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November, 2010 | Geeta Menon

Archive for November, 2010

“We The Living” by Ayn Rand


russia1918 streetdemo We The Living by Ayn Rand

Though “We the Living” is one of Rand’s lesser known works of fiction, it is the most unforgettable. Set in the years immediately following the Bolshevik Revolution, it tells the story of Kira, a young woman facing the new communist regime, and her two lovers – Leo, an aristocrat and Andrei, a Party member.

Rand’s gritty narrative portrays the bleak life of non-proletarians in a totalitarian state, offset by the protagonists’ fierce determination to live life on their terms. Kira, Leo and Andrei, three people with different ideals stemming from common principles, unflailingly battle  their enforced destinies until the grim, yet triumphant climax.

A visceral, thought-provoking masterpiece. Read it…

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For Yogi

We adopted Yogi from a shelter in Camden, New Jersey. I remember seeing him for the first time in a dark run that looked too small for even his 16-lb body. He was this mix of pug, beagle and chihuahua. He resembled Yoda except he was good-looking and not green. His nose was slightly upturned, his whiskers were curly. And, despite the discomfort of his surroundings, Yogi’s tail wagged non-stop as he peered out at us with his saucer-eyes.

I took him home, of course.

Over the next decade, Yogi converted my clueless-about-canines husband into a dog-liker, but remained predominantly mine. It was me Yogi waited for in the evenings; it was on my side of the bed he slept (though he could be bribed over to my husband’s side with apples; Yogi loved apples above all foods). When we moved to California, he took the 7-day road-trip with us. We stayed overnight at dog-friendly hotels (one wasn’t, but we snuck him in anyway).

By 2004, Yogi could no longer leap onto my bed on his own. His eyesight and hearing deteriorated. He became incontinent about the same time my son got potty-trained. Good thing I had left-over diapers.

In 2006, Yogi was diagnosed with lymphoma. We held on as long as we could. But when he stopped eating mashed-up apples, we knew it was time. I held Yogi in my lap as the vet inserted the needle. Yogi raised his head slightly, then rested it back on my arm. His labored breathing slowed…then stopped.

My Yogi was asleep.

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Free Press or Devolution?

There’s a book on Amazon called “A Pedophile’s Guide To Love and Pleasure”.

No, I’m not smoking pot. I read about this on TechCrunch. See for yourself.

Someone’s twisted enough to write this? I only hope the venture is a misguided money-making ploy, not a presentation of the author’s true views. I can’t believe Amazon’s sanctioning such a thing. As a writer, I’m all for freedom with words. But shouldn’t the line be drawn somewhere?

And people are actually downloading this disgusting tripe. It’s the 158,221st bestselling kindle book in the store.

Words fail me…

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The Only Diet that Works

Constant diet-discoveries have made us chronic dieters, fickly abandoning one fad diet for the next, in our pursuit of lipid-blasting. So as we struggle into jeans that the washing machine has shrunk yet again, we wonder: What will actually WORK for me long-term?

Only one thing does. And it’s not even a diet.

It’s the Calories-In vs Calories-Out Lifestyle. It allows all foods, is simple, healthy and can be maintained long-term.

Here’s how you follow it:

Step 1: Record your InCal or the calories you consume per day(most packaged foods provide the calorie information per serving, others you can look up on http://www.thecaloriecounter.com

Step 2: Calculate your basic metabolic rate(BMR), ie., the calories you burn just to breathe, digest food etc.
If you’re female, use the formula 655+(4.3 x weight in pounds)+(4.7 x height in inches)-(4.7 x age in years).
If you’re male, use the formula 66+(6.3 x weight in pounds)+(12.9 x height in inches)-(6.8 x age in years).

Step 3: Record your OutCal or the calories you burn per day through physical activity. Most cardio exercise machines display calories burned. You can estimate calories burned for other activities (Ladies, think shopping. Gentlemen, think cleaning out the garage :-)) using http://www.www.healthstatus.com/calculate/cbc

Step 4: Calculate your Calorie-Deficit(CD)using this formula: BMR+OutCal-InCal. For example: If your InCal is 1600 calories, your BMR is 1500 and your OutCal is 600, your CD will be 500. Now, you need a CD of 3500 to lose 1 pound. So in this example, you can lose 1 pound every week.

I lost 43 of my 50 pregnancy pounds following this approach. But then I got greedy, wanted to lose the last sticky, sticky seven pounds in a minute. I tried the fad diets, lost some flab, gave up the disgusting meal-plan (whether Cabbage Soup, Starvation or Eat-All-Animals-You-Can-Find), regained the flab.

But I’m back on track this week with the Calories-In vs Calories-Out Lifestyle. If I succumb and eat half a bar of chocolate at dusk (Tragic Fact of Life: junk food doesn’t nourish, but has calories. So if you substitute nutritious food with junk, you’re substituting ONLY calories and may feel hungry (read nutrition-deprived) when you try to stay within your InCal allowance), I make up by eating a mound of greens for dinner.

And I’ve already lost a pound. Woohoo!

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