Walking While Working: My Walk Around The World

It’s a fact. Sitting at a desk shortens your life span. For decades, I’ve heard of people using standing desks. More recently, I discovered “walking desks” — a marriage of treadmill and workstation. So in 2011, I built my own treadmill desk:  Building a Treadmill Desk. My goal was to walk 3,000 miles, the equivalent of walking from Placerville, California to Cape Cod, MA. On 13 November 2015, I reached my goal! Now I have a new goal. I want to walk from one end of the planet to the other. I’m starting at Wainwright, Alaska with my goal to reach Puerto Williams, Chile. A distance of roughly 10,854 miles. Granted, some of those miles are “as the crow flies” — there are few main roads in the middle of Alaska — so I will find trails! And since I’m starting at the top of the Northern Hemisphere, it will all be downhill! It took me 4 years to walk 3,000 miles (or just under an average of 2 miles / day), so 11,000 miles should take around 15 years. If I can increase my daily average to 3 miles / day, my goal can be achieved in 10 years, before my 70th birthday. Since I don’t use the treadmill on weekends, or while traveling, or on holidays, or on high intensity workout days, that means around 5 miles / day when I’m actually using the treadmill. Let’s hope I stay healthy! VIRTUAL LOCATIONS REACHED: 2015 JOURNEY START: Nov 13, 2015: Wainwright, Alaska Walking Desk Related: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/02/are-standing-desks-healthier-than-sitting.php http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1862448-1,00.html http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/04/28/135766887/health-chair-reform-walk-dont-sit-at-your-desk http://hfs.sagepub.com/content/51/6/831.abstract http://smarterware.org/7102/how-and-why-i-switched-to-a-standing-desk http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/23/stand-up-while-you-read-this/ Visit Office Walkers  

Living Memorials

When I heard the news of Bruce’s death in a plane crash, I recalled that I never really told him how much his friendship meant to me. His passing reminded me that I take a lot of people in my life for granted, never really telling them how much they inspire me, and how much I love them. I wrote a memorial for Bruce on this journal, and spoke at his public memorial in L.A. last week. But why do we wait? Perhaps we should be writing and speaking “living memorials” to our dear friends and families – while we are still together with them. As James Taylor wrote, “shower the people you love with love – tell them the way that you feel.” Ric Elias gave a “TED University” talk a few weeks ago (TED-U is a series of talks during TED off the main stage). He was on Captain Sully’s airplane that landed in the Hudson. I encourage you to watch his beautiful and important five-minute  

Text Neck

Sometime this year, I want to share with my two blog readers (hi Cynthia!) a strength training program I’ve been doing for about four months. The results are nothing short of remarkable. This is a discipline I can (and likely will) do for the rest of my life. The program is called High Intensity Training, also known as the Super Slow Workout. I became aware of the technique via a book called Body By Science, by Dr. Doug McGuff, an emergency room physician. Doug blogs here. Normally, he writes about strength training and related topics. Today he wrote about something that really caught my attention, a physiological syndrome called text neck. Here’s the scoop. Chin up! “Later we met up with our friend at Moe’s Southwestern Grill near the Clemson University campus. After we got our food I noticed something unusual about the long line of college students who were waiting in the serving line. I was looking at about 10-12 students all standing in a row when I noticed something striking about their body habitus. All of their necks were protruding from their torso at a 45 degree angle. The neck itself was straight, but at the C7-T1 juncture there was just an abrupt forward flexion. This position was evident despite an otherwise upright posture, and it appeared to be a fixed deformity. This positioning did not appear to be well-adapted for anything physiologically useful. The only thing that this appeared to possibly helpful for was text-messaging, staring at a laptop, or playing hand-held video games, and this is what I suspect has resulted in this bizarre anthropologic adaptation. If you take some time to look about, I am sure you can see lots of strange postures that result from forcing our Fred Flintstone bodies into this George Jetson world. I was just shocked to see it so prominently displayed in people so  

Hope

Hope is not prognostication. It is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart; it transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons. – Vaclav Havel Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution. – Clay Shirky If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try to go to sleep with a mosquito in the room. – Anita  

Collective Delusion

Here’s the best summary I’ve found on the financial melt-down. Interview with author Michael Lewis, who was fantastic in a book I read years ago called Moneyball – which looked at new trends in baseball scouting metrics. This interview is well worth 15 minutes if you’re interested in really understanding how $2 trillion in “wealth” simply evaporated (hint: it was never there). The parallels to religion are clear. “Wall Street deludes itself because it’s paid to delude itself. People see what they’re incentivized to see. If you pay someone to not see the truth, they will not see the truth. Wall Street organized itself so that people were paid to see something other than the truth. You have to be very careful how you incentivize people, for they will respond to the incentives.” – Michael  

Collective Memory

Here’s what might happen to our collective memory of history after 1000 years, or, say, 2000 years… I haven’t laughed this hard in quite a while. HT kevin  

The Land of Plenty

Don’t really have the courage, To stand where I must stand. Don’t really have the temperament, To lend a helping hand. Don’t really know who sent me To raise my voice and say: May the lights in The Land of Plenty Shine on the truth some day. I don’t know why I come here, Knowing as I do, What you really think of me, What I really think of you. For the millions in a prison, That wealth has set apart ” For the Christ who has not risen, From the caverns of the heart ” For the innermost decision, That we cannot but obey – For what’s left of our religion, I lift my voice and pray: May the lights in The Land of Plenty Shine on the truth some day. I know I said I’d meet you, I’d meet you at the store, But I can’t buy it, baby. I can’t buy it anymore. And I don’t really know who sent me, To raise my voice and say: May the lights in The Land of Plenty Shine on the truth some day. For the innermost decision That we cannot but obey For what’s left of our religion I lift my voice and pray: May the lights in The Land of Plenty Shine on the truth some day. -Leonard Cohen (as recorded by the fabulously talented Leanne  

Is Anyone Listening?

Two Three chillingly accurate assessments on the state of U.S. governance. From the Atlantic Monthly, Simon Johnson’s The Quiet Coup navigates the labyrinth of Western banking and its near-complete control over U.S. Congress. The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government “a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time.” Read the entire article here: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/print/200905/imf-advice After you’re done reading Johnson, and feeling angry and depressed at the way in which “for the people, by the people” has been hijacked into “for a very small number of powerful families” – browse over to Salon.com and read Glenn Greenwald’s short article on Senator Dick Durbin, who this week said: And the banks — hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place. Added 1 May:   Another essay, this one from The Nation, on the incestuous abusers of financial power now effectively running this country, and some of the reasons that got