New Years Health Resolutions?

Alright, I do know that it’s not exactly the 1st. But by now, some of you who had health, weight, or fitness resolutions for the New Year are starting to wonder if it’s really worth the effort. For you, I present these items.

Maybe your resolution was just to “eat healthier.” Well, one of the few things just about every health and nutrition expert can agree on is that fruits and vegetables are healthy — and most of us eat too few of them. And by “most of us,” I mean everybody from vegans (who often eat lots of grains) to paleo eaters (who are likely to eat handfuls of nuts and lots of meat). If you were unimpressed by the thought that eating more of them could make you “prettier,” perhaps you would like to know that it is also linked to a lower risk of dying from ischemic heart disease.

I’ve been an advocate of weight bearing exercise for years, and I like this article from BlogHer. I admit, I hate the picture. I know it was selected to be all non-threatening and get ladies used to the idea that they can lift without looking like, oh, I dunno, Gladys.* But as the article says, emphasis mine:

I lost inches everywhere – my thighs went down an inch each, my waist an inch and a half – and I lost 7% body fat. The jeans I am wearing today are a full two sizes smaller than the ones I was wearing 2 months ago. And I’m pretty sure I don’t look like any of those muscle-bound gals in the bodybuilding competitions. At least, no one has said the word “bulky” in my presence. This combination of heavy lifting and high-intensity intervals is the closest thing to a fitness miracle I’ve ever found.

If you aren’t ready to buy weights, there’s always body weight exercises like push-ups and squats. In fact, there are many regimens designed for use without any equipment more complicated than a chair.

Maybe instead of lifting weight, you want to lose weight. There’s this L.A. Times item on whether we can blame the obesity epidemic on excessive carbohydrate consumption. Nobody could blame you for wanting to lose weight; after all obesity is blamed for 16,000 extra deaths annually and $7000 in lost productivity and medical costs. Want to be horrified? Check out this infographic from Men’s Fitness:


Seriously, don’t give up on the New Years Resolution right now.

In closing: pre-existing conditions; a horrifying read; even more amusing given the source; bubble; science, or future made for TV movie; damn straight; overwhelming support for a handful of sensible “gun control” laws (including enforcing the ones on the books); they laughed at me when I suggested China could foreclose; banks can’t even follow the law when dealing with one another; I’ve known people who weren’t this bright; and shrimp farming.

*Make no mistake. This woman worked very, very hard for hours every day to get this look. I can’t say I know whether she uses any hormones or not. She is to be admired for her dedication. However, most women I know don’t want to look quite so muscular. And trust me, even working at my level means just forget woven shirts.

Uh, That’s for Boys Then?

Surely the nice folks at Old Navy just choose a bad place for the maternity mannequins. Or maybe this is a commentary on childhood obesity!

In Closing: I know I packed it; food by state; claiming profit on money never paid; Dog Fort; WTF; Con, duh; safety net; science; wolves; the truth about buying a smart phone; lost daughter; Peach and Zelda; love story; begging; nachos; how to read a legal opinion; consensus; on birth control.

Prepare for Battle


Yes Sir!

Assemble the troops for inspection.

ATTENTION POINSETTIA ARMY! This is Commander Potted Palm. The time has come to rise up! You’ve trained long and hard for this mission, and I see all of you are in your dress uniforms. Let’s get out there and make people believe that yes, we do indeed celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas in Las Vegas!

In closing: stopping terrorism with pork; Computer Engineer Barbie got a phone upgrade (and she’s reasonably priced); body image fail; a few items on employment, unemployment, jobs, and our clueless government; it’s hard to hate a benevolent dictator; stop trying to kill Social Security!; now we might be getting somewhere, a couple of Harvard Law Students suing the TSA; Fed lent trillions of dollars rather than admit that our biggest banks should have been taken over by the government as insolvent; even a Fed Governor says some institutions are “too big to succeed“; it’s been a good week for Senator John Ensign; please, some freaking sanity about the Bush tax cuts!; close the Washington Monument; a strategy so simple even a Democrat can do it; I’m wondering why I canvassed for that man; and finally, Kim Jong-Il looking at things. Enjoy.

