Monthly Archives: January 2019


Jack McCormick is a personal trainer at Equinox. He prepared for this position by getting a master’s degree in Kinesiology and having an extensive background as a college strength and conditioning coach. He writes a blog a few times a month, offering helpful advice on improving your exercising and enjoying a better life, which we are pleased to occasionally offer here.


You may be surprised to learn that the body is typically compromised of 60% water, with vital organs having a high-water content, such as the brain and heart (73% each), the lungs (83%), and the skin (64%). In addition, water serves a variety of important functions in the body, such as transporting nutrients and dispelling waste. Most people would agree that drinking enough water and staying hydrated is important, but some research has described water as a highly neglected and underappreciated nutrient despite being among the most important. In fact, one researcher estimates that the prevalence of dehydration in adults ranges from 16-28%, depending on age. The good news is that there are many ways to help our bodies stay hydrated since many foods contain water.

Interestingly, it has been estimated that 20-30% of water intake comes from food. However, we should not rely on the water composition from the food in our diets alone. It can be challenging to know exactly how much water a person should drink because variables such as weight and activity level can make one person’s needs different than another’s. Research indicates that a normal hydration status can be achieved with a broad range of total water intake. A good rule of thumb can be to drink between ½-1 times your bodyweight in ounces per day. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you can aim for 70-140 ounces of water.

Hydration Tips

From the American Council on Exercise – Equinox Fitness Training Institute

1. Drink 17 to 20 ounces of water two hours before the start of exercise.
2. Drink 7 to 10 ounces of fluid every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise.
3. Drink 16 to 20 ounces of fluid for each pound of body weight lost after exercise.
4. Avoid sodas and fruit drinks with no nutritional value.
5. Water and other non-caloric beverages should be your first choice.
6. Go for sports drinks only before, during, and after intense exercise.
7. Prevent weight loss of more than 2% during exercise is not recommended (for example, a 150- pound person should not lose more than 3 pounds in an exercise session).

You can reach Jack at

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In 2018, the N.Y. Times launched a newsletter called “Race/Related” with issues and stories about that subject. Here is a year-end roundup of the writing staff’s thinking that were the most “powerful.”

Remember, these are the opinions of the youthful members of the N.Y. Times newsletter staff. About half of the staff of 15 appear to be people of minority descent.

The deafening silence of Colin Kaepernick

This year, hardly a week passed when Colin Kaepernick’s name did not come up. The kneeling protests against racism and social injustice he ignited at the beginning of the 2016 football season continued to resonate on and off the field, even as he says very little himself. It’s easy to conclude he is being shammed; but, regardless, the debate and dialogue over race and sports carries on.

–Randy Archibold, Deputy Editor

How gardening while black almost landed this Detroit man in jail

For me, the biggest story this year was the numerous accounts of random 911 calls reporting black Americans doing everyday things, like barbecuing, swimming, sitting at Starbucks, golfing, eating at Subway, gardening, leaving a corner store or cashing a paycheck at a bank. The list goes on. Doing any of these things while black made several Americans feel threatened, so much so that they were willing to dial 911. I hope we don’t bring this habit into the new year.

–Pierre-Antoine Louis, News Assistant

Louisiana school made headlines for sending their kids to elite colleges

It’s the education beat that I can’t stop thinking about this year. In story after story—from a school desegregation debate forever unfolding in New York City to Charlottesville, Va., where the N.Y. Times and ProPublica reporters found that zoning policies led to clear racial divides; from the shattering investigation into college prep school T.M. Landry to a Harvard lawsuit about affirmative action—I continue to see systemic racism embedded deeply in the architecture of our schools.

–Sara Simon, Associate Software Engineer

Why America’s black mothers and babies are in a life-or-death crisis

I’m not pregnant, black, a mother or a doctor and went into this story thinking I was a person very much removed from the situation. By the time I finished reading it I was shaking, invested and in mourning because of the meticulous research on the effects of race and class in a for-profit medical system, and how small and irrelevant a person can be made to feel. Reproduction is one of the most primal indicators of a species, and you see here how unhealed our nation’s wounds are from deeply systemic racism.

