I miss my standing desk

“There is plenty of epidemiological evidence linking sitting time to various chronic diseases and linking breaking sitting time to beneficial cardiovascular effects, but there is very little experimental evidence,” Thosar said. “We have shown that prolonged sitting impairs endothelial function, which is an early marker of cardiovascular disease, and that breaking sitting time prevents the decline in that function.”

The researchers were able to demonstrate that during a three-hour period, the flow-mediated dilation, or the expansion of the arteries as a result of increased blood flow, of the main artery in the legs was impaired by as much as 50 percent after just one hour. The study participants who walked for five minutes for each hour of sitting saw their arterial function stay the same — it did not drop throughout the three-hour period. Thosar says it is likely that the increase in muscle activity and blood flow accounts for this.

“American adults sit for approximately eight hours a day,” he said. “The impairment in endothelial function is significant after just one hour of sitting. It is interesting to see that light physical activity can help in preventing this impairment.” [link]

The British Library: Jahangir playing polo

IMG_9800.JPG

This scene, added to the Divan of Hafiz, shows Jahangir with his two sons and a third polo player who has been identified as the Rajput Raja Bhao Singh of Amber. He is dressed in green and was a maternal relative and part of Jahangir’s inner circle.

A folio from the Divan of Hafiz
Attributed to Manohar, c.1611
Or. 7573, f.194

So there you go

I said to my husband, “Do you mind having a wife with only one breast?” He said, “Would you mind if I lost a leg?” I said, “Of course not!” “So there you go.” We talked about everything, and that is why we had 52 happy years. [link]

McPhee on writing, structure and the void

Out the back door and under the big ash was a picnic table. At the end of summer, 1966, I lay down on it for nearly two weeks, staring up into branches and leaves, fighting fear and panic, because I had no idea where or how to begin a piece of writing for The New Yorker. I went inside for lunch, surely, and at night, of course, but otherwise remained flat on my back on the table…The picnic-table crisis came along toward the end of my second year as a New Yorker staff writer (a euphemistic term that means unsalaried freelance close to the magazine). In some twenty months, I had submitted half a dozen pieces, short and long, and the editor, William Shawn, had bought them all. You would think that by then I would have developed some confidence in writing a new story, but I hadn’t, and never would. To lack confidence at the outset seems rational to me. It doesn’t matter that something you’ve done before worked out well. Your last piece is never going to write your next one for you. Square 1 does not become Square 2, just Square 1 squared and cubed. [link]

Learning to fear those who “serve and protect”

Here’s what happened to a black kid raised by white parents who never taught him to fear the police:

“So I ask them, ‘Can I please see a warrant before you continue the search?’ ” Landau says. “And they grab me and began to hit me in the face. I could hear Addison in the background yelling, ‘Stop! Leave him alone.’

“I was hit several times, and I remember gasping for air” and spitting blood, he says.

“And then I hear an officer shout out, ‘He’s reaching for a gun,’ ” he tells his mother. “I immediately started yelling, ‘No, I’m not. I’m not reaching for anything.’ “

Landau felt a gun against his head, he says. “And I expected to be shot. And at that point I lost consciousness. … “It took 45 stitches to close up the lacerations in my face alone,” Landau says. [link]

And one more story from years ago, the account of poet Ravi Shankar who was arrested for a crime he didn’t commit:

I hadn’t been read my rights or granted a phone call. After an hour my arresting officer returned — but only to take me for a mug shot and digital fingerprinting. Eventually he showed me my arrest warrant. It was for a 5-foot-10, 140-pound white male. I happen to be a 6-foot-2, 200-pound, Indian man. I pointed out the discrepancy. “Tell it to the judge,” he said. [link]