Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for June 23rd, 2020

When art restoration becomes art destruction

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The Guardian article by Sam Jones includes the example above, and also has another. Jones writes:

Conservation experts in Spain have called for a tightening of the laws covering restoration work after a copy of a famous painting by the baroque artist Bartolomé Esteban Murillo became the latest in a long line of artworks to suffer a damaging and disfiguring repair.

A private art collector in Valencia was reportedly charged €1,200 by a furniture restorer to have the picture of the Immaculate Conception cleaned. However, the job did not go as planned and the face of the Virgin Mary was left unrecognisable despite two attempts to restore it to its original state.

The case has inevitably resulted in comparisons with the infamous “Monkey Christ” incident eight years ago, when a devout parishioner’s attempt to restore a painting of the scourged Christ on the wall of a church on the outskirts of the north-eastern Spanish town of Borja made headlines around the world.

Parallels have also been drawn with the botched restoration of a 16th-century polychrome statue of Saint George and the dragon in northern Spain that left the warrior saint resembling Tintin or a Playmobil figure.

Fernando Carrera, a professor at the Galician School for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage, said such cases highlighted the need for work to be carried out only by properly trained restorers.

“I don’t think this guy – or these people – should be referred to as restorers,” Carrera told the Guardian. “Let’s be honest: they’re bodgers who botch things up. They destroy things.”

Carrera, a former president of Spain’s Professional Association of Restorers and Conservators (Acre), said the law currently allowed people to engage in restoration projects even if they lacked the necessary skills. “Can you imagine just anyone being allowed to operate on other people? Or someone being allowed to sell medicine without a pharmacist’s licence? Or someone who’s not an architect being allowed to put up a building?” . . .

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Written by LeisureGuy

23 June 2020 at 3:39 pm

A BIG party (250,000,000 guests)

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I don’t like crowds much at all, so I doubt that I’d attend this event. Monica Jha’s article begins:

It’s 3:13 a.m., and Radio Inspector Ashok Kumar turns around to look at his computer. His face stiffens. He zooms in on the screen and squints at an unauthorized SUV crossing a pontoon bridge.

Kumar and his team are in the Integrated Command and Control Center (ICCC) overlooking operations for this year’s Magh Mela, an annual Hindu pilgrimage and festival that draws millions of people in a single day. Each year, devotees from all across the country congregate at the spot where the Ganges, Yamuna, and mythical Saraswati rivers converge at Prayagraj in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. There, devotees dip in the water, which they believe cleanses them of their sins.

It is here at the ICCC, a big white room with two rows of desks, that the police keep a vigil over the mela (the Hindi word for “fair”). At each terminal, policemen hunch over computer screens as they monitor feeds from around 700 closed-circuit TV cameras. A video wall dominates, with 55-inch screens arranged in a 10 by 2 matrix along the length of the room. Khaki jackets emblazoned with “Uttar Pradesh Police” hang on the backs of the chairs. Tapping their shoeless feet on the carpeted floor, the officers glance at each other regularly, followed by tentative nods implying that everything is fine.

The monitoring team is on high alert. Kumar and his team have been here since 8 p.m. last night, on a 12-hour shift, and the first bathing rituals began at 3 a.m. Today is February 9, and it is the full moon day of Maghi Purnima. Police are expecting a crowd of 7.5 million — down from a single-day peak of 11 million two weeks earlier. Millions of pilgrims will be leaving after today’s dip. Many are joined by their families, who have come to take them home.

Kumar’s job is to keep this massive crowd under control. Stampedes, terror attacks, and theft are on his mind. He places a call, and minutes after the SUV is vetted, a police officer appears on-screen to set up a barricade at the foot of the bridge.

Outside, as LED lights switch off, an easterly sunrise turns the sky several shades of crimson. On the water, the boats stand out in silhouette. The air contains a mix of piety and festivity.

The Magh Mela is a smaller version of the Kumbh Mela, the largest human gathering on earth. The Kumbh is held every six years, and the previous one was held in 2019. Over 49 days last year, more than 250 million people took a dip in the sangam, the point where the three rivers meet, with the biggest one-day crowd reaching 50 million. It was the second-largest gathering in history.

To prepare for the melas, tens of thousands of officials spend months setting up a massive temporary city on the banks of the Ganges. Viewed from above, it is a colorful patchwork divided by big and small bodies of water. Much of this — tents, floating bridges, and metal sheet roads — is built specifically for the festival. As the riverbed floods every year, the city lasts for only several months before the Ganges threatens to reclaim the land.

The physical structure of the mela changes each year, depending on the river. The groundwork usually starts in October, after monsoon season, when the Ganges retreats. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

23 June 2020 at 2:57 pm

Posted in Daily life, Technology

Not something you see every day: Giant, tap-dancing noses

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From Shostakovich’s The Nose (The Royal Opera)

Written by LeisureGuy

23 June 2020 at 2:46 pm

Posted in Art, Video

Tagged with ,

An essay on swimming in a book review

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From the NY Review of Books, a review by Iris Murdoch:

Haunts of the Black Masseur: The Swimmer as Hero
by Charles Sprawson
Pantheon, 307 pp., $22.00

I am not in the athletic sense a keen swimmer, but I am a devoted one. On hot days in the Oxford summer my husband and I usually manage to slip into the Thames a mile or two above Oxford, where the hay in the water meadows is still owned and cut on the medieval strip system. The art is to draw no attention to oneself but to cruise quietly by the reeds like a water rat: seeing and unseen from that angle, one can hear the sedge warblers’ mysterious little melodies, and sometimes a cuckoo flies cuckooing over our heads, or a kingfisher flashes past. Very poetical. And how much more so than a swimming pool, which is just a machine for exercising in.I fancy Mr. Sprawson would agree with me about this. Packed with fascinating tales of swimming exploits in history and literature, and with accounts of immersion in lochs, fjords, straits, and torrents all over the world, his splendid and wholly original book is as zestful as a plunge in champagne. Alan Ross published the short piece with which it began in his London Magazine; and Mr. Sprawson called on me and on other writers to see if we had anything interesting to tell him about our swimming experiences. His own stories, and those of his friends and family, turn out to be far more interesting. Tutored by the captain of a Turkish pilot tug, he learned how to swim the Hellespont, making allowance for tide and currents, and on his final successful crossing he was accompanied by his daughter. Rather unfairly, I thought, the Turkish skipper gave her a little medal and certificate, while her father had to be content with his own personal sense of achievement. While the experience of total immersion should be, like baptism, a rite of joyful equality, it must be admitted that to be young and blonde and beautiful is just as much of a social advantage in the water as it is everywhere else.

Having graduated in the Bosphorus, like Byron, Mr. Sprawson went on to tackle the Tagus estuary at Lisbon, a much more demanding swim as it turned out, and one endangered by giant tankers as well as unpredictable tides. Normally he is not fussy, as I am not myself, about the quality of the water he swims in; although all bathers would of course prefer a green pure foaming element to a stagnant one. But the pollution in the Lisbon estuary was too much for him, and together with the tides and the tankers it forced him to abandon the swim. No less than the hero on dry land, the hero in the water can be as distinguished by glorious failure as by success. Unguided by Hero’s torch, Leander failed to make it one night across the Hellespont; and his distraught inamorata is said to have plunged in to share his fate. Women can be heroes in the water as much as men; but I like to think we would not make so much fuss about it as Byron for instance did: swimming for him was the chief expression of a male chauvinist persona.

However keen and dedicated, and famous throughout Europe for their prowess in the water—George Borrow and the poet Swinburne were both ecstatic and indefatigable swimmers—the English always remained amateurs of the sport. Early this century their exploits were easily overtaken by the Germans and the Japanese, who trained themselves scientifically and moved methodically through the water to get the best results. Speed became the criterion; and in diving, height. The swallow dive was invented, and made famous in Leni Riefenstahl’s films of the Olympic Games. Before that, in 1914, photographed in her film A Daughter of the Gods, Annette Kellermann had set a world high-dive record when she escaped from her prison tower by plunging a hundred feet into the sea in a perfect swallow dive. One may doubt if Leander’s Hero, dutifully waiting for her lover every night beside the signal flame, could have achieved anything like that, but it would have been child’s play to Esther Williams, the swimming star and a movie heroine of my early youth.

All this and much more we learn from Mr. Sprawson’s pages; and his presentation is as stirring as the facts he gives us. Did you know that the world high-dive record is still held by Alick Wickham, a Solomon Islander, who in 1918 dived 205 feet 9 inches from a platform on a cliff above the Yarra River in South Australia? He was offered a hundred pounds for the feat, so it was a professional affair; and he was not so much bothered by the height or water depth as by the chances of hitting the opposite bank. He was successful, however, although the many bathing costumes he wore for protection were ripped off by the impact, and he lay in a coma for a week. Less hazardous, one hopes, were the film exploits a few years later of Jane and Tarzan. Then, as Mr. Sprawson writes, “musicals were full of girls swallow diving from the tops of waterfalls. Jane swallow dived from out of the trees into the arms of Tarzan. Weissmuller himself was an immaculate swallow diver, as photographs show, but he preferred to take part in competitions where the result was not dependent on the whims of judges.”