–Tammy Tarng, News Assistant

Problems immigrants face living here

There are many important immigration stories this year, all highlighting the difficult journeys immigrants have to endure to get into the United States, but we rarely focus on the policies immigrants face once they’re here. Black and brown naturalized American citizens—those who have an accent, those from impoverished countries—still have to deal with the consequences of racist policy decisions every day, and how these decisions create an unrelenting structure of racial hierarchy.

–Isabella Grullón Paz, News Assistant

17 black women sweep to Judgeships in Texas county

The elections of progressive district attorneys, judges, and sheriffs will reverberate for years, and help reshape our criminal justice system. These progressives—many of whom are people of color—are intent on making the courts more equitable and less damaging to the people who come in contact with them. They have pledged to: focus on reducing incarceration (especially for nonviolent offenses); crack down on police misconduct; revamp a cash bail system that unfairly imprisons poor people; and to use more alternatives to prison.

–Adeel Hassan, Senior Staff Editor

For many Americans, abolishing birthright citizenship is unthinkable

This year we saw the escalation of restrictive immigration policies and dehumanizing rhetoric about immigrants. As an American-born child of immigrants, it was additionally difficult to see this exacerbated by the debate over the right to birthright citizenship. Despite legal scholarship reiterating the meaning of the 14th amendment, it added to the growing anxiety over the potential erosion of civil rights. Race has been at the center of who belongs in America since the nation’s inception, but 2018 reflected how some communities continue to struggle to be considered truly American.

–Veda Shastri, Video Journalist

You can take issue (as I do) with some of their opinions but it’s interesting to hear the position of young reporters.

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• With all the advances in nutrition, physical fitness, personalized training and specialized coaching, why are so many professional athletes in every sport getting hurt? Do they play too many games? Are they not following the prescribed regimens?

• The road to the top executive ranks rarely goes to someone who follows a career in marketing.

• I’m very surprised there are not more interceptions in football.

• If you trespass on private property—that is to say, if you enter or attempt to enter private property—you are committing an illegal act. The property owner may shoot you or call the police and have you arrested. You will then be subject to and have to suffer the legal consequences of your action. Our borders are no different than private property. It’s just that simple. That’s the crux of the immigration problem and the solution. Open borders for “humane” or “moral” reasons are still condoning an illegal act.

• This has been the most turbulent, tumultuous and somewhat bizarre presidential administration we have ever witnessed; with all that said, the Trump presidency has accomplished a number of significant achievements, i.e., a stronger economy, better trade relations and some tax reductions.

• There is nothing government can give you that it hasn’t taken from you in the first place. –Winston Churchill

• There is too much showboating in professional football.

• When will they ever stop making us change our passwords?

• When will they ever honor the passwords we gave them?

• As great as the creation of electricity and the computer and the internet has been, I believe the greatest invention of the last two centuries has been the flush toilet.

• No incumbent president has ever lost a primary re-election.

• Why can’t they get better about predicting the weather more accurately?

• It’s very frustrating to keep getting phone calls and no one appears to be on the line.

• If you think the roads are in bad shape, try riding a scooter on the sidewalk.

• When publications use stock paper, don’t they know some of us older folks have trouble getting the pages apart?

• I don’t miss work one bit, but I sure miss having a secretary.

• With all the advancement in packaging, some products seem to be welded into their cardboard carriers.

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Each year I complain that there seems to be fewer movies to recommend. In 2018, I think we had some outstanding flics.

Overall, theater revenue was up about 6%, although attendance was down about the same.

This year I noticed, or I think I noticed, a discrepancy more often between the critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and the audience’s opinion. For example:

Widows: Critics = 93% Audience = 63%
Green Book: Critics = 82% Audience = 95%
Bohemian Rhapsody: Critics 62% Audience = 90%

In case you missed my nominations for the films I most enjoyed in 2017. They’re probably still available on Netflix.

• Norman
• 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Miss.
• Darkest Hour
• Marshall
• Phantom Thread
• Rebel in the Rye
• Stronger
• The Big Sick
• Molly’s Game

So, in 2018 these are the movies I most enjoyed:

Hearts Beat Loud

Widower and aging record store hipster father wants to make music with his college-aspiring daughter who leaves in the fall for college in California. When a song they collaborate on hits big online, it complicates the plans of both. Entertaining!

