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What Happens in Las Vegas …

No, this time it isn’t staying there. I have been in Las Vegas for the past couple of days and thought there might be some value in sharing a few of the details of my trip with you. Certainly the exercise part.

I had a nice view of the Eiffel Tower and the Las Vegas strip from my room.

I had a nice view of the Eiffel Tower and the Las Vegas strip from my room.

First and foremost, I am not able to ride 20 miles a day on my bike. So, my body is not going to get its usual super cardio workout. I am staying at the Paris Hotel which offers health club facilities so I have been using that. Guess what, although I am a seasoned bike rider, 20 minutes on the exercise bike here wears me out. How can that be? Is it the extra helpings of goodies at the buffet, or the late nights at Jersey Boys taking their toll?

No. My first instinct was to feel guilty about having fun and over indulging which was damaging my conditioning.

Although there are no signs posted anywhere in the health club, or in the city for that matter, no one mentions the fact that Las Vegas is 2000 feet above sea level. The air is thinner. Air compresses under pressure. At sea level there is greater pressure than there is 2000 feet above, so while there is the same amount of oxygen in the air, the molecules are farther apart and you get less oxygen when you breathe.

Basketball fans know about this regarding the Denver Nuggets who play in Mile High Stadium. It is harder for visiting teams to keep up with the home team because of the elevation. While Las Vegas is only about 40 percent as high as Denver, there is more oxygen available, but less than we are used to at sea level. The effect is more subtle and more unexpected.

As you can imagine I was gratified to learn this elevation fact, as I thought my body had begun going to seed after only one night of overindulgence. The second and third mornings I did the treadmill instead of the bike to get some weight-bearing work, too.

Cracked crab legs at Joe's were part of my overindulgence.

Cracked crab legs at Joe’s were part of my overindulgence.

You need to drink more water in the higher altitude and pay attention to alcohol consumption as drinks pack more wallop higher up. Just what you need in Las Vegas, right?

My game of choice is video poker. The Royal Flush is a jackpot winner.

My game of choice is video poker. The Royal Flush is a jackpot winner. Chances of catching a Royal when holding only two cards are one in 16,215.

So, it is possible to exercise and eat well without losing your conditioning. You just need to be alert and not overdo it on either end of the spectrum.

Tony

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Filed under biking, cardio exercise, Exercise

What About Heroes Without Empathy?

I am asking about heroes without empathy because I really don’t know the answer  Over the past few years, we have been offered several heroes that have become hugely popular yet who do not seem to care at all about other people. They have no empathy.

Empathy is defined as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” Wikipedia says, “By the age of two, children normally begin to display the fundamental behaviors of empathy by having an emotional response that corresponds with another person.”

A hero is someone admired for achievements and noble qualities. Someone who demonstrates a lot of courage. The heroes below are over the top on achievements, but seem utterly lacking in empathy, a quality I consider a noble one.

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I like movies and TV and as a retired guy indulge in my share. I am thinking of two heroes of popular TV shows and one of books and movies.

Noome Rapace as Lisbeth Salander

Lisbeth Salander is The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest and Played with Fire in Stieg Larsson’s captivating and very popular trilogy. Abused as a child, Lisbeth forged a successful life for herself that included physical combat, computer hacking, bisexuality, higher mathematics and a general off the grid existence. She hijacked the focus of millions of fans worldwide, but appeared incapable of fathoming the feelings of the person seated across from her in a room. Lisbeth is the first of my three heroes.

Jim Parsons as Dr. Sheldon Cooper

The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper is  number two. A Cal-tech theoretical physicist, according to Wikipedia, “Sheldon exhibits a strict adherence to routine, a total lack of social skills, a tenuous understanding of irony, sarcasm, and humor, and a general lack of humility or empathy.”

Jim Parsons who plays Sheldon has won Primetime Emmys, a Golden Globe Award, A TCA Award and a Critics’ Choice Television Award for his work on the series.

Sheldon dominates his roommate, Leonard, with The Roommate Agreement, a multi-page document that Leonard signed to come aboard. It is heavily weighted in Sheldon’s favor. He has a similar agreement with his girlfriend, Amy Farrah Fowler, about which she laments in one episode that she didn’t consult with a lawyer before signing.

Unlike Lisbeth Salander’s crushingly dark character, Sheldon is a bright incredibly comic character whose antics propel The Big Bang Theory to the top of the sitcom charts every year.

Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson and Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes

The third hero is none other than Sherlock Holmes himself, in his latest incarnation on TV’s Elementary. Brought to life by Jonny Lee Miller, Holmes is a recovering drug addict with the lovely Lucy Liu as his ‘sober companion’ Dr. Joan Watson.
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