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by Stephen Carter-Novotni 05.13.2009
at 05:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Free Breakfast for Cyclists Thursday-Friday

This is "Bike to Work Week," the happiest time of year (next to Halloween of course) in my book. If you're on two wheels this week and the weather turns dry, you're in luck.

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by Stephen Carter-Novotni 11.24.2008
Posted In: Wellness at 09:26 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday Wellness Roundup

Personal Health

  • NYT: Texas evangelicals realize that sex is a good idea.

  • WSJ Health Blog: Reading side effects on drug labels can make you sick.

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by Stephen Carter-Novotni 11.03.2008
at 11:13 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday Wellness Roundup

Health Issues
* Wall Street Journal: Is a Candidate's DNA the next campaign issue?
* Cincinnati Enquirer: Moderate portion sizes for a better diet
* New York Times: Everything you know about stretching is wrong

Rehab for your Wallet
* The Simple Dollar: Frugal tips including buying used furniture from hotels and making your own gift baskets at Christmas.
* Buxr: Free tall coffee on Election Day at Starbucks

Green Life
* Live Green Cincinnati: New language for the green revolution

by Stephen Carter-Novotni 12.15.2008
Posted In: Science at 02:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

2,000-Year-Old Computer Resurrected

Jacques Cousteau described then Antikythera mechanism, a First Century B.C. computer, as being more valuable than the Mona Lisa. The device has been reconstructed a number of times. This video is the latest and illustrates the device's gearing and clockwork that was more than a millennium ahead of its time.

by Stephen Carter-Novotni 11.10.2008
Posted In: Wellness at 07:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday Wellness Roundup

Health Issues
* Walmart Watch: Lead face paint for kids sold at Walmart, the bottomless pit of shocking corporate behavior.
* NKY.com: Common knowledge confirmed--there's a genetic predisposition to lung cancer. But it's smoking that's still the top cause.
* Gyminee: Social networking, accountability and support for your fitness plan.

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by Bart Campolo 11.11.2008
Posted In: Spirituality at 04:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Camaraderie and Draw of Hopelessness

Twelve years ago a dear friend of ours took a badly neglected baby boy away from his crack head mother and made him her own. That boy, David (name changed to protect his anonymity), is now a strong, quiet, menacingly handsome teenager who adores his “Mom” and grudgingly appreciates our fellowship, but is increasingly attracted to street life. Well loved as he is, we will lose him before long.

Inner-city street life now is like crack cocaine was back in the 80s: So potent that almost anyone who tastes it becomes an instant addict. The difference is that while I never understood how anyone who had seen a crack zombie could even consider trying that stuff, I know all too well why boys are drawn to the corner like moths to a flame. To paraphrase the title of Chris Hedges' recent book about the narcotic nature of war, street life is a force that gives them meaning.

As a foreign correspondent for the New York Times, Hedges saw war up close in the Balkans, the Middle East, and Central America, but his descriptions of the ways desperate people mythologize the glories of conflict, demonize their enemies, corrupt their own language and culture, and becoming preoccupied with grim perversities of sex and violence remind me of behaviors I see in Walnut Hills, and not only among the hardcore soldiers of the drug trade. In a very real sense, many of our neighbors here embrace the physical and emotional intensity of their daily struggle for survival the way WWII General George Patton embraced combat. “Compared to war,” he said, “all other forms of human endeavors shrink to insignificance. God, I love it so!”

Young David is not so eloquent, but he and the older boys he admires feel much the same. Their gun battles and fistfights, their ceaseless movement from house to house, their ready money and easy sex and their constant vigilance against the police and the other gangs, create for them a sense of immediacy and camaraderie that no classroom, sports program, or regular job can match. Hustling for food, shelter, the next dollar or the next high does the same thing, not only for junkies and prostitutes, but also for lots of ordinary poor people navigating the traps and hazards of underclass America. There is no peace in the midst of these struggles, but there is plenty of drama, excitement, and singular purpose. Again, street life is a force which gives them meaning.

What street life does not give, I have come to understand, is true friendship. Instead, the various street soldiers I know here experience that same kind of closeness that real soldiers find in combat, which Hedges describes as comradeship. The essential difference, he writes, is that where friends find in their relationships a heightened awareness of their individual identities, comrades suppress--and thereby escape--such self-awareness in the pursuit of a common purpose. In their shared struggle for survival, they learn to value one another primarily on the basis of shared danger and immediate utility.

In other words, David has a better chance of taking a bullet for one of his buddies on the corner than he does of discovering the other boy’s fondest hopes or deepest fears, or his own for that matter. They may be together for decades, in and out of prison, drunk and high and straight, fighting side by side for money, or women, or whatever they mean by respect, without ever really understanding what makes each of them uniquely precious.

It isn’t just the boys on the corner, either. It is the girls who flock to them, too, and their babies, and all the others who get caught up in the madness they make out there. No matter how long they live that life together, in the end they are always alone.

That is the real horror of street life, I think: Not that we will lose David, but that he will lose himself, and in the process, everything else in the world that matters. In the Bible, they call it his soul.

The longer I live here, the more helpless I feel. If only true love was even half as attractive as it is beautiful.

BART CAMPOLO is a veteran urban minister and activist who speaks and writes about grace, faith, loving relationships and social justice. He's leader of The Walnut Hills Fellowship.

by Stephen Carter-Novotni 11.12.2008
Posted In: Wellness at 01:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mid Week Wellness News

Cincinnati Enquirer: The Little Miami Scenic Trail needs $60k in bridge resurfacing to make it safer and prevent bike skids. Signs urging cyclists to walk across would be a lot cheaper. Is anyone reading this blog a part of the decision making process on this?

Queen City Bike: Public discussion--Future of Transit in Greater Cincinnati 5:30-7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at First Unitarian Church, 536 Linton St., Avondale, 513-281-1564.

