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Thursday, April 24, 2014

The David Returns to Italy

Posted by Raul on June 2, 2011

The other day I received this joke in an email. I thought it was funny, but also makes you think of what’s happening in the US, and how people around the world see Americans. (The email was in Spanish).

The David returns to Italy


After two years loaned to the US, the David of Michelangelo is returned to Italy


Its proud sponsors were:

Crazy, Isn’t it?



The Importance of a Couch Potato

Posted by Raul on October 18, 2010



    Perhaps one of the most criticized creatures of modern society. The segregated rebels; the elements of the movement that’s mostly about anti-movement. The silent heroes that quietly sacrifice themselves everyday in their quest for sustaining a materialistic society that, at the same time that claims minimalism, requires consumption of goods as a way of sustaining itself and its trading characteristics.

    Before you start criticizing your resident couch potato…have you thought of all the goodness they bring to this modern society?

    For instance; what would happen to the potato chip industry if only fitness conscious people existed?  What would happen to the soda pop and beer industry?  Even the remote control batteries need to exist for them!

    Every year bigger TV screens and better sound systems are developed for what seems to be the satisfaction of couch potatoes, yet, if it wasn’t for them, there’ll be no need of such marvels of technology in a society that claims the best way to spend time is running, jogging, or simply practicing some form of sport.

    What about the TV industry that have to supply endless programs and shows to be aired 24/7?  What would happen to those aspiring actors and actresses that dream of the red carpet, and find an opportunity to show their “talents” in some obscure reality show?

    To the couch potatoes we owe the existence and remain of such dedicated industries, and with it, the possibility of so many jobs for people to have.

    (Violins playing in crescendo)

    Products are created and distributed, jobs become available and money circulates around, sustaining the system by which this modern society survives.

    It is not just the creation of products like potato chips, pizza, soda pop and beer, but also the distribution of those goods, even to the extent of home delivery.

    No tax reduction or government incentive has succeeded in reactivating the economy. When the intention is to motivate consumers to consume, so the industry can remain, only couch potatoes have quietly, and without any government incentive, persevered in their quest for industry movement.

    To them we owe a still alive economy that remains in a seemingly inexorable fall and that, maybe otherwise would not even exist today. 

    (A fifty people chorus singing in crescendo)    

    To those unsung heroes that quietly go away and disappear after death, with no tombstone reminding us of their sacrifice with a simple phrase like “Here are the remains of a dedicated couch potato; who persevered throughout his life in his quest for an active and financially fit industry, even to his own doom”

    “Have you hugged a Couch Potato today?”

    Couch potatoes are true human beings. They smile, cheer or criticize some characters on TV; laugh out loud and get emotional to tears with the tribulations experienced by some others in the screen.

   Couch Potatoes experience the full range of emotions reserved only to those who dare to be openly human, without restrictions imposed by self improvement books that suggest the restrain of one side of the emotional spectrum, such as sadness, anger, confusion, desperation, etc, in favor of the other extreme of such spectrum as happiness, laughter and satisfaction.

    They know how to freely scream and express their emotions in an unrestricted way when the player missed the opportunity to score. They can really express their happiness and satisfaction when seeing the funny side of a TV program, and even a TV commercial.

    Couch potatoes can, and do experience the full range of emotions reserved only for a complete human being!

With tears in my eyes I dedicate this post to those that, in a non selfish way, without expecting recognition and applause, standing the criticism and segregation of the others, the fittest ones, still persevere in their quest of saving the economy of modern society, so we can not only live, but have a decent place to be in.

    Couch Potatoes of the world…I salute you!  :)


Induced Overweight

Posted by Raul on December 4, 2009



I used to be thin for the first 44 years of my life, and then suddenly became 1.35 times myself! I jumped from 132 to 178 lbs. What happened? Cheap food and flavor!


In the previous post How to Really Loose Weight! I told you about differences in eating customs and exercising between the US and my country in South America; if you read that post you noticed that the amount of food consumed back there is pretty small compared with here, and also the amount of exercise is bigger.


What happens is that food being so cheap here and having an automobile to my personal use I started to eat more than what I needed and exercise less than I should, so the result is becoming overweight.


With so much food available in such great variety at so small prices the instinct of survival that moves us to eat what’s available keeps kicking without the restriction of lack of money. If you add to that all the advertising about buying more you see is no wonder that it becomes the norm a high amount of food consumption, and with the facility of transportation, thus the lack of exercising, a general overweight problem occurs.


So first are the campaigns about “buy and eat more food” then is the campaigns about “buy weight loss products” and finally “buy medicines to prevent medical problems” And all starts with our instincts of survival that, when reached properly thru psychology in advertising, motivates us to “live to buy and consume” so we become overweight, and since it is the norm around, we accept it as the way it should be.


So the real program to loose weight is not about what kind of foods and in which amount, but how to control our own instinct of survival that pushes us to consume more food than we really need and motivate us to avoid physical activity every time we can.


It seems that it is more about “re-training” our brain than following a step by step program; learning to say NO to excessive food and inactivity instead of saying YES to the latest weight loss program, and it required of self control since there is no automatic control by high food and transportation costs that limit our access to them.


No need to spend money, just self control and motivation. It is all up to us!


Damn it!







How to Really Loose Weight

Posted by Raul on December 2, 2009



When it comes to losing weight and getting rid of excessive fat the amount of programs available out there is really annoying to say the least, and just the thought of counting calories and weighing portions of food becomes a burden that is not exactly enticing.


One of the recommendations that can be usually found in weight loss programs is that you have to eat small portions several times a day instead of just a couple of big meal everyday. Another recommendation is a regular exercising program like walking for 20 minutes three times a week.


Being born and raised in a South American country I have the opportunity to compare the “feeding” styles and the amount of exercise people normally have here and there.  


In my country we have the custom of four meals a day; this is an example of typical meals in any day:


Breakfast between 6-8 AM: A cup of tea and two slices of bread with margarine

Lunch between 12-2 PM: A small portion of rice and two o three slices of tomato

“Onces” between 4-5 PM: A cup of tea and two slices of bread with margarine

Dinner between 7-9 PM: A small portion of spaghetti with tomato sauce and a fried egg.


This is very close to the amounts of what is recommended in several diet programs out there (although not the “quality”), and fast food is expensive and portions smaller (for the same reason) so it is not normally consumed. The same can be said of soda pop; too expensive to drink everyday so regular or flavored water is the norm.


About exercising; it is typical to walk between two and four miles a day to catch a bus to go to work or school, which is even more than the recommended daily exercise in many weight loss programs.


So it’s no wonder that it is uncommon to find overweight people in South America, and the amount of energy people have is not less that what can be found here, actually, it is more, or at least for people over there is easier to move, run, jump, etc because of the bigger flexibility, more muscles and thinner size they have.


After doing a comparison of both systems it becomes clear to me that in order to loose weight and get fit there is no need to spend money in diet programs, gym memberships and specialty food, all that is needed is to eat less and exercise more!


Now where the hell do I find the commitment!






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