This is very important: stronger people live longer, no matter what the other variables might be. In studies of all-cause mortality, stronger people have a lower mortality rate at any age. Any profound loss of LBM (lean body mass) is highly correlated with mortality. Heavier people tend to be stronger. Heavier people carry more muscle mass, and more muscle mass correlates positively with strength, even if they are fatter.
UPDATE: YIKES! I corrected my misspelling of Pulitzer!
One of my favorite writers (and a great speechwriter for Reagan), although to be honest I haven't paid that much attention to her Wall Street Journal columns the last couple of years. Guess I should have. In the past I read a number of her books. The one that made her famous was her book on the Reagan years What I Saw at the Revolution, which she wrote in 1990 and is a great read. If you want to polish up on your own speaking, Noonan's book On Speaking Well, How to Give a Speech With Style, Substance and Clarity is excellent.
Ms. Noonan has written her weekly Declarations column since 2000, and she has long been a favorite of Journal readers.
She is the author of nine books on American politics, history and culture, from her most recent, “The Time of Our Lives,” to her first, “What I Saw at the Revolution.” She is one of ten historians and writers who contributed essays on the American presidency for the book, “Character Above All.”
This morning Neil Gorsuch became the 113th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, vindicating the decision of conservatives to vote for Donald Trump in 2016. This may signal the end of the Republican NeverTrump movement, which in its heyday attracted the support of literally dozens of think-tank scholars and columnists in a broad coalition that stretched from Washington, D.C. to as far away as Manhattan. Speaking of Manhattan, Trump’s Gorsuch triumph is also bound to inspire a new movement, this time within the Democratic Party. Expect more internal dissent as party members review the historic political blunder committed by New York’s Charles Schumer, current Senate Minority Leader and a man previously viewed as perhaps the shrewdest and most effective legislator in Washington.
By leading a filibuster against Mr. Gorsuch, Mr. Schumer inspired Republicans to follow the Democrats’ 2013 example on executive and lower judicial appointments and end the filibuster for all judicial appointments. This opens the door to a potential series of solid Trump appointees winning confirmation to the nation’s highest court. Now consider if Mr. Schumer had allowed the eminently qualified Mr. Gorsuch to receive a floor vote. Such a show of comity and fair-dealing would have made it next to impossible for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to persuade the most liberal members of his caucus to break the filibuster to confirm the next Trump appointee. Mr. Schumer failed to stop the Gorsuch confirmation and in the process he has destroyed his ability to stop any others.
Student journalists covering the event told Campus Reform that they, too, were under attack, particularly one writer who tried to interview protesters about Mac Donald’s book. When it became clear they weren’t familiar with her work, the mob got violent.
“Protesters tried to prevent me from conducting interviews by pushing me, grabbing me, and blocking my camera. Several protesters followed me around for almost an hour and formed a wall around me,” the student said.
The school told Campus Reform that they were “disappointed” that Mac Donald’s speech was ultimately cut short. The university’s vice president for academic affairs, Peter Uvin also had some choice words for the protesters.
“What we face here is not an attempt to demonstrate, or to ask tough questions of our speaker, all of which are both protected and cherished on this campus, but rather to make it impossible for her to speak, for you to listen, and for all of us to debate. This we could not accept,”
From the website Public Discourse. I'm on their weekday email list and this was Friday's. The reviewer "Aaron Rothstein, MD, is a neurology resident at the NYU School of Medicine. He spends half of his time training at Bellevue Hospital and blogs regularly about medicine for The New Atlantis."
This is an unusual modus operandi in a healthcare system that has few resources for such altruistic causes. But Bellevue has operated in this way since its very inception, acting as the hospital of last resort for New York City and for America’s neediest and most troubled, as David Oshinsky reminds us in his fascinating new history of the institution, Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital. Professor Oshinsky, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Polio: An American Story and professor of history at NYU, eloquently tells the hospital’s history from its humble beginnings to its subsequent accomplishments and horrors.
Oshinsky’s comprehensive book arrives at a time when the public hospital system’s difficulties are compounded by our healthcare system’s financial hardships and confusion, calling into question whether supporting such institutions is worth the investment. His history, however, is less a cheerleading polemic and more a fascinating tale, demonstrating that Bellevue’s past and present are equally unsettling, remarkable, and enduringly relevant.
Here's part 1 of four upcoming - on their editorial page. I only read the four paragraphs. The smug arrogance of it is breathtaking. Providing the link for all the Trump-haters who might be interested.
Here are the first four paragraphs - all I bothered reading.
It was no secret during the campaign that Donald Trump was a narcissist and a demagogue who used fear and dishonesty to appeal to the worst in American voters. The Times called him unprepared and unsuited for the job he was seeking, and said his election would be a “catastrophe.”
Still, nothing prepared us for the magnitude of this train wreck. Like millions of other Americans, we clung to a slim hope that the new president would turn out to be all noise and bluster, or that the people around him in the White House would act as a check on his worst instincts, or that he would be sobered and transformed by the awesome responsibilities of office.
