Past issues

Mindconnection eNL, 2002-06-24

In this issue:

  1. Reader feedback
  2. Product showcase
  3. Finance tip
  4. Health tip
  5. Fitness tip
  6. Thought for the day

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1. Reader feedback

The last eNL got some wonderful feedback. It also got three unsubs, one of which came with an angry retort that there was something wrong with me for advocating safety in the cockpits of our airliners. How quickly we forget that the first attempted hijacking failed because the pilot shot the would-be hijacker and none of the pilots had such protection on September 11, and we saw the consequences of such foolhardiness. I remain unapologetic.

On the wonderful side, half a dozen readers said they really like the health tips. Thanks--I'll keep providing them. A healthy mind and  a healthy body work together, and that's why you see this information from a Web site dealing with the mind. I once had a disagreement with a rather unhealthy "intellectual." The guy was impressed with himself, and bragged to me what his IQ was. I told him that was nice. I didn't tell him I had him beat by 25 points.

He said the mind and body do not work together. I asked him if the mind resides in the elbow. "Of course not, you dolt, it resides in the brain!" I then told him to stick his head underwater for 10 minutes and see how sharp his mind is then. The point of that remark was the brain is a physical organ and it needs certain things. Oxygen is the one we most quickly become aware of when it's not at the right levels. Other things are not as obvious, but that makes them no less important. I remain unapologetic.

One of our readers sent information about a health-related Web site. You can find the link to that on the free information page at

Let other potential readers know what you think of this e-zine, by rating it at the Cumuli Ezine Finder:



2. Product showcase

We have recently revised our How to Write a Business Letter product. Why not get a copy for yourself? People who take this course are amazed at how much impact their letters have, compared to before. Most of us don't think about these things, and often write letters that don't get the results we want. Here is the URL, which you may need to paste into your browser in two pieces:

3. Finance tip

Want to cut your costs? Then use only synthetic oil in your car's engine (unless the engine still is in the "break in" period). Synthetic oil is still oil. It's just processed differently so all the molecules are the same size. This sizing results in minimum contact between molecular surfaces, which means minimum friction. That is what boosts your efficiency. Further, at least one brand (maybe all of them, I don't know) uses no paraffin. That brand is Mobil One. This is not an ad, just an observation--Mobil is paying me nothing for telling you this.

Yes, synthetic costs more. But, if you keep your oil clean and use synthetic, you get your money back several times over in greater fuel efficiency.

It's not what you earn that dictates your financial condition. It's what you earn, minus what you spend. Do keep in mind taxes are involuntary spending. If we all voted down tax increases and voted against politicians with "tax and spend" disease, well, you can do the math. Anyhow, part of spending is waste. By making your car waste less fuel, you automatically improve your financial condition. It's not major for most of us, but every little bit helps.


4. Health tip

A new health fad is taking root. Actually, I like to think of it as a new unhealth fad. The Wall Street Journal featured an article in June, 2002, about the extremely low calorie diet. Proponents of this diet falsely assume that limiting caloric intake to the detriment of healthy tissue will prolong their lives. This is an obviously flawed strategy, and nobody knowledgeable endorses it. These people make the wrong conclusions from laboratory experiments with rodents, but cannot see the evidence of poor health in their own bodies.

Instead of starving yourself to the point of looking like a Holocaust victim, focus on having lean muscle mass. If your muscle mass is noticeably low, something is wrong. You should look "buff," not scrawny. When your body sacrifices healthy tissue, it's in stress mode. That decreases longevity--it doesn't increase it. Also, what's the point of living longer if your bones are highly prone to fracturing for the last 80 years of your life? Who wants to spend 80 years recovering from one bone fracture after another? One of my childhood friends has had to endure weak bones her whole life (not her fault), and it's not fun. Why do that on purpose, and to an extreme level? So, to maximize your lifespan as well as your useful years, ignore the fad diets. Yes, limit your portion size. But, don't starve yourself.

Test: If you are a healthy male with no physical handicaps, you should be able to do any of the following. If you cannot do all of them, you have a serious need to change what you are doing. Please note, you should do each of these tests on a different day.

  • Do five chinups without swinging your legs
  • Do five backsquats, with a barbell loaded to weigh half as much as you do
  • Do five pushups with back straight
  • Run a mile in less than ten minutes
  • Run (a bit faster than walking) up four flights of stairs without stopping
  • Measure your chest. Measure your waist. Measure your hips. In order of size (men, only), they should be chest, hips, waist--in that order.

If you can do all of these things, that doesn't mean you are fit. It only means you are not extremely unfit. For example, you begin to approach athlete-level fitness if you can do the following (but don't worry if you can't):

  • Do five sets of six chinups without swinging your legs
  • Do three sets of five backsquats, with a barbell loaded to weigh as much as you do
  • Do three sets of ten pushups with back straight
  • Run three miles, averaging less than seven minutes per mile
  • Run hard up five flights of stairs without stopping



5. Fitness tip

Posture is incredibly important, yet many gym rats (and others) pay it no heed. What should your posture be? You really need a trained person to show you, but here's a rough check:

  • Stand with your back to a wall. Your butt and the back of your head should touch the wall. Your spine should have  a gentle S curve, and you should be able to slide your hand under the small of your back.

  • Put a book on your head and walk across the room. If the book falls off, you are not standing up straight. If it stays on, you may still have a posture problem.

  • Look at your shoulder joints. Most people's shoulders rotate forward, which causes all kinds of problems. The plane of your shoulder, in front, should face directly toward the front. On most people, this plane slants inward. Look for where the pectoral muscle inserts into the shoulder--it does that on this plane.

  • Your feet should point forward. If they do not, you are stressing your knees and your back.

  • Your chest should be "up." On men, this means your nipples point straight out, not down (they should also point a bit to the side, or you have bad shoulder alignment).

  • Look in the mirror, and notice the height of each shoulder. If your shoulder is not level, you have a spine curvature.

If you fail any one of these tests, visit your doctor. If your doctor seems unconcerned, you need a different doctor. Prolonged posture errors do result in soft tissue (nerves, muscles, ligaments) damage and can mean spinal disk trouble. Nip it in the bud.

Don't forget, you will look taller, breathe more easily, and have better circulation to your vital organs. Yes, even that vital organ.


6. Thought for the Day

What do you feed your mind? Do you feel great, after listening to (or watching) "The News?" No, you feel a bit down because the news was about all kinds of negative events. Do you feel intellectually enhanced after listening yet again to someone belt out the latest "love song" (songs of loss, betrayal, etc.) on the radio? Probably not. Especially after the 114th time. Those songs follow a formula, too, and it's pabulum. My answer to both of these situations is to listen to recorded books. You can get these for free from your public library. Don't like the selection? Make a tax-deductible gift of $100 to your local library--just ask at the desk, and they'll tell you what you need to do.


Wishing you the best,

Mark Lamendola

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