Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March Madness

I am nothing if not conflicted about March and its Madness. For those of you outside the US, or unfamiliar with the term, "March Madness" refers to the annual college men's basketball tournament. The tournament starts with a field of 64 teams and whittles down to the eventual NCAA champion, crowned incongruously the first weekend in April.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Exercise For An Hour A Day, Seven Days A Week

Excerpt from The Journal of the American Medical Association, March 24/31. 2010:

Objective: To examine the association of different amounts of physical activity with long-term weight changes among women consuming a usual diet.

Participants: A prospective cohort study involving 34 079 healthy US women (mean age, 54.2 years) from 1992-2007…

Conclusions: Among women consuming a usual diet, physical activity was associated with less weight gain only among women whose BMI was lower than 25. Women successful in maintaining normal weight and gaining fewer than 2.3 kg over 13 years averaged approximately 60 minutes a day of moderate-intensity activity throughout the study. “

I read this report with mixed feelings.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I Am Not Me, The Nose Is Not Mine

In the teeming collage of text that forms a backdrop for the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of The Nose are the words “spine," smashed,” and “beautiful, pitiful age.”  While in the thrall of the opera’s swirl of sound and image, I held tight to those words in hope of discovering where they came from and what they meant.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Out of the Ordinary

Most of the time, I live a very ordinary life. Every once in a while, I get to do something extraordinary. One March, when most of my days were spent driving back and forth to preschool and play-dates, I had one of those extraordinary moments: attending the induction ceremony of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Most years, the induction ceremony is a raucous show that I don't even bother to watch on TV. But the ceremony my husband and I attended was a perfect alignment of stars - Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, and Paul McCartney, among others, would be inducted. All three would be together on one stage!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

$1.00: A Poem by Elaine Sexton


for five fresh eggs in winter,
one of them “wrinkled”
the farmer says, but still good.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spring Forward

The winter of 2009-2010 was a difficult one for the northeast United States. Our area had a record snowfall, accumulating 78.7 inches of snow, obliterating the previous record of 65.5 inches. In fact, February alone had more snow than all other winters, save 3, in the history of snow record-keeping in Philadelphia.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Michael Foot (1913-2010): “Wales’s Most Brilliant Adopted Son”

Michael was perhaps Wales's most brilliant adopted son.
Never again will we see such soaring oratory, socialist passion and wit.
--Secretary of State for Wales Peter Hain, March 3, 2010

His is a dying breed.  Our politicians have looked more and more like grey-suited purpose-built machines ever since Labour's image-makers forced Neil Kinnock to throw away his houndstooth suit.

--Francis Beckett, The Guardian, March 31, 2007

Michael Foot, who died March 3, 2010, at the age of 96, served as Ebbw Vale’s MP for thirty-two years.  Foot was a grand old man of the British Labour party, an unreconstructed radical, one of the last of his kind.  He was known equally for his erudition and his disheveled appearance, most notably the jacket he wore at the Remembrance Day ceremony in 1981.  (Not all were opposed to his sartorial choice:  the Queen Mother complimented him on choosing “a smart, sensible coat for a day like this.”)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

South African Elephant

Vusi said Winter was the best time for game viewing. The Bushveld was brittle and dry. The grass was short. As a Game Ranger, and our guide, he should know.