15 Minutes A Day

The Lancet has published a study about the effect of exercise on longevity.  The results should embarrass every couch potato in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

The article, based on a study of a Taiwanese population, concludes that getting a mere 15 minutes of exercise a day results, on average, in an additional three years of life.  Every additional 15 minutes of exercise beyond that baseline has an appreciable positive effect on mortality.   In short, minimal effort — and let’s face it, 15 minutes of moderate activity exercise a day is pretty darned minimal — will produce meaningful results, and exercise beyond that minimum will enhance those effects.

So why don’t more people get off their butts and walk, or take the stairs instead of the elevator at work?  Instead, we’ve got people who, like Homer Simpson in the classic Simpsons episode, are striving toward a goal of being the fattest person ever to give birth or to tip the scales at more than 1000 pounds.  It’s pretty pathetic when you think about it.

The Penny Chronicles

My name is Penny.

Sometimes it is tough to be a dog.  Today, other members of the pack were laughing about some dumb dog that ate fancy stones. I’m surprised they were laughing.  How embarrassing for that dog!

No self-respecting dog would ever confuse stones for good food. How could the dog not see the difference?  How could the dog not smell the difference?  Maybe something is wrong with the dog’s nose.

Every dog I know knows where his food is.  Mine is in the food room, in a basket up high that I can’t reach.  I would never eat stones instead of food.  Never!

The First Day Of School

Today is the first day of school at the Columbus Academy, where Kish works.  This morning some kindergartners will go off to school for the first time ever, as their Moms and Dads watch with quivering emotion.  Kids in other grades will head back to familiar buildings to see their classmates again, after a long summer.

Some of my childhood friends dreaded going back to school.  I felt differently.  I liked school.  As the summer wore on into late August, and the gravity of the calendar tilted inexorably toward the resumption of school, I looked forward to that first day.  I wanted to see my “school friends” again, and was eager to meet my teacher and get back into the rhythm of classes and learning about interesting new things.

I liked the process of getting ready for school, too.  You might get a new pair of shoes, and a “school outfit” or two.  But what I really liked was getting the school supplies — things like a new, unmarked binder that closed with a sharp snap, plastic wrapped packets of 500 pages of fresh, crisp, white lined paper, new pencils to sharpen to a fine point, a bouncy pink rubber eraser, a new lunchbox featuring your favorite TV show, and a ruler. What can I say?  I was a nerd.

I remember getting things organized the night before so everything would be in place the next morning, and by bed time I usually was so excited I had trouble sleeping.  When the next morning finally came, I was ready!