Leave No Trace

Father and teenage-daughter live in the forests outside of Portland, Oregon, until their idyllic but spartan life is shattered and put into the social service system. After clashing with their new civilized surroundings, they set off to return to their uncluttered homeland. Well done!

Three Identical Strangers

Three college young men are reunited after being born identical triplets and adopted by three different families. The unbelievable feel-good story becomes a global sensation with fame and celebrity which sets in motion a series of events and discoveries. Intriguing, fascinating film with many questions.

A Star is Born

An outstanding new take on a 4th retelling of a tragic love story. Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga are terrific as the aging musician and the aspiring young, shy singer. As her career takes off, the relationship sadly fades. Well done entertainment!

The Old Man and the Gun

An entertaining romp from Robert Redford, who plays the gentleman rogue Forest Tucker, whose specialty is bank heists and jail escapes. The detective, Casey Affleck, and lover, Sissy Spacek, are captivated by his charm, albeit in different ways.

The Black Klansman

A gem from Spike Lee. A black cop works the phones to get his partner into the KKK using his name. It’s a great story with a satisfying sardonic ending. Well done in every way!

Bohemian Rhapsody

The critics didn’t like it, but I did. It’s a celebration of the innovative music of Queen and their fabulously famous lead singer, Freddie Mercury. The film traces the meteoric rise of the band until Mercury’s lifestyle spins out of control. It leads to a triumphant reunion and one of the greatest performances in rock history. Totally entertaining!

Green Book

A well-directed trip through the racial struggles of the early sixties in America. An Italian-American club bouncer from the Bronx is hired to drive a black concert pianist through the Midwest and the south. Worth seeing—interesting and entertaining!

The Mule

If you like Clint Eastwood, you’ll love his latest flick. It’s somewhat predictable, but he carries if off well in his own style and form. With contributions from Bradley Cooper, Andy Garcia and Diane Weiss, as well as assorted gangsters. Entertaining and well done!

Honorable Mention

Book Club – not highly rated but fun and entertaining, with four seasoned actresses who tackle Fifty Shades of Grey as their current discussion selection.

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Conde Nast magazine readers cast hundreds of thousands of votes for the best cities to visit in the U.S. Here is a list of the smaller cities with populations under one million and the major cities with populations over a million that the Conde Nast audience really liked.

Best Small Cities

1. Charleston, SC
2. Santa Fe, NM
3. Savannah, GA
4. Alexandria, VA
5. Sarasota, FL
6. Sedona, AZ
7. Monterey, CA
8. Asheville, NC
9. Greenville, SC
10. Key West, FL
11. Portland, ME
12. Napa, CA
13. Palm Springs, CA
14. Newport, RI
15. Santa Barbara, CA

Best Big Cities

1. Chicago, IL
2. New York, NY
3. New Orleans, LA
4. San Francisco, CA
5. Honolulu, HI
6. San Antonio, TX
7. San Diego, CA
8. Seattle, WA
9. Portland, OR
10. Boston, MA
11. Washington, D.C.
12. Denver, CO
13. Nashville, TN
14. Minneapolis, MN
15. Indianapolis, IN

In this survey, I guess L.A. is chopped liver. All interesting cities to visit.

In the Best U.S. Airline category, Delta ranks as No. 5, Southwest as No. 4, Hawaiian as 3, JetBlue as 2 and Alaska as No. 1.

In international airlines, the Top 5:

1. Singapore
2. Emirates
3. Qatar Airway
4. Air New Zealand
5. Aegean Airlines


If you’re not careful, too much information about a pending trip can make that trip almost anti-climatic. There is so much video, photographs and vivid deceptions available on the internet from professional writers and photographers to showcase destinations under relatively near-perfect conditions that you may be putting yourself in danger of being somewhat disappointed when you go.

That may also include too much conversation with people who have been there. That is particularly true if you’re going the hostel route and the conversations are with people who travel on an unlimited budget.

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