Earlier there were no judges, even when the English Channel was swum for the first time in August 1875 by Captain Matthew Webb, a Shropshire man celebrated in some lively verses by our former Poet Laureate, John Betjeman. Oddly enough, Webb was a friend and employee of the poet W.B. Yeats’s grandfather, who owned a number of merchant ships, and who “thought so little of danger,” as his more timorous grandson wistfully remarked, “that he had jumped overboard in the Bay of Biscay after an old hat.” Webb despised racing: in the water he was slow but sure. The journalist who accompanied his Channel swim grew tired of watching his “slow, methodical, but perfect breaststroke, and the magnificent sweep of his ponderous legs.” (I would maintain that the breaststroke is by far the most natural as well as the most comfortable way to enjoy the water; and Mr. Sprawson informs me that when the swimming craze took off in England, quite early in the last century, frogs were kept in tubs beside the new municipal swimming pools as a means of instruction.)

Technically, in fact, Webb was not the first man to swim the channel: he was preceded by an enterprising American, a coast guard named Boynton, who performed the feat in a rubber suit and assisted by a paddle. This equipment—an early instance of Yankee know-how—he continued to use when he and Webb took part in endurance races which the latter nonetheless managed to win, swimming continuously for six days, fourteen hours a day. He became totally committed to the deeps, and resigning command of his ship performed feat after feat of endurance swimming, always in need of money, of which he only earned modest amounts. He married and had children but continued to swim. Like Peleus, the father of Achilles, who begat his famous son on Thetis the sea goddess, he became totally committed to the new style of heroism. Such epic marine immersions aged his once magnificent body, but like all classic heroes he could not stop. He knew where his fate must lie; he arranged to swim through the whirlpool below Niagara Falls, a feat never previously attempted. Like a warrior in the Iliad putting on his armor, Webb wore the red silk costume made famous by his Channel swim. He dived from the boat and swam through “the savage green boiling water that seemed piled up in the centre like some glacier.” He was never seen alive again.

Rupert Brooke visited Niagara some years later, and viewed the scene, as Mr. Sprawson observes, “with a swimmer’s eye.” “Close in its bands of rock the river surges tumultuously forward,” Brooke wrote, “writhing and leaping as if inspired by a demon…. Its motion continually suggests muscular action. The power manifest in these rapids moves one with a different sense of awe and terror from that of the Falls. Here the inhuman life and strength are spontaneous, active, almost resolute; masculine vigour compared with the passive gigantic power, female, helpless and overwhelming, of the Falls. A place of fear.” He might well say so. Brooke’s division of water into two manifestations—male and female—suggests the division in his own nature. He had an obsessive longing to plunge into water wherever he found it, at Granchester, Swanage, or Tahiti; but this very longing reveals an inhibition, was perhaps a substitute for the human sexual relations about which he seems to have been extremely coy, in spite of bathing in the nude near Cambridge with Virginia Woolf and other young ladies in the same state.

Daring was not enough however, “It may be there is a herb growing at the bottom of the river just above the pool at Granchester,” he wrote to his friend Geoffrey Keynes (later to become a well-known Blake scholar), “and that if I dive and find it and bring it up—it will heal me.” What of? One fascination of swimming is that the swimmer may feel himself cured of all ailments and dissatisfactions, as of all other longings. The waters of death have gone over my head, as the Bible says. Swimming, like dying, seems to solve all problems: and you remain alive. At least two English novelists, I note with interest—Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh—once swam out to sea with the intention of never coming back. They did of course—Waugh, as he says, because he found himself surrounded by jellyfish. But a poet of an earlier generation, John Davidson, who entered the sea near Penzance with the same intention, held to his purpose.

Heroism with Brooke, like the outbreak of the Great War, was purification, a lustral rite; soldiers would go into action “like swimmers into cleanness leaping.” That of . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

23 June 2020 at 2:40 pm

Posted in Books

Anthony Howe’s wind sculptures

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More here. Also:

 

Written by LeisureGuy

23 June 2020 at 1:41 pm

Posted in Art, Video

My Family Saw a Police Car Hit a Kid on Halloween. Then I Learned How NYPD Impunity Works.

