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♥ Happy Valentines Day ♥

☮ Let the Games Begin ☮

Grab Bag “Enduring” Heart Flutter:

A study released February 10, 2010, in the The European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation announces some surprising findings of a 30-year study on endurance athletes – in this case, cross-country skiers in Norway. These athletes were found to be at an unusually high risk of Atrial Fibrillation (AF), the most common abnormality of heart rhythm. The normal rate of AF occurrence in the general public (under 75 years of age) has been recorded as low as 0.5%. The skiers’ prevalence was a VERY significant 12.8%.

So what might this mean? The researchers are pointing to endurance training as the culprit, although not for every athlete. Those that did develop AF had a higher incidence of a slow resting heart rate (and we always thought that was what we SHOULD have, right??) and a large left atrium of the heart.

What does it mean to ME? A few years ago, after reading some good information on exercise physiology, I moved away from endurance sports and concentrated on interval training. This study encourages me to continue in that vein.

If you love to run/bike/swim long distances, maybe you’ll consider some interval training instead for at least a few of your workouts. The benefits are significant, and the risks of injury (and AF) are a good deal lower. Check out the PACE link in the right column of this page for a great way to effectively incorporate interval training, whether you walk, jog, bike, swim or drive a Barcalounger.

Grab Bag “Broken Heart” Verification:

Yes, my dears, a broken heart is a real condition, assessed by both Johns Hopkins and Mayo Clinic. Also known as “stress cardiomyopathy” and “apical ballooning syndrome”, the stress of sudden and deep sadness floods the heart muscle with adrenalin, often for days at a time. One of the body’s many responses is constriction of blood vessels in the chest area and this can become so severe as to mimic a heart attack.

Stress reduction techniques are important to integrate into your life BEFORE heartache strikes. Yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, acupuncture and other modalities should become familiar techniques that you have in your back pocket for just those occasions. Take a look at this list of 20 things you can do to relieve stress.

Grab Bag Last Minute Valentine Shopping:

iPhone Apps for the romantically challenged, all found in your iTunes App store:

“iFlirt”, for the inner Flirt in you yearning to be free:

“Send eFlowers”…. send virtual flowers to any and everyone you know. You may not get the cred for the real blooms, but your bank account will LOVE you 🙂

“Be Mine Hearts”…. shake your phone to bring up a new heart with a new message… when you find the one you want, add a personal message below and email it. Saves you from those sugary binges, popping boxfuls of the chalky, artificially-colored little sweeties.

“StickerJamHearts” lets you decorate your photos and send them off to your e-valentine.

Grab Bag Treat Yourself:

I had the good, no GREAT, fortune to dine with friends at an amazing dinner table last week, the group filled with famous faces of many talents (who, WHO??? I’ll never tell). As a capper to the evening, we were tempted by a platter-full of handmade chocolates, promoted by our hostess as the product of a friend.

Now I’m not easily enamored by sweet, nutritionally vapid offerings, but these little cubes-of-the-Gods need to be tasted. Really. My favorite of the only two I tasted was the Mocha Meltaway – “Espresso infused meltaway center, coated in milk or dark chocolate topped with a coffee bean”. But mine was covered in white chocolate (of which I am not normally a fan) like the ones in the picture below. If you want it that way, tell them you know people who know people, and they might do it for you. Vanilla Salt Caramels sound like they need a home, too…..

EDWARD MARC CHOCOLATIER

Grab Bag Brain Game:

Observance test. Click on the 9 places in each picture where the heart-shaped pieces of the photo have been turned off their alignment:

VALENTINE’S SEARCH FOR LOVE

Grab Bag Funny Stuff:

Please forgive my sense of humor if it offends anyone’s sensibilities here. I just think this letter was written to remind us all not to take ourselves, and this earthly existence, too seriously.

Backstory: From what I can surmise, back in 2000 this letter began circulating on the internet. At some point,  Professor Emeritus James Kauffman, Ed. D. at the University of Virginia forwarded on this open letter to Dr. Laura Schlessinger in response to her stated opinion on her radio show that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. Kauffman has repeatedly asserted he did not write it, but that someone likely cut and pasted his name and address off the bottom of his forward.

I researched every passage of Leviticus referred to here, and they are all accurately depicted as written:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law.   I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination … End of debate. Its in the Bible – end of argument!

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how best to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev. 1:9. The problem is, my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination – Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight.    I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wriggle room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?


9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot.    Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them?    Lev. 24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and  unchanging.

Your adoring fan.
James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus,
Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
University of Virginia

(As stated above, Kauffman asserts he DID NOT write this letter, but merely forwarded it.)

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