How to Create a Few Hundred Thousand Jobs

Now, I’m normally a Westin kinda person, but I enjoyed seeing J.W. Marriott Jr. point out that “the government has made it far more difficult for foreigners to travel to the U.S., costing the nation tens of billions in lost revenue and hundreds of thousands of jobs“.

My favorite part:

Marriott said he has met repeatedly with officials at the State Department and other government agencies, but they have been largely unresponsive.“We keep talking and they look at us and say, ‘We’re protecting the country,’ ” Marriott said.

Yeah, protecting us to death.

Maybe I’m a little sensitive to this stuff, living in a city that was called “among the world’s worst economies” by a new study.

Anyway, it’s time to “take a sensible approach to air security” based on reality, not fear. Maybe we could get man’s best friend into the act. After all, dogs don’t profile.

In Closing: pterosaurs; “the official dietary recommendations are not sufficient for preventing obesity“; instant gratification; Senate passes “food safety bill” that kindly omits meat, poultry, and eggs (but does create a bureaucracy, so it’s all good, right?); homecoming; banks get richer off our money; 8 million fewer credit card users; privatizing Social Security is still a dumb idea!; and Sue Lowden is shocked — just shocked! — that Chickens for Healthcare didn’t send her to the Senate.

“Don’t Quit Your Day Job”

Seriously, some people need to be told not to quit their jobs while trying to get a mortgage. Everything you need to know about getting a mortgage in this week’s Getting REAL (Estate) in Vegas, starring me with special guest Kari Phillips of Southern Fidelity Mortgage.

In closing: Shut up and take it like a man, says the President; priorities; new Fiats; more extortion; Direct Instruction works; sounds like the setup for a blasphemous joke; Schneier; depression; and reconstructed.

Grape Leaves Changing Color

Fall has officially arrived in Vegas.

In Closing: 22.5%; a brave man confronts ignorant women; it’s the continuing adventures of Harry and Sharron!; glad I’m not in Chicago this week; accidental gay marriage; is anyone really, honestly surprised they’ve found oil at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico? Really?; no wonder things are tough all over; Vote For Jobs (and in my opinion, against ballot initiatives); the Problem with Charity; I bet that there may be jobs at the worlds largest solar-thermal plant; what is the Treasury hiding?; BlueGal‘s got your Contract With America; Hup, two, three, four, keep it up, two, three, four; trial balloon (notice that the things under consideration mostly effect working class people?); gee I can’t imagine why; the “step 2” problem with austerity; President Obama created more jobs this year than President Bush created in 8 years; on poverty and student performance; ZAP!; and Janitors with PhDs.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

Taken at Clark High School in Las Vegas.

In Closing: Foreclosure mess (update, Bank of America has halted all foreclosures nationwide); new 300 year old Vivaldi concerto; progressive agenda; we have to be better; I hope the FDIC bankrupts these [redacted]; always check your work; on Afghanistan; 30% of unemployed have been out of work for at least a year, and the number of jobs in the economy went down last month (no wonder bankruptcies are up); good idea; speaking of food stamps; “none of the above“; new style CPR; sometimes it’s how you say it; and cell phones don’t and can’t cause cancer (“physics shows that it is virtually impossible for cell phones to cause cancer”).

Oh and one more thing! Surf over to Vegas Video Network to see my new show later today!

Education Roundup

This week, there’s been quite a buzz in education. Or perhaps it just seems that way since we have a new Superintendent of Schools in Clark County Nevada.

So lets start with President Obama feeling that part of the problem is that many schools are using outdated textbooks. Has basic reading or math changed recently? Will your child be laughed at for using an outdated form of Algebra? Sure, our understanding of science changes all the time. And foreign languages evolve — Latin excepted. As for history, does it matter inasmuch as they will never get to the last chapter anyway?

The same day, E. D. Hirsch argued that the new educational standards we are trying to formulate won’t amount to a hill of beans without a good curriculum to ensure that kids actually learn it. He’s an expert in both education and cultural literacy with a bibliography longer than my arm, so ignore him at your peril.