Instead, seventy-some days in — and with about 1,400 to go before his term is completed — it is increasingly clear that those hopes were misplaced.
In a matter of weeks, President Trump has taken dozens of real-life steps that, if they are not reversed, will rip families apart, foul rivers and pollute the air, intensify the calamitous effects of climate change and profoundly weaken the system of American public education for all.
People who work with users have raised concern about a new trend among men in their 40s and 50s, and some even in their 60s and 70s, who are taking the drug to boost energy levels and fight some of the effects of ageing, such as weight gain and a lower libido. Steroids can cause a range of health problems such as heart disease and blood clots.
“We have come across a lot of older men using. It’s almost like hormone replacement therapy [used to relieve symptoms of the menopause] for females. Steroids can help you lose body fat as well,” said Julien Baker, an applied physiology professor at the University of the West of Scotland.
A typical steroid cycle can be about three months, starting with less and building up before tapering off. “At its peak you could be taking steroids daily and injecting around four times a week,” said Kean. “Older guys tend to take less, but for much longer – one injection every seven to 10 days and sometimes almost consistently.”
The Juice Clinic in Sheffield, a service for people using steroids and image-enhancing drugs, has noted an increase in older men asking for help.
“Steroid use for older men is often about the youthful effects, and about body image and energy levels,” said Sid Wiffen, the clinic’s team leader. “I hear talk of men feeling more pressure now to look good, so they are more likely to go to the gym and dress well.
“It can be dangerous and it does worry me. Lots of people we see are keen to make an informed decision about their steroid use, but some get information elsewhere and it’s not always good.”
Once users begin to decrease or discontinue use of steroids, withdrawal symptoms such as low mood and anxiety can occur.
“For men who get to a certain age where they are unable to maintain a particular physique naturally, you can see how they would be tempted to try other means to get a body they maybe found easier to achieve 15-20 years ago. Wanting to look good is no longer just the domain of the young.”
“I am a normal 53-year old guy and I am a non-smoker who eats well and looks after himself. I go to the gym three or four times a week. I drink some weekends and lead an active social life. I have also been taking steroids for the last three years.
“I was apprehensive when I started. I am not a bodybuilder and have never wanted to be one. I got the drug at my gym. I wanted to look healthy and have a nice physique, not rippling muscles but just a bit more definition. I never took steroids when I was younger. Now I have a small dosage once a week and it’s made me feel fantastic. My testosterone levels and other blood levels are normal. I know this because I have my blood checked regularly at a local clinic for users.
“Not only have I got the extra muscle mass I wanted, but the drug has also made me feel good about myself and made me sleep better. It has given me an appetite for life and a better sex drive. No one knows I’m on steroids except my partner, who is fine with it.
“I am not talking about taking massive amounts. I don’t have a massive 60-inch chest. I am a normal guy who looks well for his age. I have a slim waist, not a big belly, and train a little bit.
“I don’t want to look like younger guys. I am taking the drugs for me, to look good and feel happy. Steroids make you feel more youthful, and in a corny kind of way it is like drinking a feelgood elixir. All the characteristics of getting older, such as feeling tired etc, get put on hold for a while.
A more pragmatic solution would be to offer a path to legalization that stops short of citizenship. That would meet the humanitarian imperative to keep families together. But it would also hold those who have violated immigration laws accountable for their actions. This would apply only to undocumented workers who were of legal age when they entered the United States; those who were not of legal age should be given a citizenship path identical to the one that is available to legal immigrants.
Except for those who were born on American soil, citizenship is not a right. It’s a privilege. A path short of citizenship sends a powerful message to America’s legal-immigrant community, whose members have worked tirelessly to follow existing immigration guidelines. There is a rule of law, and citizenship is granted to those who follow it.
Withholding citizenship, the Left will argue, creates a working class who will never truly feel that America is their home. Citizenship, they maintain, holds the key to becoming a “full and open member of American society.” Yet a significant number of legal immigrants who can naturalize don’t. They have pursued an education, own homes, and have forged links in American society. Not being citizens hasn’t stopped them from claiming their piece of the American dream. Why would it be any different for undocumented workers?
NOTE: Brigid is not a citizen - she's a resident alien (I like to remind her every so often that she's an "alien"). And she certainly "truly feels that America is her home". Brigid has considered becoming a citizen but really has never felt the need to take that step. Giving people resident status but not citizenship will work fine.
“I don’t usually ‘go after’ news stories and headlines but this one is such a bad mistake, and it so affected my Twitter feed (I was swindled too), that it deserves comment,” Tyler Cowen wrote Monday morning on his popular Marginal Revolution blog. Mr. Cowen is an economics professor at George Mason University who earned his Ph.D. from Harvard. The story that inspired him to comment is a March 16 New York Times report carrying the headline, “Amid ‘Trump Effect’ Fear, 40% of Colleges See Dip in Foreign Applicants.”
Mr. Cowen’s blog post is titled, “This one is a real blooper and I cannot let it pass by.” Readers may understand why. The Times elaborates on its headline in the story’s fifth paragraph when it reports: “Nearly 40 percent of colleges are reporting overall declines in applications from international students, according to a survey of 250 college and universities, released this week by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.”