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Eric Umansky reports in ProPublica:

Last Halloween, my wife and then-6-year-old daughter were making their way home after trick-or-treating in Brooklyn. Suddenly, an unmarked NYPD car with sirens wailing began speeding against traffic up a one-way street, our neighborhood’s main thoroughfare. The officer seemed to be going after a few teenage boys.

Then, in an instant, the car hit one of the kids.

It was the first of many jarring things my family saw the NYPD do that night. Afterward, I tried to find out more about what exactly had happened and whether officers would be disciplined. There was footage and plenty of witnesses, and I happen to be an investigative journalist. I thought there was at least a chance I could get answers. Instead, the episode crystallized all of the ways in which the NYPD is shielded from accountability.

This happened in my neighborhood, Carroll Gardens, which is overwhelmingly white. Residents named it that in the 1960s to distinguish it from nearby Red Hook, where the population was largely Black. The area has changed enormously over the decades. But even now, it’s segregated almost block by block.

Halloween is the one day that it can seem like an integrated neighborhood. With lots of stoops and storefronts, there’s always plenty of candy to be had. Kids from the whole area come for the haul.

The police said a group of teenage boys that night had punched and kicked another teenager at a nearby playground and stolen his cellphone. The teen flagged down an officer and was driven around the neighborhood looking for the boys. He pointed out a group, and police descended from different directions. One car sped against traffic until it hit a kid; the boy slid over the hood, hit the ground, and then popped up and ran away along with the others.

My wife took a photo of the car right after.

The police then turned their attention to a different group of boys. My wife and others said they were younger and didn’t seem to have any connection to the ones who had been running. Except that in both groups, the boys were Black.

The police lined five of the younger boys against the wall of our neighborhood movie theater and questioned them, shining bright lights that made them wince and turn their heads. The smallest of the boys was crying, saying, “I didn’t do anything.”

My daughter took in the scene. “What did the boys do wrong?” she asked. The family members of a couple of the boys were there. They had all been trick-or-treating in the neighborhood.

The police eventually let the two boys with relatives go and arrested the three others: a 15-year-old, a 14-year-old and a 12-year-old.

My wife came home with my daughter and urged me to go back. I arrived about half an hour after everything started, a bit after 9 p.m., just as the handcuffed boys were put into a police car.

I watched the mom of one of the freed boys try to tell the ones being arrested to shout out their parents’ numbers, so somebody could tell them what was happening. An officer stood in front of the car window to block the boys from sharing their numbers. Another officer walked up close to the mom and started yelling at her to shut up. A senior officer backed him away.

I also watched another little girl take it all in. She was about the same age as my daughter. Except my daughter is white, as am I. The little girl is Black, and she had just watched her brother be put against the wall and her own mother being yelled at by a cop.

The boys were driven to our local precinct, the 76th. I eventually made my way there, too. The families of all the boys were there. The police are required to notify families when a minor is arrested. But the families told me that hadn’t happened. They’d learned about the boys’ arrests from friends. (The police later said the families showed up so quickly they didn’t have time to make notifications.)

The parents stood outside the precinct for the next four hours, waiting to be allowed to see their kids. One of the fathers, silent most of the time, said he was worried about how late the kids were being held because they still had school in the morning. A mother had to leave her 2-year-old with a neighbor. She paced around outside the station. “I blame myself,” she kept saying. “I never let him out on Halloween. A bunch of Black boys together. I shouldn’t have let him out. But he begged me.”

The police didn’t allow the parents into the station or let them see their kids. At one point, an officer came out, apologized and explained that the station was simply waiting for paperwork to go through. The boys were finally let out around 12:45 a.m.

They weren’t given any paperwork or records about what had happened or told the arresting officers’ names.

The next day, our daughter and her 8-year-old brother were full of questions: “Why did they arrest the boys if they didn’t do anything wrong?” “Is the boy that got hit OK?” I had questions, too. So I called the NYPD. What was the department’s understanding of what happened, I asked, and was it going to investigate any of the cops’ actions?

I felt a sense of kinship with the NYPD’s spokesman, Al Baker. He’s a former journalist. We followed each other on Twitter. Surely, he’d tell me the real deal.

Baker soon called me back. He had looked into it. The boys were being charged with something called “obstructing government administration,” which basically amounts to resisting arrest.

The police hadn’t done anything wrong, Baker said. I don’t know what your wife saw, he explained, but a police car did not hit a kid.

