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Christopher Hitchens, The Perfect Mile, and Scream at the Librarian: Random Thoughts from the Week

1. Scream at the Librarian

Yesterday I was in my favorite bookstore in Salt Lake City, a cramped, musty little shop called Ken Sanders’ Rare Books. I always wind up talking to Ken when I go in. Somehow a discussion of the seven-volume Rising up and Rising Down published by McSweeney’s morphed into a brief discussion of librarianship he suddenly thrust Scream at the Librarian, published by Brookyln Artists Alliance, into my hands.

Well worth the $7 I paid. Ken, I don’t see you often enough. Thank you.

2. The Perfect Mile

For most of us soft, mollycoddled cubicle rats, the four minute mile might as well be the 40 second mile. In other words, an Everest stacked on top of an Everest. The current record stand in the low 3:40s. But there was a time when the prevailing wisdom said that nobody would ever run a mile faster than 4:00.

In the 1950s, three ambitious/crazy men were all vying to be the first. Roger Bannister of England, John Landy of Australia, and Wes Santee, an American, all tried and tried and tried again, coming up mere seconds short before one of them broke the barrier. If you can’t imagine a page turner about men trying to shave seconds off of their time as they ran around in a circle thousands of times in training, The Perfect Mile is the book for you!

3. The number on the scale

When men say they want to bulk and weigh more, they’re not always thinking of the number on the scale. If someone says they want to weigh 260, they probably want to look like they weigh 260.They could reach 260 and realize they look like a wad of pale, unloved dough.

When women want to hit some target number on the scale, they want to look a certain way that that number has come to represent. It’s possible to look thinner while clocking a larger number on the scale, depending on body composition.

If you’re struggling with weight gain or weight loss, I would suggest simply trying to lose fat. Track and change your body composition and see what you think of your appearance. If you’re going to chase a number and you’ve been frustrated by the scale, chase body fat composition.

4. R.I.P. Christopher Hitchens

Say whatever you like about him, the man came to fight and offered no apologies for who he was. Even when–especially when?–I disagreed with him, I was always aware that his was a towering, formidable intellect. I was continually surprised by the eloquence of his writing and speaking, and I loved that he found “humorless” people to be the most potentially dangerous of all.

If you’re looking for a Hitchens Greatest Hits collection, Arguably: Essays is fantastic.

5. Vote for Janette’s Gingerbread House

The bloodthirsty missus has decided to jump into the fray and start competing. If you’re a facebook user and you’ve got a moment, please vote for her house. Scroll down until you find the the purple bar that says “vote for Ellie.”

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • cinderkeys December 16, 2011, 11:16 pm

    Oh, shoot. I’d missed the news yesterday about Christopher Hitchens. We knew it was coming, but it’s still sad.