Tag Archives: New York Times

Why you should check out Unmasked

Regular readers know that I am a retired journalist. I worked for Reuters in Chicago and London for 20 years, then left to teach journalism at Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

In the business of journalism, I remember how hard we worked to get our facts straight and present them clearly to increase the level of information to the public.

So, it is likely no surprise that the current state of what passes for journalism is disappointing to the point of heart-breaking for me. There seems to be not even a semblance of fair play or attempt to find out and put forward – the truth.

I would like to recommend that you check out Unmasked – Big media’s war against Trump pictured above. The authors give chapter and verse of the card stacking and outright lies put forth as journalism from no less than the Washington Post, New York Times, and all the major broadcast networks.

You already know that media doesn’t throw any cards off the top of the deck when it comes to the President, so why read an entire book about it? Here is a quote from the inside front cover, “In this fascinating examination of the media’s war on Donald Trump, Bozell and his co-author Tim Graham expose the weaponized and radicalized ‘news’ media as a direct threat to democracy and their unethical attempts to manipulate public opinion.”

Tony

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Filed under fake news, journalism, mainstream media, New York Times, Washington Post

Cardio exercise strengthens both body and brain

With Thanksgiving looming, this is a great time to reaffirm our resolve to exercise regularly. OR, it is the ideal time to resolve to exercise regularly in the coming year and maybe begin to address physical and weight problems that we have neglected.

Regular readers know that I have posted numerous times on the value of exercise not only for our bodies, but also for our brains. On the top of this page is IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT YOUR BRAIN.

If you click on that link you can find a page full of blog posts on the subject.

Our ancestors engaged in some serious cardio exercise just to get food.

Our ancestors engaged in some serious cardio exercise just to get food. No walking down a supermarket aisle for them.

And now, the New York Times joins in the fray with Gretchen Reynolds’s article Exercise and the Ever-Smarter Human Brain.
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Filed under aerobics, aging brain, brain, brain function, brain health, cardio exercise, cardiovascular health

More on mainstream media – Newspapers

It seems I am getting a de facto branching out into media coverage on my blog. I hope you can figure out a way that it gets you healthier … or possibly more saner A friend of mine sent this to me and I thought you would enjoy it.Thanks, Ron!

Experts have found the following analysis to be near 100% accurate.

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1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.
2. The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.
3. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country and who are very good at crossword puzzles.
4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don’t really understand The New York Times.
5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn’t mind running the country, if they could find the time and if they didn’t have to leave Southern California to do it.
6. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country.
7. The New York Daily News is read by people who aren’t too sure who’s running the country and don’t really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.
8. The New York Post is read by people who don’t care who is running the country as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.
9. The Chicago Tribune is read by people who are in prison, who used to run the state, & would like to do so again, as would their constituents who are currently free on bail.
10. The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country, but need the baseball scores.
11. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren’t sure if there is a country or that anyone is running it; but if so, they oppose all that they stand for.  There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are gay, handicapped, minority, feminist, atheists, and those who also happen to be illegal aliens from any other country or galaxy, provided of course, that they are not Republicans.
12. The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store.w
13. The Seattle Times is read by people who have recently caught a fish and need something to wrap it in.

Tony

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Seniors need to get out of that comfort zone – NYT

I have written several posts on why people are discounting in the mainstream media regarding their second rate and slanted coverage of Donald Trump and the recent election. However, I want to point out that this piece from the New York Times is superb reporting. So, the grey lady lives on.

The article was How to become a Superager by Lisa Feldman Barrett. She is the author of the forthcoming “How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain.”

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She asks, “Why do some older people remain mentally nimble while others decline? “Superagers” (a term coined by the neurologist Marsel Mesulam) are those whose memory and attention isn’t merely above average for their age, but is actually on par with healthy, active 25-year-olds. ”

In providing the answer, she gets into some labyrinthine details on how the brain functions. If you want to go there just click on the link to the article and enjoy. Continue reading

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Filed under aging, aging brain, brain exercise, Exercise, exercise and brain health, exercise benefits, New York Times

New York Times ‘explains’ its Trump coverage

Two days after election day, I wrote a blog post about the shameful performance of CNBC Top Washington Correspondent, John Harwood, in reporting on Donald Trump in the election. You can see it here – For shame, John Harwood.

Now, it seems that the New York Times publisher has issued a kind of backward letter of apology to its readers for its coverage of the campaign. Publisher Sulzberger didn’t go so far as to say the Times slanted the news, he just said it ‘underestimated’ Trump’s support among American voters.

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Actually, Michael Goodwin of the New York Post has written a nice column on it which you can read here – New York Times – We blew it on Trump.

