A Day Biking at Red Feather Lakes

Mary and I escaped the heat today by riding our bikes at Red Feather Lakes in the mountains between Fort Collins, CO and Laramie, WY.

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A Pair of Weekend Road Trips to Denver and Wyoming

Mary biking the Medicine Bow Forest of Wyoming between Laramie and Cheyenne.

Mary and I drove last weekend to Denver on Saturday and to the Medicine Bow Forest between Laramie and Cheyenne on Sunday. We discovered that Denver has created a short section of whitewater at Confluence Park, where the South Platte River and Cherry Creek meet, and we arrived on the day of a big party, the RiverFest. We enjoyed the crowd and a smoked turkey leg but didn’t try standup paddleboarding. We rode our bikes along Cherry Creek and visited Cheeseman Park.

We drove to Wyoming on Sunday to escape the Colorado heat. Laramie and Cheyenne are in the plains but the Medicine Bow Forest between them is mountainous, cool, windy, scenic and uncrowded even on weekends.

The Riverfest at Confluence Park where the South Platte River and Cherry Creek meet.

A mountain in the Medicine Bow Forest is a scenic area to escape summer heat.

This ornate building houses Denver North High School.

Wildflowers and rocks in the Medicine Bow Forest.

Should we go to Laramie or Cheyenne? Life is a series of hard choices.

A few stands of aspen have crept in among the pines of the Medicine Bow Forest.

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Is it Unrealistic for Women to be Lean?

White aviator and equestrian Beryl Markham grew up in Kenya. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Many women are participating in a campaign to criminalize the publication of Photoshopped pictures, claiming that it deceives women into believing that they can be lean. One YouTube video advocating these laws has attracted 16m views. Unfortunately, this displays an ignorance of history. Humans in their natural state are lean and native peoples were lean prior to adopting Western diets. For instance, thousands of Kenyans fought WWII, ate a Paleo Diet, and were considerably leaner than their British counterparts. The British tried to fatten them but the Kenyans refused to eat Western food. There is nothing special about black African genes; whites such as Beryl Markham, author of West With the Night, were lean because they grew up in Kenya and ate African food.

Kenyan soldiers on a WWII minesweeper, courtesy of the UK National Archives.

My wife Mary stands 5’7″ and weighs 125 pounds, as she did when graduating from high school hundreds of years ago. She eats all the food she pleases and exercises only 12 minutes each morning, running on a treadmill, much to my chagrin, as I think she’d optimize her health if she exercised 30 minutes each day. I stand 6’0″ and weigh 175 pounds, as I did decades ago. Most people believe that one can be lean only with heavy exercise but that’s not so. Diet is much more important than exercise.

Our culture is accustomed to food that our digestive system can’t process; we’re not endowed with a big protruding stomach that ferments plants like a chimpanzee, sheep, or cow. Instead, we’re an omnivore that eats meat to operate our large heads, consuming great energy. Eskimos become healthy while eating lean meat exclusively; vegetarians must eat carefully to gain sufficient calories and avoid plants that require fermenting. Wheat and other cereals, corn (maize), rice and refined sugar degrades health. Dairy, including pizza and other cheese, is food suitable for baby cows but is only healthy for starving humans who want to gain weight, as most Europeans were 5000 years ago when developing the ability to digest lactose.

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A Western Tanager Visits Our Yard

A Western Tanager visited our backyard this morning. The picture was taken through a closed window.

Original image without closeup. Photo taken with iPad Mini. Can you find the Western Tanager in the bush?

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Secession in the Crimea, Scotland, and California

President Barack Obama on Thursday said a planned referendum on the future of Crimea is illegal.

“Any discussion about the future of Ukraine must include the legitimate government,” Mr. Obama said in a brief statement from the White House. “In 2014 we are well beyond the days when borders can be drawn over the heads of democratic leaders.”

Mr. Obama’s comments come as the Moscow-backed Crimea set a referendum in 10 days to ratify its decision to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.

President Obama’s view of humanity is that citizens exist to benefit politicians; in reality, in an ideal world, politicians work for citizens, and when they fail, they are fired like any other incompetent employee. He is not the first arrogant President of the USA; as soon as John F. Kennedy was elected, he beseeched, “my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”
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George Will Explains Why Democracy is the Worst Government

The most popular political writer in the USA, George Will, explained today why democracy is the worst government:

It was naughty of Winston Churchill to say, if he really did, that “the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” Nevertheless, many voters’ paucity of information about politics and government, although arguably rational, raises awkward questions about concepts central to democratic theory, including consent, representation, public opinion, electoral mandates and officials’ accountability….
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Charles Darrow on Educating and Raising Children

One of my favorite free Kindle books is The Story of My Life by Clarence Darrow, the great criminal defense lawyer best known as the hero in the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925. The book is available from Project Gutenberg Australia. Here are his thoughts on educating and raising children, excerpted from the book.

Clarence Darrow courtesy of Wikipedia.

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What Can We Learn from a 103 Year Old Woman?

Someone asked asked Evelyn, a 103 year old woman, about important career memories, and she responded:

I was a teacher at the age of 14, and I taught in a one room school house. I have a lot of memories about this time in my life. Like the big boys who used to not listen to me. And the day a father came to school and asked me to, “go get your teacher.” I said, “I AM the teacher.” Then he asked me again, and I gave him the same answer. He was pretty surprised that I was handling that class all alone.

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Revolutionizing Health Care Without Obama

Martin Makary discusses how to improve healthcare in his book,
Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won’t Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care. I excerpted some useful parts in the remainder of this post.
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Canadians Discuss Migration to Chile

The Toronto Globe and Mail describes migration to Chile and Brazil:

In the middle-class kitchens of Chile, it is women from Peru who wash the dishes. The men who pick fruit in the vast agro-estates in Chilean valleys are Bolivians. And many of the men who chip copper from its mountains are Colombians.

The acceleration of Latin America’s largest economies has created an unprecedented flow of economic migration on the continent, pulling workers, both highly skilled and those seeking manual labour, from its poorest countries to its richest.

But there is a near-total absence of legislation designed to facilitate and support that migration in the pull countries, leaving hundreds of thousands of workers – and major employers in the agriculture, mining and service industries – operating in a complicated, often risky grey area.

In Brazil, the continental powerhouse, the number of foreigners in the country increased by 50 per cent in just two years, from 2010 to 2012. And in Chile, the number of immigrants increased threefold in the past 10 years – with half of the entrants coming from Peru, followed by Colombians and Bolivians.

Chile is the first-choice destination for many Spanish-speaking migrants because work in Brazil requires knowledge of Portuguese. Chilean employers are delighted to have the guest workers because a recent surge in standards of living has left even low-income Chileans uninterested in jobs doing agricultural labour or domestic work. The mining and forestry sectors need them too. At the same time, an acute shortage of skilled labour (as there is in Brazil) is drawing professionals, particularly young Europeans facing unemployment due to the economic crises in Spain, Portugal and Italy.

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