One problem with education is that the people who teach the teachers how to teach are failing to address the basics: things like classroom management and how to effectively meet the objectives of reforms like standardized testing. Or, “how to keep a job as a teacher.” In fact,”only 49 percent believe state governments should adopt the ‘same set of standards and give the same tests in math, science, and reading nationwide.'” Sorry professor. Colleges and modern employers expect a high school graduate to know certain things.

In Closing: Rest in Peace Tony Curtis; Happy Birthday Hoover Dam; health insurance changes; it’s not over ’til the crazy lady sings; I’ll have Honda on asphalt with mayo; Erik Scott leads to ch-ch-ch-changes; you can’t have both; on Social Security and Women; Kohl‘s is creating jobs (that’s more like it); why it’s a “bad thing” for household debt to decline (if you are an economist); once more the rich get richer; Dear Ben Stein, stop whining; worker’s health costs to rise 12% next year; and maybe the reason it “seems” that Americans don’t want jobs as migrant farm workers is that they don’t speak Spanish, don’t have “tractor skills” and like coming home to their families every night (certainly a barrier for single parents!). But we would rather pretend that it’s because we uppity high school and college grads are too good for back-breaking labor in an environment where only lip-service is given to labor laws.

Now I’m Allowed to Tell You

You are probably aware that some time back, Scott Whitney invited me to start cross-posting my weekly Vegas real estate summary — Friday Figures — to the Living in Las Vegas Blog and Podcast. About a month or so ago he wanted to talk to me about his super-secret new project.

Well, the project has officially been announced, and this weekend the Vegas Video Network will be starting to broadcast live and VOD programming. I will have a show on Friday afternoons called Getting REAL (Estate) in Vegas. In addition to talking about local real estate issues, I will have guests and talk about real estate in general. My first guest will be Bruce Cannon of WIN Home Inspection. If you have a question for him, a real estate question for me, or are interested in becoming a sponsor of my show, send me a comment or email.

Follow-Up and Vegas Miscellany

In a way I wish I had waited until today to write The BAMTOR Principle. By some weird coincidence a bunch of other people have also noticed that Banks Always Make Their Own Rules that don’t necessarily have anything to do with the law. It turns out that many people knew that Wall Street was selling mortgage backed securities that were destined to fail. But what HuffPo didn’t bother to point out is that what those banks and brokerages did was in violation of the law. This blatant double standard — “laws are for little people” — will continue until the Feds start putting people in jail, levying huge fines against individuals who signed off on breaking the law, and states sue for the right to prosecute violations of state law.

In light of this, the banksters have the chutzvah to say that breaking up “too big to fail” institutions would create more risk. Yeah, more risk for their jobs.

As far as the economy goes, it turns out that 74% of Americans agree with me that regardless of what the government says about GDP, we are still in a recession. It’s getting more obvious that the numbers are being gamed. But don’t expect any administration in the near future to start talking about what inflation, unemployment, and GDP really are, because then we would all understand what deep doo-doo we are standing in and probably vote a lot of bums out.

Of course you need to be careful about voting bums out, as Christine O’Donnell and Nevada’s own Sharron Angle illustrate. Congruent Angle? Sorry I’m running out of Angle jokes.

And that brings me to an armload of local interest items. Let’s start with the spectacular view from the Cosmopolitan. Down the Strip a little bit, be careful about sitting by the pool at CityCenter’s Vdara, or you may experience their unique “death ray.” If you are planning on getting off the Strip, you will want to at least look over these amusing tips. One of the restaurants I visit regularly has been reviewed again, and I only recognize two of the things they were served. I haven’t talked a lot about it, but I am keeping an eye on the case of Erik Scott, killed in broad daylight by Metro in front of a Costco in one of our most yuppified neighborhoods. By the way, last week’s CSI did a great job of addressing it and not addressing it.

In Closing: electromagnetic spectrum; lies your teachers told you; cheap food costs dear; abortion does not have dire emotional consequences; Israel cannot have its cake and eat it too; people don’t like health insurance reform because it didn’t go far enough!; True Mud; a few words on taxes; Professor DeLong nails the Republican view of America; have we tried the simple stuff first?; Jack LaLanne is 96 (was I the only one who noticed Drew Carey’s homage in the blue “speed suit”?); and medical ignorance.