Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

One Man’s Struggle with Visual Disability

December 19, 2011

On my Windows PC, I always use both the Magnifier and the High Contrast display mode to reverse screen colors.

While it gets me through the day, it is still an awkward way to use a computer. To read text, I must hover my mouse over it so it appears in the magnifier window which takes up the top quarter of my screen.

Most hardcopy printed material is tedious for me to get through, and I have stopped reading books many years ago.

Today, I had an interest in reading Syd Field’s classic book Screenwriting, the de facto book on the subject of… wait for it… wait for it… screenwriting.

My desire was strong enough to make some little fact of which I was peripherally aware come to the forefront of my mind – there is a Kindle reader application for PC’s.

A Google search easily took me to the correct page on Amazon and I downloaded the Kindle for PC software.

It came preloaded with Pride and Prejudice, Treasure Island, and a translation of Aesop’s Fables.

After learning the software and fiddling with it for several minutes, I discovered the font settings that work best for me, those being the largest font size, the most number of words on a page, the highest brightness, and the black background. I then go into full screen mode, and I began reading Aesop’s Fables.

For the first time in maybe about 10 years, I had the virtual experience of reading a book, without being squashed up into the highest corner of my screen. I can actually read the text without the magnifier tool and turn pages.

I’m not sure I’ll go back to reading as many books as I used to, but I know I will enjoy some, starting with Aesop’s Fables, and then maybe the entire Syd Fields library on screenwriting, and perhaps the Steve Jobs biography.

Aesop’s Fables has special meaning for me – grandma and grandpa always had a set of cards, the size of large playing cards or tarot cards, each containing an Aesop’s Fable, usually with a nice illustration of the animals on it. When we were little, I read those cards over and over again. In reading several just now, I realize many of my thoughts on morality and life came from these stories.

Thanks for being my Kindle inspiration Mom!


What’s with women and their relationship to food, their bodies, and their diet?

July 6, 2009

I find it a tragedy that women spend such a large percentage of their waking hours feeling wrong about their relationship with food and their bodies. I wonder what other more constructive uses of their time would be. I feel the villains are the consumer culture and advertising media which place so much emphasis on women’s appearance in the first place. Secondly, I blame the creators of products designed to address the alleged defects.

There are so many do’s and don’t’s put forth that it truly is enough to make someone go crazy – to become paralyzed in a sea of conflicting ordinances. The list is clearly endless, since new admonitions are created every day. A short sampling:

  • After sun-bathing, be sure not to wash your skin or else the Vitamin D absorption will be hindered. And we all know what happens if you don’t have enought Vitamin D!!!
  • All the conflicting diet plans and philosophies – raw foodists who say one should not eat any cooked food, vegetarians who say one should not eat any meat, hunter/gatherer dieters who say our canine teeth are proof that our bodies are meant to eat meat, Atkins people who suggest high protein, people in favor of carbs, people against carbs, etc., etc.
  • Don’t eat raw seafood – it’s too dangerous.
  • Food combining – don’t eat this or that together with each other.
  • Eat this BEFORE you eat that, or eat this AFTER you eat that.
  • Go to sleep with the sun and get up with the sun.
  • Pay attention to you own body’s natural rhythms and follow them.
  • Don’t have too much fat on your body.
  • Don’t have too little fat on your body.
  • Eat several, smaller meals throughout the day.
  • Fast regularly – it will cleanse you.
  • Don’t ever fast – it will debilitate you.
  • Eat a low-fat diet.
  • You need a certain amount of healthy fats to stay healthy.
  • Keep slim or else.
  • Don’t diet because it debilitates your body.
  • Don’t eat or drink anything that has come into contact with plastic because plastic leeches into your food.
  • Especially stay away from plastics that have been heated.
  • Especially stay away from plastics that have been refrigerated or frozen.
  • Don’t use aluminum foil because it leeches into your food.
  • Don’t have mercury tooth-filling.
  • If you are unfortunate enough to have mercury tooth-fillings, get them removed immediately because every second the mercury is in your body it is poisoning you.
  • If you are unfortunate enough to have mercury tooth-fillings, think twice before getting them removed because the process of removing them can cut loose the otherwise inert mercury.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Don’t exercise too much – you’ll build up lactic acid.
  • There’s no limit to how much exercise is good for you.
  • When exercising, use high weight and low reps.
  • When exercising, use low weight and high reps.
  • You should look like the skinny models in the media.
  • If you look like the skinny models in the media, you’re too skinny.
  • We should all try to look like the models in the media.
  • We wouldn’t want to look like the models in the media – they’re too skinny and unhealthy.
  • The key to aging gracefully is to maintain your youthfulness and vitality.
  • Older people should not try to emulate younger people – they should honor and be comfortable with who they are as older people.

It’s enough to drive someone crazy.