Mr. Cowen decided to examine the survey for himself and discovered the following results published on the very first page of the report, listed first among its “key findings”: “39% of responding institutions reported a decline in international applications, 35% reported an increase, and 26% reported no change in applicant numbers.”
The Times article, according to Mr. Cowen, “does not reproduce the more positive pieces of information, from its own cited study, which may be suggesting international applications are not down at all, or perhaps down by only a small amount. If you look at all the data, they probably are down, but by no conceivable stretch of the imagination should the 40% figure be reported without the other numbers.”
The George Mason professor added in his Monday morning dispatch, “I look forward to not only a correction but in fact a retraction of the entire article and its headline.” He may have to wait a while. As of mid-day Wednesday, the article remained on the Times website with the same headline and the same incomplete summary of the survey findings.
This is from the Business Insider website, which frequently has very interesting short videos. A Gallup massive interview asking asking people if they identify as "very religious". Mississippi (59%) has the most, which explains a few things, Vermont (21%), which explains Bernie Sanders.
Now the authors of that 2015 paper are back. In a study published on Thursday in Science, they double down on their original finding but also labor mightily to correct widespread misinterpretations of it. This time, using health records from 69 countries, they conclude that 66 percent of cancer-causing genetic mutations arise from the “bad luck” of a healthy, dividing cell making a random mistake when it copies its DNA.
The scientists go to great pains to explain that this doesn’t mean that two-thirds of cancers are beyond the reach of prevention. But understanding the role of these unforced errors “could provide comfort to the millions of patients who developed cancer but led near-perfect [healthy] lifestyles,” said cancer biologist Dr. Bert Vogelstein of Johns Hopkins University, senior author of both the original study and the new one. “This is particularly true for parents of children who have cancer” and might blame the tragedy on the genes they passed on to their child or the environment they provided, he said.
However they acknowledge that there is more to it than that. The article is an additional 11 paragraphs (hit the link above to read it!), two of which I excerpt below.
...There is a difference between how cancer-causing mutations come about and whether that cancer is preventable, they acknowledge. For instance, 65 percent of mutations in lung cancers arose randomly but 89 percent of those cancers are preventable by avoiding smoking, Tomasetti said.
Their critics argue that the environment’s effect on cancer goes beyond mutations, in which case prevention might have an even bigger role to play. Whether a few malignant cells form a dangerous tumor depends on, among other things, levels of inflammation, insulin, and obesity. Those influences don’t show up in genomic analyses like those the Hopkins researchers did but are affected by lifestyle and environmental factors, said Ross Prentice, a renowned cancer biostatistician at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle.
"Joe Barton of Texas, when asked why his fellow Republicans were so united over the past seven years to dump Obamacare only to fall apart when they actually do something about it, said, 'Sometimes you're playing fantasy football and sometimes you’re in the real game.'"
He said it isn't Trump's assertion, without proof, that his predecessor wiretapped Trump Tower that is of concern, but rather that intelligence officials named the Americans being discussed in intercepted communications....
"[T]he idea that there was intelligence value here is really thin," Woodward said. "It's, again, down the middle, it is not what Trump said, but this could be criminal on the part of people who decided, oh, let's name these people."
He drove the point home, adding that "under the rules, that name is supposed to be blanked out, and so you've got a real serious problem potentially of people in the Obama administration passing around this highly classified gossip."
An interesting quote from the Wall Street Journal - the money quote is the last line.
CNN cites unconfirmed reports that the former U.S. commander-in-chief is planning to spend a month on the Pacific island of Tetiaroa, “which is north of Tahiti and features only one luxury hotel, aptly named ‘The Brando’ because the island was once owned by Marlon Brando.” ...
If Mr. Obama had been watching yesterday, he would have had to suffer the humiliation of watching stocks decline as investors wondered whether President Trump could really deliver on his promises to cut taxes and regulation, starting with the replacement of ObamaCare. In other words, it was the same pattern we’ve seen since Election Day: Stocks fall when investors think that Obama policies will remain in place and stocks rise when it looks like the Obama legacy will be destroyed.
Played in Dublin, and in wet conditions. England had already won the Six Nations title and were going for a world record 19th win in a row. The game was live streamed online and I caught the last ten minutes. Intense!
He went 159' on his first throw, breaking the school record by 20 feet. Overall he came a respectable fifth in the meet. He was annoyed that a number of the southern schools competing have been able to throw outdoors while this was just about the first time he threw in months. You can't do javelin in the snow...
A good confessor has to be very discerning, particularly when he has to deal with "real spiritual disorders," the 80-year-old pontiff told priests at a Vatican training seminar on the art of hearing believers recount their sins.
Disorders could have their roots in all manner of circumstances, including supernatural ones, he suggested.
In such circumstances the confessor "must not hesitate to refer to exorcists... chosen with great care and prudence."
It is not the first time the pope has talked about exorcising demons from a believer's person, and he generally refers more frequently than his predecessors to the devil, characterising him as a physical presence in this world.