Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘health’

30 AUGUST, 2012

How To Run Right


You’ve been doing it wrong — 5 do’s and don’ts.

Last month brought us the premiere of BOOKD, a new bi-weekly video series exploring “game-changing books.” After discussing the most important food politics book of the past half-century, they’ve turned their lens to Christopher McDougall’s 2011 bestseller Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen (public library), which looks at the most popular athletic activity in the world and argues that we might have been doing it wrong all along.

Here, Harvard evolutionary biology professor Daniel Lieberman offers 5 do’s and don’ts for how to run right:

  1. DON’t overstride. Don’t land with your foot in front of your knee — it makes you decelerate and lose energy and sends a shockwave of impact up your body.
  2. DO land with a flat foot. Land — gently — on the ball of your foot or with a midfoot strike, not on your heel.
  3. DO run vertically. Don’t lean forward at the hips.
  4. DON’t “thump.” If you’re making a lot of noise, you’re running poorly.
  5. DO ease into it. Listen to pain. Don’t overdo it. If you transition to run properly too fast, you’re guaranteed to injure yourself — you need to adapt your body.

Catch the full episode below, and dive deeper with the book itself.

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29 AUGUST, 2012

Beautiful Stop-Motion Animated Film About the Progression of Alzheimer’s


A textured, tactile journey of abstraction.

Art, with its capacity for expressing in abstract form experiences and emotions too complex or confusing to name explicitly, has proven itself a powerful medium for exploring mental health issues — from artist Bobby Baker’s diary drawings of borderline personality disorder to children’s illustrations of what it’s like to have autism. Now comes Undone, a beautiful and bittersweet stop-motion film by animator Hayley Morris, inspired by her grandfather, which captures with tender abstraction the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

A behind-the-scenes look at Morris’s production setup and sketches:

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03 JULY, 2012

Digesting the Most Important Food Politics Book of the Past 50 Years


Up close and personal with a book whose highest aspiration is to one day be quaint.

BOOKD is a new bi-weekly series from THNKR, spotlighting “game-changing books.” The inaugural episode zooms in on Michael Pollan’s 2006 classic, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (public library) — rightfully called “the most important food politics book of the past 50 years,” and an essential lens on understanding our place, as well as our responsibility, in the natural and industrial ecosystems we inhabit and participate in. A number of famous chefs and food writers — Tom Colicchio, Dan Barber, Katie Lee, Jennifer Pelka, and of course Michael Pollan himself — discuss the book’s core claims, the urgency of its message, and its impact on contemporary culture in the half-decade since its publication.

One meal at a time is how you turn this ship… It’s not going to happen overnight. I would hope at some point in the future this book would seem quaint — that things would have changed so much in the food system that people would read it as a historical curiosity.

Realistically, I don’t think that’s going to happen. I mean, we’ll get as far as we can, but it’s going to be a lot of little maneuvers. Cheap food is baked into our economy. So we’re going to need pressure from both the consumer, voting with his or her fork, and it’s going to take changes in policy.” ~ Michael Pollan

For more essential Pollan, see his follow-up, Food Rules, illustrated by Maira Kalman — one of the best food books in 2011 — as well as this delightful stop-motion adaptation.

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