So I went back to my wife and asked her, “Are you sure?” She was sure. It happened right in front of her. Still, memories are fallible. So I went into nearby storefronts and asked if anyone had seen anything the night of Halloween.

“Yeah, I saw a cop car hit a kid,” a waiter told me. He said he had a clear view of it: A handful of kids were running. One of them jumped out into the street and got hit by the police car, “probably going faster than he should have been.” He saw the boy roll over the hood and fall to the ground: “It sounded like when people hit concrete. It made a horrible sound.”

I spoke to four witnesses, including my wife. All of them said they saw the same thing. When I called Baker back, he told me that my wife and the three others were mistaken. The car hadn’t hit the kid. The kid had hit the car.

As his statement put it: “One unknown male fled the scene and ran across the hood of a stationary police car.”

The NYPD has units devoted to investigating its own cops. The city’s district attorneys can also charge officers, of course. But there is supposed to be another check on abuse by police.

New York City has an agency dedicated to investigating civilians’ allegations against the police, the straightforwardly named Civilian Complaint Review Board. After reporters covered what happened on Halloween, the CCRB responded to a Twitter thread I had written, saying it was investigating. Once again, I assumed we’d get answers.

But the NYPD has long fought against truly independent civilian oversight. Seventy years ago, community groups banded together and pushed the city to address “police misconduct in their relations with Puerto Ricans and Negros.” The NYPD responded by creating the CCRB. But it didn’t have any actual civilians on it. The board originally consisted of three deputy police commissioners.

The first outsiders were appointed more than a decade later, by Mayor John Lindsay’s administration. The police unions fought it. “I’m sick and tired of giving in to minority groups with their whims and their gripes and shouting,” said the head of one. . .

Continue reading. There’s much more, and it gives an example of why so many Americans are fed up with police departments.

Written by LeisureGuy

23 June 2020 at 10:32 am

Scientific Panel on New Dietary Guidelines Draws Criticism From Health Advocates

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The US is to a great extent controlled by major corporations, whose interest in the public’s welfare is minimal. Thus nutrition/food guidelines tend to be crafted to support the sale of (highly profitable) junk food rather than fresh vegetables and fruit, dried beans and whole grain, because those are commodities and the big bucks are in candy, soda pop, and highly processed foods.

Andrew Jacbos writes in the NY Times:

Are children who consume prodigious amounts of sugary drinks at higher risk for cardiovascular disease?

Can a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and legumes reduce the risk of hip fractures in older adults?

Should sweetened yogurts be a part of a healthy diet for toddlers making their first foray into solid food?

These and other nutrition-related questions will be addressed on Wednesday when a panel of 20 nutrition scientistsmeeting publicly by videoconference, discusses suggested changes to the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, recommendations that directly impact the eating habits of millions of people through food stamp policies, school lunch menus and the product formulations embraced by food manufacturers.

The guidelines, updated every five years by the Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services, have long prompted jousting among nutrition advocates and food industry interests, like pork producers and soda companies, seeking to influence the final document. But the process this year is especially fraught, given the Trump administration’s skepticism of science and its well-established deference to corporate interests.

More than half of this year’s panel has ties to the food industry, and the scientists leading newly created subcommittees on pregnant women, lactating mothers and toddlers have ties to the baby food industry.

Some groups have criticized federal officials for omitting questions about red meat and salt consumption from the 80 diet-related questions that panel members were charged with answering. And government watchdog groups have questioned the panel’s objectivity.

“Amid a pandemic made worse by diet-related disease that’s hitting black and Indigenous communities hardest, junk food corporations should be paying for their abuses, not stacking scientific panels and official drafting committees,” said Ashka Naik, the research director at the advocacy group Corporate Accountability.

In a statement, the Department of Agriculture said panel members were nominated by the public and that those chosen were required to submit financial disclosure forms that were reviewed by agency staff members for possible conflicts of interest. The entire process, it noted, has garnered 62,000 public comments.

“Throughout the entire 2020-2025 dietary guidelines process, we have relied on the nation’s leading scientists and dietary experts to inform our development of science-based guidelines and have taken numerous steps to promote transparency, integrity, and public involvement,” Pam Miller, the agency’s Food and Nutrition Service Administrator, said in the statement.

The final guidelines, scheduled for release later this year, shape federal food programs in schools, prisons and military bases that sustain one in four Americans.

The coronavirus pandemic has fueled a greater sense of urgency over the guidelines, given emerging research suggesting that people with diet-related illnesses like Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease have a significantly higher risk of developing serious complications from Covid-19.

