calories Per Serving: 740 cals

There is trade-off with a steady diet of these burgers: The enjoyment of consuming them versus the eventual health problems, maybe not this year or next, but eventually.  You pays your money, you takes your chances.

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Changing perceptions: From fit to fat in an instant

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You are getting stronger and a bit heavier; surely most of that weight is muscle. Some refer to this phenomenon as bulking up. You might subconsciously have a bias when you look in the mirror, as you stand a little straighter, you suck your gut in a bit, and square your shoulders. You could be fooling yourself. 

Several years ago I used to weight myself at the health club where I worked. I was the heaviest I had ever been. No problem, I was the strongest I had ever been. Instead of asking if I once played basketball people would ask me if I had played football.

Shortly after that I went to work at a different health club. They had no scale, but when they did get one I was told it was five pounds off. The scale indicated 250, so I subtracted five pounds to get 245 pounds. I had gained an additional five pounds. Still no problem, I was bulking up and getting stronger.

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The results of a study on the effectiveness of targeting fat loss

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A woman did a quarter million leg raises in a year, and there was no change, not a scintilla.  There was no spot reduction of fat deposits from her amply marbled hips. Well, that is just one person, and a sample size of one has no statistical power.  Maybe a larger sample size and more accuracy (MRI assessments) would produce a result of statistically significant spot reduction of fat from the area targeted with exercise.

Maybe not, from this article, Targeted Fat Loss: Myth or Reality?, this quote from a study:

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Teddy Roosevelt's Speech, The Strenuous Life

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On April 10, 1899, Teddy Roosevelt delivered his speech, "The Strenuous Life."

I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph. A life of slothful ease, a life of that peace which springs merely from lack either of desire or of power to strive after great things, is as little worthy of a nation as of an individual. It is hard to fail, but is worse never to have tried to succeed. In this life we get nothing save by effort.

Besides the character building aspect that came from striving to succeed during that time, an additional benefit of that strenuous life was good health and vitality. Today, for most of us in this country, work is not physically demanding, and the hours are much shorter. 

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Austin's Zilker Park ranked fifth best city park

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Austin’s Zilker Park ranks fifth out of the ten best US city parks according the readers of USA Today.

A quote: “This 351-acre park within sight of downtown is arguably Austin’s most popular park. Highlights include miles of hike and bike trails, train rides on the Zilker Zephyr miniature train, a playscape for kids and a natural swimming pool (Barton Springs).”

There are plenty of events going on there as well. My favorite is the kite festival, the oldest kite festival in the US.  

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Bogus BMI Numbers

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Take two numbers, height and weight, and come up with another number, Body Mass Index (BMI), and as an indicator of good health you have next to nothing.  The BMI fails to take into account physical features - as an example those with broad shoulders will have a higher BMI compared to those with narrow shoulders. There is no differentiation between fat, muscle, and bone, and it does not account for gender.

The BMI often changes as we age. For some it is lower, but that does not necessarily mean better health. Thirty years ago I was in peak physical condition and had more muscle mass than I do today; I regularly played rugby, two 40 minutes halves of pretty much non-stop strenuous exertion with no substitutions.  According to this BMI chart I would have been bordering on obesity and classified as unhealthy.

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Austin ranks high for middle class cyclists

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It is not surprising that at one point the Austin area grew at a rate of 165 new residents a day. According to one ranking of biking-friendly cities of the world Austin comes in at number eleven ahead of Paris, Seville, Dublin, and Berlin and according to another report Austin ranks fourth for cities that are the best for middle class families in the US.

A quote from the first report: 

"Austin is committed to helping its residents live greener lives, and it shows in their biking initiatives. There are plenty of paths and hundreds of bike racks for riders to use".

A quote from the second report:

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“I am going to miss my connection because you are too fat”

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The plane was delayed because the flight attendant could not find a seatbelt extension for Eric. The person sitting next to Eric turned to him and said with complete disgust, “I am going to miss my connection because you are too fat”. That was the turning point for Eric.

Eric, overweight with a number of health issues, had been told by his doctor to buy a funeral plot because he would need one in the next five years. He was 51 years old. On the advice of a doctor, he went to the animal shelter and saved a dog, an overweight middle-aged dog he named Peety. They made changes, and in a year they were transformed.

People need the right motivation to change their lives. Eric credits Peety with saving his life. Eric’s story is inspiring. The video, Eric and Peety, is poignant and well worth watching; it certainly made my day.

It has been more than five years since the change. Eric is still here, and he runs marathons.

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