Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Walk and Sleep, Autism on Campus, Left Brain Meet Right, Plus Sheryl Gordon McCloud

In the USC alumni magazine for this summer, there was a letter that caught my attention. 

"The latest issue proposed that there is a "Medical Mystery" (Trojan Beat, Spring 2013, p. 6*)as to why Americans die earlier than people from other high-income democracies.  I disagree with the perspective.  Without the benefit of knowing which 17 countries were examined in the research, two very likely reasons behind the earlier deaths are surely that Americans, on the whole, walk less and sleep less than the people living in the other countries studied.  Walking is not expensive.  Sleeping - generally speaking - is not expensive  Wealth and access to medical technology can't undo the negative effects of a sedenatry, sleep-deprived lifestyle." [emphasis added]

I don't know how much walking and sleeping would improve people's health, but it seems reasonable.  Many people tend to want shortcuts - cholesterol lowering drugs so they can eat high cholesterol food - or when they do exercise, they often drive to the gym to do it. 

But anyone who doesn't walk (or move some other way) at least 30 minutes a day and doesn't get at least seven hours of sleep a night, might set some goals.  Starting with two days a week and adding one more day each week until they're walking and sleeping well at least six days a week.  I bet it makes a difference in how you feel. 

I've found that alumni magazines from good universities can cover very interesting stories as they highlight what their students, faculty, and alumni are doing.  Here's a list of the feature articles:

  • Dinosaur Depicter 

    A talented USC Roski alumna brings the prehistoric Mesozoic Era to life.

  • Neurodiversity and the University 

    Students, alumni and faculty on the autism spectrum show they have a place in the university.

  • Meeting of the Minds 

    Right Brain, this is Left Brain. Scott Fraser’s happy to make the introduction.

  • Number Crunchers 

    Ninety percent of the world’s data was created in the last two years. What we do with it will change the future.

  • Designs on Social Change 

    Creativity can combine with business principles to solve societal challenges—and turn a profit.

  • Busy Signals 

    The National Medal of Science recognizes Solomon Golomb’s many contributions to communications technology.

  • Fresh Air 

    Targeted therapies and other advances create new hope for lung cancer patients.

The Summer 2013 edition also has a profile of USC law school graduate Sheryl Gordon McCloud who was appointed to the Washington State Supreme Court in January.   She's of interest to Alaskans because she was in Anchorage in 2009 to representing former Rep. Pete Kott, not in the original trial, but later, trying to get him released from his convictions
because the prosecution withheld exculpatory evidence.   She was very impressive in court and talking to the press afterward. Knew her stuff, no nonsense.

It seems ironic, reading her profile. I suspect as Republican Kott's constituent, her ideas probably would have been ignored (she fought for women's rights issues including protection for pregnant employees), but he paid good money for her to defend him.  (Actually, I don't know Kott's record on women's rights, I could be wrong on this.)

*The online version doesn't have page numbers but it appears that that section isn't in the online version.  Nor are the letters - this one is copied from the print version.

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