August 24, 2009

I know it's not the only reason...

I had a physical last week for the first time in over a decade. Everything looks fine, although my cholesterol is a touch high. Not very, just a little over 100. Nothing to be alarmed about, but reading that over the weekend reminded me of a conversation I had a few months ago. It was at work, at the end of a couple hours of meetings with my client and a vendor.

It seems you can't get more than three adult men in a room for longer than about half an hour before someone starts talking about their cholesterol. In this case, the subject was brought up by my client, who had just been to the doctor and come home with one of those little blister-packs of Lipitor or whatever, and was doing that low-level lament that most of us go through when faced with involuntary lifestyle changes. I had little to say, since at the time it had been ten years or so since I'd had a checkup, and it wasn't something I was keenly interested in as it was. Anyway, this discussion was the first time I had heard that the goal was to get one's cholesterol down to, or below, 100.

According to the vendor rep, the trouble with this theory is that 100 is a very tough number to get to. His point was that it's difficult to expect an adult to maintain that level of cholesterol, considering the cholesterol level of a newborn is somewhere around 70.

It was then, after having nothing to say for most of the discussion, that I was finally able to contribute.

"Which is why," I said, "we don't eat babies."

August 9, 2009

Kind of amazing

Most people, when they hear the name Bobby McFerrin, immediately think of one song, one song that many of those same people are thoroughly sick of (and they have been since about six months after that song came out). For many people, that's about all they know of him. They may have heard about something or other that he did with Yo-Yo Ma, but there was never a video on MTV or a special somewhere or a radio single, so chances are it slid past relatively unnoticed. And that's unfortunate, because the man is brilliant.

I've had the pleasure of seeing him in concert one time, several years ago, and it was spectacular. At this point, I see him less as a musician than as a musical philosopher, as you can see in this clip from the World Science Forum. It is remarkable.

(In case you have trouble hearing it, his comment at the beginning is something like, "Talk about expectations...")

World Science Festival 2009: Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale from World Science Festival on Vimeo.

How cool is that?
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