Tuesday, May 26, 2015
     

Fitness Master

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Less than two months ago, a Palmerton Area High School sophomore committed suicide. Word spread through the junior high school the next day, and many who knew the boy agonized over the loss.

This agony seemed to dredge up awful fears and memories in others, creating a classic example of the ripple effect. Tears begot tears, and by midday any attempts at school work were useless.

As kids sat in small groups comforting one another, more than once I heard the question asked.

Why?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Before you read on, take a moment or two and answer the following question: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

That question is the fifth of 19 that constitute what's know as Proust's Questionnaire, a feature found in each issue of Vanity Fair for more than 15 years. It's named after French novelist Marcel Proust for he felt that answering the questions ones that originally started as a parlor game in France revealed your true nature.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Although I rarely go to movies in theaters (last time was 1989 to see "Rainman") or even rent them, I find myself reading every best-of-the-year movie list I find. The same is true for best-of-the-year lists of music CDs (which I rarely buy) and theater productions (which I rarely attend).

Call it vicarious living if you will, but for some reason I'm drawn to best-of lists.

The same is true for articles that predict the trends for the upcoming year, especially the ones about health and fitness. I've probably read a dozen or so for 2010, and I feel the need to respond.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

According to the writing great F. Scott Fitzgerald, last week's column required you to possess "first-rate intelligence," a characteristic he feels you need to honestly assess two extremely different ideas simultaneously.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

When I first became interested in cycling, my previous athletic experiences helped. After more than five years of playing basketball every chance I got passing up the prom, for instance, to shoot jumpers by streetlight I averaged running 50 miles per week for the next five while competing in dozens of races, including five marathons.

Such a well-developed aerobic base allowed me to have immediate success racing bicycles at the beginner's level, especially if the course was particularly hilly or otherwise demanding.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The pendulum, it seems, has swung again.

Research released in December again cautions against the use of high-fat low-carb diets.

The European study using obese, pre-diabetic adults found the use of high-fat low-carb diets as effective as low-fat high-carb diets for losing weight, a matter already established in earlier research.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Shaquille O'Neal's gesture deserved to be commended. What it didn't merit was national news coverage.

While watching the news this fall, O'Neal learned that a little girl had been brutally murdered and that the family's financial situation was such that they may not be able to afford a decent funeral.

O'Neal contacted his agent who contacted the family. He told them that the basketball superstar would cover the cost of the arrangements. O'Neal didn't want the public to know, but someone, from the funeral home it seems, told a reporter.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Forgive me if I forget which self-help guru said, "Success leaves clues," but many have spun similar sentiments in an attempt to enhance your life and their wealth. What would work just as well for your well-being but probably not their net worth is a saying stressing the opposite.

That's because failure leaves clues, too.

It's just that society would rather not be reminded about that.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Invariably, it happens every school year. We read a newspaper editorial or a magazine article aloud together, and somewhere in the piece the word "and" is used to begin a sentence.

Immediately, hands rocket into the air. Some students coo, "Ooh, ooh!" like doves to get my attention. Others sit straighter and wave their entire arm side-to-side, like a soccer fan waving his country's flag at a World Cup game.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

On Monday, I begin what you might see as a daunting task. I will begin teaching seventh graders how to do legitimate, academic research that for most will culminate in the writing of a small research paper that follows the Modern Language Association guidelines the same style required in virtually all upper-level high school classes and colleges.

What can make the process daunting is that a few weeks from now some students will produce papers that give little indication that they attended class.