Please read Mr. Goodwin’s entire column, but here is a nice excerpt:

“While insisting his staff had “reported on both candidates fairly,” he also vowed that the paper would “rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism. That is to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor.” Continue reading

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Filed under New York Post, New York Times, Trump, Uncategorized

How Cardiovascular Exercise Helps the Brain

In view of Thanksgiving being right around the corner and holiday parties soon after, I thought it propitious to show you this again.

Tony

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Filed under aging brain, brain, brain exercise, cardio exercise, Exercise, exercise benefits, New York Times

How Much Do you Need to Exercise?

A little background first if you don’t mind. When I started writing this blog it was all about weight loss. Burn those calories. Now, six years later, the scope has expanded to embrace good health and long life. That sounds so general, doesn’t it? Weight loss is specific. Most people need to and want to do it. But good health and long life – generalities. Hard to get your mitts around airy fairy stuff like that.

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In the early days of this blog I wrote about increasing exercise to burn calories and reduce weight or at least permit yourself to eat more and not gain weight. Well, it turns out, there’s much more to it than that.

On my How to Lose Weight and Keep it off Page, I quote:
According to the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services:
“Adults 18 to 64 should get:
2.5 hours/wk of moderate intensity exercise.
OR 1.25 hours a week of vigorous aerobic physical activity
Or Some combination of the above – equivalent episodes of at least 10 minutes spread throughout the week.”

In 2015, the American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute and others did a huge study on exercise and came to some fascinating conclusions, not just about calories and losing weight. Continue reading

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Filed under aging, Exercise, longevity

Putting a Nail in the Brain Games Coffin

I have written negatively about the brain games that snake oil salesmen marketers have been selling to a fearful and unsuspecting aging public for some time. As we get older we have ’senior moments.’ So senior citizens are freaked about spending their final years drooling into their oatmeal being tended by uncaring health workers in old people’s homes. That’s a prospect to frighten anyone. So, along comes these companies selling  ‘brain games’ promising to wipe away all their cognitive problems with a little playing a few times a week and monthly subscription fees.

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I am a senior citizen, turned 76 last month. I took care of an aunt who had Alzheimer’s and two other family members suffered and died with dementia. My grandfather used to ‘wander off’ in his latter years. So, my grandfather may have also had it. This was in the 1950’s. Alzheimer’s Disease was not accepted as a common term until the late 1970’s. Before then, dementia and senility were considered a natural progression of old age.

We know better now, but that doesn’t mean seniors aren’t spooked about diminishing cognition.

The magazine Fast  Company reported that “Sharp Brains, a market research firm tracking the brain fitness space, estimates that the size of the market for digital products was just under $300 million in 2009 and will grow to at least $2 billion by 2015.”

In January the FTC reached a settlement with Lumo Labs, the maker of Lumosity, one of the leaders in the brain games marketers. According to the New York Times, “Lumosity agreed to give its one million current subscribers, who pay $14.95 a month or $79.95 annually, a quick way to opt out. It also accepted a $50 million judgment, all but $2 million suspended after the commission reviewed the company’s financial records.”

“Even scientists who see promise in cognitive training applauded the agency’s action. “The criticisms were right,” said Joel Sneed, a psychologist at Queens College and senior author of a meta-analysis on cognitive training and depression.

“The field is far, far, far from demonstrating any reduction or delay in cognitive decline,” Dr. Sneed said.” The Times reported.

As I said in the opening paragraph, I have been complaining about these games for several years now. Not just complaining, but offering a positive alternative that doesn’t cost seniors any of their retirement funds and gives them a fighting chance to keep their mental faculties intact.

First, let me direct you to my Page – Important Facts About Your Brain (and Exercise Benefits)

Following are links to posts I wrote as far back as 2011:

Exercise, aging and the brain

Seniors short-changed in brain game craze

Physical exercise better than brain exercise for seniors

What is a defense against an aging brain?

Exercise benefits the brain – Chicago Tribune

10 ways to love your brain – Alzheimer’s Association

Brain game may help older adults

How to have a healthy brain and keep it

You can slow down brain drain

How seniors can bolster brain power

Finally, please save your money. Don’t waste it on those stupid games. You have it in your power to  preserve your mental capacity. Exercise it.

Tony

 

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Filed under aging brain, brain games, Uncategorized

How scientific is the scientific seven minute workout?

I think this is a really interesting read. Please feel free to comment on your thoughts.

My bottom line is that you should exercise at least 30 minutes a day every day that you can. Eat less; move more; live longer.

Tony

Is it healthful?

A couple of years ago the New York Times wrote about a game changing workout that would get you fit in only seven minutes. Yes, rather than endure 30-60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity most if not all days of the week, seven minutes every now and then was suddenly enough to cure that heart disease of yours. The strange thing was that the New York Times, a relatively reliable source, had claimed that the workout was scientific.

