420 pound man fired for farting too much

funny-suprised-dog-did-you-fart-picsWell, it wasn’t just farting. The Daily News points out that Richard Clem had gastric bypass surgery because extreme obesity was threatening his life. Afterwards, he spent a lot of work time in the bathroom too, as he couldn’t control his bowels. According to his employer, Clem simply stunk too much, too often.

HuffPost reports that obesity is a condition protected by the Americans With Disabilities Act so Clem’s wife filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the Case Pork Roll Co. in Trenton, where 70 year old Clem had worked as comptroller for 10 years.

Thriving local economies means more health & resilience

walmart never respectsWalmart and Target say they help communities overcome health issues and the ill effects of poverty but the reverse is true.Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Stacey Mitchell writes about the difference between communities with thriving local economies and those dominated by Big Box retail giants:

study found that counties dominated by a few big firms have … less engaged citizens than those in which economic activity is dispersed across many locally owned businesses. “We find that residents of communities with highly concentrated economies (ed note: where big box stores predominate) tend to vote less and are less likely to keep up with local affairs, participate in associations, engage in reform efforts or participate in protest activities at the same levels as their counterparts in economically dispersed environments (ed note: where small businesses proliferate)…”.

Sociologists Stephan Goetz and Anil Rupasingha have linked this decline in civic participation to Walmart specifically. With each Walmart store that opens, social capital erodes, their research finds. Communities with more Walmart stores have lower voter turnout and fewer active nonprofit organizations. In their latest study, published in June, they’ve documented a correlation between Walmart and the presence of hate groups.

Still other research has linked the regional market share of large retail chains with higher rates of poverty, infant mortality, and crime.

Why is local ownership so nourishing to the social and civic fabric of communities? One (reason is) local business owners themselves. Their personal and financial interests are tied to the community’s well-being and, as a result, they are often active in various civic endeavors. While small business owners gain prestige and influence by contributing to community improvement, corporate managers garner status by advancing the company’s interest, even at the expense of the community.

Another reason is that cities with a strong entrepreneurial culture and local control of economic resources have more capacity to solve problems on their own and are more resilient and adaptable in times of distress. Those that are dependent on outside corporations have little ability to marshal resources to overcome challenges.

Try UCLA’s free guided meditations

Mindful awareness research ctr - UCLA
The UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center has free guided meditations you can download from iTunes or play on your computer.

A Business Insider article on how to sleep better and why you should, points out, “Studies show that mindfulness meditation lowers stress and promotes psychological well-being.” As a newly minted practitioner, I’m learning that even a five minute meditation session is a good investment for my attention and energy levels, and my outlook.

Can you limit sleeping & sitting to 23 1/2 hours/day?

best health ROI

best health ROI
Dr. Mike Evans is a preventive medicine researcher. He found the single biggest and important health investment you can make is: be active between 20 and 30 minutes a day. Evans says, walking is a great way to get it done so take the dog out, get off your bus a stop early, get out with some friends or #walkwithmike. But you can also ride a bike (stationary or mobile), do yoga, Pilates, garden or take an aerobics class. The important thing, is just move!

In this clip Evans calls 23 1/2 hours, the doctor shows you why this is true.

Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with these hand exercises

Tendon Gliding Exercise

A few years back I had a painful bout of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Several occupational therapy sessions plus using two types of gliding exercises the therapist provided helped to reduce pain and restore strength in my hand: the exercises are shown in the pictures below, along with instructions. The CTS gradually faded away as I used the exercises, kept my wrist straight at night by resting my hand and forearm on a pillow while sleeping, and shed quite a few pounds (I had given up smoking and become enormously fat afterwards).

But, I learned recently that one of the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is difficulty grasping bottles and jars tightly. I still don’t have the strong grip I used to, so I pulled out the gliding exercises again and gee – they produced an immediate improvement to my grip. I think I should try them out again for a while. If you try them too, let me know what they do for you.

Recommended reading: my favorite books

Beyond the Messy Truth

These are books and stories that I’ve found useful or that are special to me. If they resonate with you too, please tell me in a comment. Disclaimer: if you buy one of these titles from Amazon, I will get a very small commission.

Social Justice


Shaping Society

Personal Development

Keen Social Insights


Big Oyster
The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell