drug companies in it for the money

Drugs companies ‘inventing diseases to boost profits’

Do you believe this headline? I’m not so sure.

For example, shyness is diagnosed as a “social anxiety disorder” and treated with antidepressants.

Get your drugs for:


conditioning – CrossFit exercises

CrossFit is an advanced strength and conditioning program used by police and military. It is popular with the martial arts community.

Firefighters, too, like CrossFit because it does not use weight machines, preferring free weights. They use many gymnastics exercises in which body weight provides the resistance.

Many video clips and photo sequences are linked from their exercises page:

CrossFit excercises list

log sit-up
team sit-up using a log for resistance

enticing third world youth to smoke

angry guyTravelling through South and Central America in 2005 I often saw fresh-faced, attractive, very young people handing out free cigarettes. In Guatemala I even saw free cigarettes available on the counters of convenience stores.


Be sure you do not own any stock in tobacco companies.

Big Tobacco Is Accused of Crossing an Age Line
By GREG WINTER, NY Times, 2001

Sara Bogdani had just turned 17 last summer when she slipped into a short skirt and started working as a Marlboro girl.

While the rest of her high school friends spent their vacation laboring in
restaurants or lounging at home, Sara donned a red hat, a T-shirt with a
cowboy on the back and a knapsack full of Marlboros and other Philip
Morris cigarettes.

Then she hit the streets of Tirana, the capital of Albania and her
hometown, offering a smile and a free pack to anyone who professed a love
of smoking and looked, well, almost as old as she was.

“As long as they weren’t 14 or something, it was O.K.,” Sara said in a
telephone interview, noting that a co-worker was also 17. As for her
bosses, “they were just glad if you gave out all the cigarettes,” said
Sara, who now works with an antismoking group.

Just as it is in the United States, giving cigarettes to teenagers is
illegal in many countries, including Albania, where Marlboro girls stroll
the streets. But while the practice has all but disappeared from American
cities, it goes on with striking regularity in many developing nations,
and Philip Morris is far from the only tobacco company that the World
Health Organization has accused of crossing the line in trying to entice
those underage with free cigarettes. …

Enticing Third World Youth; Big Tobacco Is Accused Of Crossing an Age Line – Free Preview – The New York Times

what is the matter with smokers?

There seems to be something effeminate about smoking. Sometimes a cigarette is not just a cigarette.

catch me if you can

Perhaps it is time Marlboro rethinks their gay cowboy advertising campaign.

I do not like cigarette smoke and live, fortunately, in a part of the world with very little second hand smoke.

One of the worst things about travel is being force fumigated. I write from Miami which is filled with posing 50cent wannabes, smoke yourself thin beach hotties, cheese-eating surrender monkeys and other chain-smoking Europeans. There is zero consideration for the non-smoker here.

Now I sympathize with confused youth who try smoking. I understand that it is more addictive than crystal meth and heroin combined.

But I still cannot fathom why smokers do not quit.

Many have. It’s possible.

What’s the matter with smokers?

Are soft drinks making you fat?

The next time someone cites me a study where a mouse has been force fed aspertame to the point of exploding, I will quietly offer up this study.

One of every five calories in the American diet is liquid. The nation’s single biggest “food” is soda.

… sugar-sweetened drinks don’t just go hand-in-hand with obesity, but actually cause it.

Food Fight: Scientists take on soda…

Yoga is better than nothing

I have friends whose dream vacation is spiritual, doing yoga for hours every day on the beach.

yoga on the beach

Historically we in the gymnastics community have been suspicious of Yoga. If you asked me to locate a fraud, I would look first in ashrams.

I am embarrassed by my lack of knowledge mastery of the musculoskeletal system. (I have no memory syndrome.) Still, my understanding is better than 90% of Yoga teachers. Their explanations are not as science-based as I would like. Where are the chakras? Exactly?

But my Tulum beach yoga teacher Sarah swayed me. I really enjoyed her sessions.

Joe Laughlin convinced me too. Joe is a professional dancer and a former National tumbling champion. A serious athlete.

Joe retired at age 37. Then made a comeback a couple of years later. He said that by doing only Pilates (something of a Germanic evolution from Yoga) he was restored to the best shape of his life. Many serious athletes I know have embraced pilates. It works.

I now, finally concede that yoga can improve fitness and is not simply trendy posturing. Not just an excuse for sipping latte with your yoga-mat-toting friends.

Winter Olympics – Congratulations Canada!

medal ceremonyCanadian Girls Kick Ass.

Congratulations to captain Cassie Campbell and the entire Canadian Women’s Ice Hockey Team. We were cheering for you from an ocean-side sports bar in Belize. There are a lot of Canadians here in the sun.

With this kind of international success, shouldn’t we start boys playing hockey in The Great White North?

And congratulations to the entire Canadian Olympic Team for the great performances in Italy. I am looking forward to the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Australia!