This contradicted everything I learnt during my seven years at university. Therefore, today I ask in an outraged, yet concerned voice: is the scientific seven minute workout actually scientific?

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Why it might be scientific:

Well the seven minute workout was first brought to the light in an article in a scientific, scholarly journal in 2013.  For those of you who don’t know, this is basically a book full of studies and…

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Exercise More and Live Longer – New York Times

Gretchen Reynolds, writing in the New York Times, had some great information on the value of exercise in terms of living longer. She said that one of the problems with exercise is that experts aren’t clear on how much is too little, too much or just the right amount to for us to be healthy and, more importantly, to improve our longevity.

In one broad large scale study, comparing 14 years of death records, “They found that, unsurprisingly, the people who did not exercise at all were at the highest risk of early death.

7-Health-Benefits-Of-Walking-Every-Day“But those who exercised a little, not meeting the recommendations but doing something, lowered their risk of premature death by 20 percent.”

“Those who met the guidelines precisely, completing 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, enjoyed greater longevity benefits and 31 percent less risk of dying during the 14-year period compared with those who never exercised.”

As a senior citizen who works on endurance and worries about breaking and tearing body parts with strenuous exercise, I was gratified to learn the conclusion: “The sweet spot for exercise benefits, however, came among those who tripled the recommended level of exercise, working out moderately, mostly by walking, for 450 minutes per week, or a little more than an hour per day. Those people were 39 percent less likely to die prematurely than people who never exercised.”

I have said time and again in this blog that walking is the Cinderella of the exercise world – totally under-appreciated, but really royalty.

Eat less; move more has been the mantra of this blog almost from the beginning. I would like to amend that to: eat less; move more; live longer.

Here are some of the posts I have done concerning seniors and exercise:
Why Seniors Need to Exercise – NIH
Weight Training Techniques for Seniors
What About Seniors Doing Endurance Sports?
What are the Guidelines for Seniors Exercising?

To read more on the benefits of walking:
Why You Should be Walking More
20 Benefits of Walking – Infographic
ow Good is Walking for You? – Infographic
Is Walking as Effective an Exercise as Running?
What are the Benefits of Walking and Bicycle Riding?

Last, but not least, no one wants to live long without the benefit of a fully functioning brain: check out my Page – Important Facts About Your Brain (and Exercise). You can have it all.
Tony

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Filed under Exercise, living longer, New York Times

Time to Spring Forward

At 2:00 o’clock this morning you needed to set your clock one hour ahead – spring forward – to participate in Daylight Savings Time. Some explanations for this practice include to help the harvest for farmers by providing more daylight working hours.

spring-ahead

But, what does it mean to the rest of us non-agrarian folks?

Well, this morning if you are on a schedule, like catching an airplane or something, you lost an hour of sleep, so you may be somewhat sleep-deprived the rest of the day. This being Sunday, maybe you just slept in. If that is the case, you will start your day an hour later, but otherwise, no harm, no foul.

Later, however, we all will experience the magic of moving an hour of daylight from the morning to the afternoon – Daylight Savings. If you want to enjoy the outdoors, you now have an extra hour of daylight to do so.

As a health-oriented person, I welcome this daylight saving because I can now ride my bike later without having to deal with the dangers of darkness and street lights and reduced visibility.

If you are on the fence about what Daylight Savings Time means to you, let me suggest that you can now get out and enjoy a walk in the neighborhood or to the park and drink in some of nature’s wonders.

In January I posted an infographic listing six benefits of exercising in nature, they included: Fresh air has more oxygen; Greenscapes raise serotonin levels; Triggers primal regions of our brain and psyche; More sensory stimulation; Increases feelings of well-being and lowers depression and, finally, Sun exposure increases Vitamin D levels and helps optimize hormones.

Lastly, Gretchen Reynolds, writing in the New York Times said, “In a number of recent studies, volunteers have been asked to go for two walks for the same time or distance — one inside, usually on a treadmill or around a track, the other outdoors. In virtually all of the studies, the volunteers reported enjoying the outside activity more and, on subsequent psychological tests, scored significantly higher on measures of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure and self-esteem and lower on tension, depression and fatigue after they walked outside.”

So smile, things are looking up. You will have a brighter day today. I guarantee it (an extra hour of sunlight). At the very least, get out and go for a walk.

Tony

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Talk a walk, it’s good for your brain

Consider this lovely post an additional chapter on my yesterday entry How good is walking for you? While you are at it please check out my page Why you should walk more.

I especially liked her excerpts  from The New Yorker and  the New York Times.

Tony

 

 

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My dad used to be a runner. Now he takes a long, brisk walk every day. We go with him when we visit, and that helped spur us to add a second walk to our daily routine. My dad used to be a runner. Now he takes a long, brisk walk every day. We go with him when we visit, and that helped spur us to add a second walk to our daily routine. Here’s me walking with Dad past the mid-Michigan cornfields this summer.

