Thoroughly Thursday - the "Strongman" Edition
Welcome back to Thoroughly Thursday, the "Strongman" edition. About a year ago, I met with my doctor, who put me on a high-tech scale that would check my muscle-to-bodyfat ratio. He wasn't impressed. I was, in his words, "skinny-fat." I needed to cut carbs, eat more protein, ramp up the exercise, and generally be less of a couch potato. I'm happy to say that after months of running, swimming, weight lifting, and diet management, I went from "skinny-fat" to just "skinny-just-a-little-soft-around-the-middle." The doctor seemed pleased and challenged me to reduce my fat percentage even further. Get it low enough, he said, and you'll have six-pack abs. Six-pack abs? I've never had a six-pack! It was then I realized that I'm far less interested in exercise and nutrition for my health than the opportunity to strike bodybuilding poses at random times in front of the mirror. Midlife vanity is a terrible thing, people.
What I'm Reading (Article) - A Uniquely American Tragedy
This last week, the Economist had a great series of articles titled "Poverty in America." The U.S. has one of the highest rates of poverty in comparison to the most prosperous countries in the world. In the 1960s, Lyndon Johnson called for a "War on Poverty," which helped the most vulnerable of people of that age, the elderly poor, by overhauling Social Security and creating Medicare. However, the demographics of poverty have changed in the decades since, with outdated metrics and the uniquely American obsession on separating the "deserving poor" from the "undeserving," leaving nearly 40 million people caught in a cycle of generational poverty. The best solution, they suggest, is to focus on providing support to the almost 20% of children growing up poor in communities across the U.S.
What I'm Watching - Beautiful, Tiny Moments on Your Phone
I've become a big fan of a smartphone app/website called Great Big Story. An aggregator of short documentary video, the site features small, beautifully shot stories from all of the world. Most videos are between one to two minutes long, and usually incorporate personal stories of nature, global culture, and travel. I highly suggest the inspiring little film about Crete Academy in Downtown Los Angeles. I had the opportunity to recently meet the school's founder, Hattie Mitchell, and was amazed at what she's accomplished for the local community’s children.
What I’m Thinking About (Environmentalism) - The Importance of Local Politicians
"I'm optimistic that this trend will accelerate, but not because Congress will become more enlightened. Congress does not lead. It follows. To the extent that the public sees things changing, I think you'll see Congress changing slowly, but surely. The good news is that it is already starting to happen, as voters all over the country see storms growing stronger and more frequent, as they see floods where they never had them before, and as they suffer through droughts that are worse than they've ever experienced. Americans are a lot smarter than the elected officials they send to Washington. Our country's citizens want to avoid these disasters - and know they can do something about it... That's why mayors - who are most responsive and accountable to the public - are taking action. Mayors have gotten the message, and eventually national legislatures will, too."
- Michael Bloomberg's epic humblebrag, Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and People Can Save the Planet
All the best, and remember, tomorrow is Friday :)
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P.P.S. A few months ago, I shared my experience at my friend Beverly's great urban safety program Asphalt Anthropology. Her last class of the year will be November 16th in DTLA. You can reserve your spot here.
P.P.P.S. I'm always on the lookout for new items to write about. If you notice something that you think would be worth sharing, send it my way.