AP: It's not just baby fat. Obese kids have the arteries of 45-year-olds.

Reuters: Robot pill recreates Fantastic Voyage, targets sites in the body to deposit drugs.

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by Maija Zummo 05.31.2013
Posted In: Wellness at 12:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
to do_flying pig marathon

Cincinnati "Lucky 13" in Fittest U.S. City Ranking

We can outrun San Diego, L.A. and Miami. NBD.

The American College of Sports Medicine just released their annual "American Fitness Index," ranking the health and community fitness levels of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. And Cincinnati is ranked 13, beating out more stereotypically health-conscious cities such as San Diego, LA and Miami. (Who needs a beach and when you have so many hills?) 

The index was calculated by compiling data on each city's preventative health behaviors, levels of chronic disease, health care access and community resources/policies that support physical activity based on publicly available info from studies and federal reports, including the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 

According to the ACSM, "Communities with the highest AFI scores are considered to have strong community fitness, a concept analogous to individuals having strong personal fitness." 

And now for the rankings:

  1. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.: 78.2
  2. Washington, D.C.: 77.7
  3. Portland, Ore.: 69.8
  4. San Francisco, Calif.: 68.7
  5. Denver, Colo.: 68.1
  6. Boston, Mass.: 67.1
  7. Sacramento, Calif.: 66.8
  8. Seattle, Wash.: 66.7
  9. Hartford, Conn.: 66.6
  10. San Jose, Calif.: 66.4
  11. Austin, Texas: 63.6 
  12. Salt Lake City, Utah: 62.5
  13. Cincinnati, Ohio: 61.4
  14. San Diego, Calif.: 61.3
  15. Raleigh, N.C.: 60.3
  16. Pittsburgh, Pa.: 59.9
  17. Baltimore, Md.: 59.5
  18. Virginia Beach, Va.: 58.3
  19. Cleveland, Ohio: 55.1
  20. Richmond, Va.: 55.1
  21. Atlanta, Ga.: 53.6
  22. Providence, RI: 53.5
  23. Buffalo, NY: 53.2
  24. New York-Northern New Jersey, Long Island: 52.1
  25. Philadelphia, Pa.: 51.2
  26. Milwaukee, Wisc.: 51.2
  27. Chicago, Ill.: 50.8
  28. Kansa City, Miss.: 50.4
  29. Los Angeles, Calif.: 48.3
  30. Columbus, Ohio: 48.1
  31. Saint Louis, Miss.: 47.1
  32. Nashville, Tenn.: 44.5
  33. Phoenix, Ari.: 44.0
  34. Orlando, Fla.: 42.5
  35. Riverside, Calif.: 42.5
  36. Charlotte, N.C.: 42.2
  37. Jacksonville, Fla.: 41.8
  38. New Orleans, La.: 41.6
  39. Las Vegas, Nev.: 41.6
  40. Tampa, Fla.: 40.1
  41. Birmingham, Ala.: 39.0
  42. Miami, Fla.: 38.4
  43. Houston, Texas: 38.3
  44. Dallas, Texas: 37.4
  45. Indianapolis, Ind.: 36.8
  46. Memphis, Tenn.: 36.0
  47. Louisville, Ky.: 35.2
  48. San Antonio, Texas: 35.1
  49. Detroit, Mich.: 33.6
  50. Oklahoma City, Okla.: 31.2 

by Stephen Carter-Novotni 10.06.2008
at 09:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday Wellness Roundup

Christian Science Monitor: The Supreme Court is considering whether smokers in Maine can sue Philip Morris USA for marketing "light" and "low tar" cigarettes. At issue is whether these descriptions are misleading and fraudulent, indicating these cigarettes are healthier than regular smokes. (Hopefully PM will be sued out of existence.)

The Enquirer: Prosthetics improve the lives of vets injured in the Iraq War. (How long until they ask for people with prosthetic limbs to go back onto the battlefield?)

The Simple Dollar: How you can become a millionaire by 30. (Which, of course, we already all are here at CityBeat.)

Live Green Cincinnati: 10 ways to go green. (More important now than ever.)

Wall Street Journal: Smokers may benefit from CT scans for lung cancer. (They might also benefit from a smoking cessation program.)

New York Times: Fat acceptance folks challenge the health risks of obesity. (Which is insane.)

— Stephen Carter-Novotni

by Maija Zummo 01.09.2014
Posted In: Wellness at 01:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

First Northern Kentucky Flu Death

Tips for avoiding the flu from the Northern Kentucky Health Department

The Northern Kentucky Health Department just received report of the area's first seasonal flu death this flu season. A middle-aged Kenton County man, with a history of chronic health problems, died from complications of the flu.

“The loss of someone to the flu is a tragedy, and our thoughts go out to the individual’s family,” Lynne M. Saddler, MD, MPH, district director of health, writes in a press release. “We tend to forget just how serious influenza can be, particularly for those with other health problems. Flu can lead to serious complications and even death, as it did in this case.”

While the CDC doesn't track adult flu deaths, they estimate 6.5 percent of all adult deaths nationwide were attributable to the flu or complications from the flu for the week ending Dec. 28. And Kentucky is reporting widespread flu activity, particularly a strain (H1N1) that disproportionately affects young and middle-aged adults, according to Saddler.

The CDC recommends the following precautions to avoid getting the flu:

1. Get a flu vaccine. If you're over 65, also get a pneumonia vaccination.

2. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze (and then throw it away).

3. Wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleanser after you cough or sneeze.

4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

5. Avoid sick people.

While the flu is commonly treated at home, these symptoms require immediate medical attention.

For children:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

For adults:
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness or confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
For more information on flu, visit nkyhealth.org/Seasonal-Flu.aspx.