John and I have gone for frequent evening walks for most of our 14-year marriage.

When we were newlyweds, our neighbors across the street often went for night walks, and soon we were passing them on the street pretty regularly.

More recently we added morning walks to our routine. Depending on the weather and the time we have, we might take an ambitious 45-minute brisk walk or we might cut it shorter.

So I was happy to see a recent New Yorker article headlined, “Why Walking Helps Us Think.” Ferris Jabr wrote:

What is it about walking, in particular, that makes it so…

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Filed under aging, walking, weight control, weight-bearing exercise

How Processed Foods Hinder Weight Loss

In the war of the waistline there are many skirmishes and outright battles. We win some and we lose some. Hopefully, on balance, more of the former and less of the latter. The battle is waged over a long period of time. Besides calorie consumption and exercise, there are other variables that enter into the equation, including genetics, sleep, stress and just the difference in individual bodies.

processed foods

I have been fortunate in that the mathematical part has worked out fairly consistently and predictably for me, but I know that for many folks, they hit a plateau and can’t seem to penetrate it. They can starve themselves and still not get through.

Now comes a fascinating piece from the New York Times entitled Always Hungry? Here’s Why.

For me, the most important part of the article was the following two paragraphs:

As it turns out, many biological factors affect the storage of calories in fat cells, including genetics, levels of physical activity, sleep and stress. But one has an indisputably dominant role: the hormone insulin. We know that excess insulin treatment for diabetes causes weight gain, and insulin deficiency causes weight loss. And of everything we eat, highly refined and rapidly digestible carbohydrates produce the most insulin. My emphasis

“By this way of thinking, the increasing amount and processing of carbohydrates in the American diet has increased insulin levels, put fat cells into storage overdrive and elicited obesity-promoting biological responses in a large number of people. Like an infection that raises the body temperature set point, high consumption of refined carbohydrates — chips, crackers, cakes, soft drinks, sugary breakfast cereals and even white rice and bread — has increased body weights throughout the population.” Continue reading

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Sugar Overpowers Fat in Cravings Test

As a person who has battled his belt line over the years, I have overindulged in sweet treats like ice cream as well as fat treats like pizza. I know that each felt compelling at the time, but it turns out that sugar has more powerful impact on the brain’s pleasure centers than fat, according to a recent study published in the US National Library of Medicine.

Hostess Ho Ho's

Hostess Ho Ho’s

The New York Times picked it up and explained that it is the sugar and not the fat that primarily triggers the brain’s receptors.

“The new research tracked brain activity in more than 100 high school students as they drank chocolate-flavored milkshakes that were identical in calories but either high in sugar and low in fat, or vice versa. While both kinds of shakes lit up pleasure centers in the brain, those that were high in sugar did so far more effectively, firing up a food-reward network that plays a role in compulsive eating. Continue reading

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Filed under body fat, calories, chocolate, eating, fast food, fat, junk food, sugar, Weight, weight control, weight loss

Why Skipping Meals Will Not Help You Lose Weight

To achieve a healthy weight through weight control or weight loss you need to eat regularly throughout the day.

Medical journalist Michael Mosley demonstrated the effect of skipping breakfast in his show 10 Things You Need to Know to Lose Weight on PBS. He had two MRI brain scans across two days. On the first day he had a full breakfast, on the second, he had no breakfast at all. When he wasn’t hungry, Michael’s brain did not respond much to pictures of either low calorie food like veggies or salads or high calorie foods like sugar caes and fatty chips. However, on the morning he skipped breakfast, his brain buzzed with activity when shown high calorie sugary donuts. Yet he showed far less response to a salad. images

So skipping breakfast caused his brain to try to compensate by desiring high calorie foods – clearly a dieting disaster.

When our stomachs empty out, we get a signal to our brain that says, “Feed me!” There is a powerful urge to eat high calorie foods to compensate.

Clearly, this puts unyielding pressure on one’s will power to avoid high calorie foods since your brain is screaming for exactly that. Continue reading

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Can Exercise Protect the Brain From Fatty Food Damage?

It is turning out that the fast food high fat Standard American Diet (SAD) has, in fact, some pretty sad impacts on the brain besides the waistline.

The New York Times reported that the Society for Neuroscience met in New Orleans and University of Minnesota scientists demonstrated that a group of rats that consumed normal food for four months compared favorably with a group of rats that ate a diet with 40 percent fat in it. Both diets had the same amount of calories.

The scientists administered a memory test to the rats after four months. Those with the normal diet performed as they had previously while those on the high-fat diet yielded much poorer results.

The rats were then broken into two groups. One group had running wheels. The other didn’t. So, those on the high fat diet could or could not exercise.
Continue reading

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Filed under brain, Exercise, fat, New York Times