Such diseases, like Covid-19 itself, have struck African-American and Hispanic communities particularly hard. The members of the nutrition panel, however, are almost all white.

“People of color are already disproportionately impacted by chronic diseases but Covid-19 has really placed a magnifying glass on the health disparities that make us more vulnerable to the pandemic,” said Dr. Yolandra Hancock, a pediatrician and obesity expert at George Washington University’s Milken Institute of Public Health. “My concern is that these guidelines, heavily influenced by the food and beverage industry, will dictate what kinds of food are offered at schools and set the eating habits of children, particularly black and brown children, for the rest of their lives.” . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

23 June 2020 at 10:24 am

Looking at Masks and Respiratory Health

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Jane E. Brody writes in the NY Times:

Starting with the first reports of breathing difficulties among people who contracted Covid-19 and extending now to those wearing masks to limit the risk of acquiring or unwittingly transmitting the virus, the ability to breathe normally has become a common concern.

Some worry: Are we taking in enough oxygen to adequately supply our muscles, organs and especially our brains? (I’m among many who purchased a pulse oximeter to do daily checks of my blood’s oxygen level.) Are the masks we wear interfering with our breathing?

As I walk and cycle in my Brooklyn neighborhood, I see many people with masks under their chins who pull them over nose and mouth only when they’re about to pass another person.

Believe me, I understand and empathize. Walking around with half one’s face under layers of cloth, neoprene or some other protective covering is neither attractive nor comfortable, even more so now with summer heat approaching. This is especially challenging for people who must wear masks throughout their workday, as well as those with pre-existing respiratory problems and people with poor hearing who now struggle to participate in mask-muffled conversations without the added assist of lip reading.

Alas, this is a fact of life we will most likely have to endure for many more months, perhaps even years, until an effective vaccine against this deadly virus can be developed and administered widely. There are ways, though, to maintain and even improve respiratory health while following the important guidelines for wearing masks issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to curb the spread of Covid-19.

But first, we could all benefit from a better understanding of a bodily function most of us have long taken for granted and learn how to maximize its efficiency and life-sustaining benefits. Based on the research I’ve done for this column, it’s apparent that even without a mask as an impediment, many people breathe in ways that compromise their well-being.

“Doctors who study breathing say that the vast majority of Americans do it inadequately,” James Nestor, author of a new book, “Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art,” wrote recently in The Wall Street Journal. “How we breathe matters,” he said, “and our attention to it is long overdue.”

For example, Mr. Nestor noted, “nose breathing is better than mouth breathing” because it’s protective; the nose filters, heats and treats raw air. “Inhaling through the nose stimulates the release of hormones and nitric oxide, which helps to regulate vital functions like blood pressure and increase oxygenation throughout the body,” Mr. Nestor said in an email.

Given that most of us take about 25,000 breaths a day and breathing properly is critical to how well our bodies function, we should try to get the most benefit we can from this life-sustaining activity, with or without a mask.

So, in addition to Mr. Nestor’s comprehensive treatise on breathing, I consulted an unusual expert, Paul DiTuro, a former professional athlete and special forces medic in the United States military who is now a performance breathing specialist for a company called PN Medical, which makes devices to help train respiratory muscles for people with conditions like emphysema as well as professional athletes.

Breathing done properly keeps the body in acid-base balance, which enables tissues to get the amount of oxygen they need to function optimally, Mr. DiTuro explained. This balance is achieved by maintaining an ideal level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the blood. Too little CO2, which can happen when breathing is rapid and shallow, impedes the release of oxygen to body tissues and can result in feelings of anxiety, irritability, fatigue and lack of focus, Mr. DiTuro said.

Rapid, shallow breathing keeps the body in a high state of alert and engages the sympathetic nervous system, an adaptation that is useful in times of danger but counterproductive to feeling calm and relaxed the rest of the time.

Even during normal times, many people breathe too fast and through their mouths, perhaps because of chronic stress or . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

23 June 2020 at 10:04 am

Posted in Daily life, Health

Meißner Tremonia Black Beer No. 1 and a theme shave

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The theme is fairly obvious. The lather from Black Beer No. 1 was excellent and I do like the fragrance. Four passes with the Baby Smooth left my face likewise, and a splash of The Holy Black’s Gunpowder Spice aftershave ended the shave on a fine note.

Written by LeisureGuy

23 June 2020 at 8:46 am

Posted in Shaving

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