Tuesday is Election Day by Greg Walters
As many of you know, part of my regular day-time job is in the field of politics. I write copy, design mailers and help candidates create and mold their messages. Many years ago some friends and I were brainstorming a new GOTV (get out the vote) message for the final push before election day. After many hours of some give and take we came up with the following message.
“If you are at all hesitant about whether or not to vote next Tuesday, remember this . . . half of the world only dreams about it.”
Keep in mind that it was many years ago. Long before the Berlin Wall came tumbling down, there was still an Iron Curtain across Eastern Europe and people of Poland had just started to flex their muscles in a desperate reach for free elections. It was a good message for the time. And it worked.
A lot has changed since then. There are more democracies in the world today. But some have electoral systems that are less than fair, and the in some cases, downright dishonest.
We can be grateful that we live in country where our elections are still a model of how open and free elections are held. Our elections are not decided at the end of gun barrel. The campaigns may be long, tiresome and sometimes downright nasty. But at the end of the day they are the final word.
Wednesday morning there will be losers and winners. Over half of the candidates will have been eliminated for the November general election.
Be a part of this process. Take the time to vote in the August 3rd Primary.
Oh, and the way. If you are voting in the Democratic Primary, do me a BIG FAVOR by punching the number next to my name and Vote for Greg Walters for the Sixth District Jackson County Legislature.
63rd Street Bridge Re-Opened
I was happy to see that in my absence the 63rd Street Bridge was completed. It is a fine looking structure that I hope will help funnel people back into Downtown Raytown. Let’s hope for better days ahead for the merchants who have had to suffer through such a long period of detours around Downtown Raytown.
TO YOUR HEALTH by Jenn Walters
Multi Woes, Awesome Science and Lessons from Abroad
Multivitamins may not be so multi-talented, digital imaging has muscle and Brazil shows us how it’s done.
To Multi or Not to Multi? That is the question. And new research says “not.” Somewhere the Centrum marketing team is freaking out.
According to the Archives of Internal Medicine, a daily multivitamin may not keep cancer or heart disease at bay. While the 161,808 women who were part of the pill-poppin’ study didn’t have an decreased risk of some chronic diseases, the supplements certainly didn’t hurt, especially for those with limited diets. And note that the study just looked at general multivitamins and didn’t include prenatal vitamins or other supplements like calcium and vitamin D. So you moms-to-be or those who have been ordered to take a multi by your doctor, keep at it.
Muscle Moves Sometimes technology just amazes me. Like jaw-on-the-floor amazes me. Like, I-can-really-point-an-iPhone-at-a-any-speaker-and-it’ll-tell-me-the-artist-and-title-of-a-song amazes me. A-maz-ing. And here’s another example: Dutch researchers have created a new digital imaging system that allows them to see the body in real time, along with—and this is the coolest part—highlighting muscle movement.
Get this: “the system uses infrared strobe lights and eight cameras to track muscle movement in patients while they wear reflective suits during exercise.” How much fun would that be?! I can really only imagine Beyoncé all geared up dancing her “Single Ladies” dance while the researchers try to track that action. Ka-pow!
Besides doing that, the new technology can help with stroke recovery and muscle rehabilitation, which deserves an even bigger KA-POW!
Brazil Knows What’s Up f America really wants to get healthier, a new study says that we need to take a closer look at our South American neighbors. A Brazilian health-promotion program recently showed crazy good results, and researchers say that it may just be a matter of moving the program to the U.S. for us to see the same.
The program was held in Recife, Brazil, (fun trivia: Recife is the fifth largest city in Brazil) and consisted of 21 public spaces that were used for free calisthenic and dance classes, walking groups and nutrition classes, each day from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. While researchers say the initiative can work in the US of A, it’s probably only possible in sunny, warm cities where you can exercise outside year round.
Back in the World
As many of you have probably guessed, I’ve been out of town the past week. But thanks to the wonderful worldwide web I was able to keep posts up on the page.
Where was I?
RAGBRAI, the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. This year the 480 mile route took over 25,000 riders across the northern highways of Iowa. I guess it is natural to want to brag about personal accomplishments . . . so here are a few of the highlights.
DAY 1 – 68.5 miles, 3685 elevation gain: We ceremonially dip our rear tire in the Missouri River and head east. Day one is always hard. You aren’t used to spending four to six hours on a bicycle seat and your muscles need to adjust. Still, the weather was excellent and the distances between towns
manageable. All in all, a good day to take a ride.
DAY 2: - 79 miles, 1083 elevation gain: Though it may seem like a long way to most readers , the lack of elevation gain makes it a fairly easy ride. I take the option of taking the Karras Loop, which turns the ride in into a Century Run of over 100 miles in one day. We camp at Clear Lake. The weather turns very hot and humid.
DAY 3 – 51.8 miles, 1,108 elevation gain: Last night at about 2:00 a.m. the thunderstorms rolled through. We were under a good sized tree and on high ground so stayed dry. The cold front behind the storm is refreshing. A short ride to rest the legs from the 100 plus mile ride the day before.
DAY 4 – 59.8 miles, 1,180 elevation gain: Despite the short mileage, this day is a killer. No rolling hills, but most of the elevation gain comes in one very long stretch of highway that tests the thighs and buttocks. The heat returns and one portion of the road is so bumpy and cracked it is renamed the highway to hell by some riders. The only good thing to say about the day is that most of the ride has a fairly strong tail wind. Which makes the journey shorter in the length of time in the saddle.
DAY 5 – 82.2 miles, 2,635 elevation gain: A long ride with some serious elevation gain. Bike riders prefer rolling hills. These are hills are long and tiresome. The route is southerly and the weather is changing. This means strong head winds as you peddle up long inclines. A tiring day. It is good to roll into camp in the late afternoon.
DAY 6 – 61.6 miles, 2,340 elevation gain: This is a good day. It rains in the morning but we pedal through. The temperatures drop, some decent cloud cover and the towns are friendly. The elevation gain is manageable because the hills roll. This allows you to speed down one side to coast up the other and give you short sprints out of the saddle. It helps break the fatigue and soreness on the back side and makes the ride a lot of fun.
DAY 7 – 47.5 miles, 2,591 elevation gain: If there was a Garden of Eden then they left part of it behind in the Northeastern corner of Iowa. This the third ride that has taken me to this corner of the Hawkeye State and I am always impressed with the lush rolling hills, rivers and streams that are everywhere. Towns that look like they were designed from a picture post card. Mild temperature and not a breath of of a breeze.
Then trouble comes calling. I finish a ride up a one mile stretch called Potter’s Hill with a grade of over 17%. Two miles later my bike seizes up. The derailer bends into the spokes. The spindle is bent. After seven years of some serious riding, it looks like metal fatigue has taken its toll. I am ten miles from the river. A local homeowner offers to give me a ride into Dubuque where I walk my crippled bike to the Mississippi River, dip the front tire into the muddy water and head over to the staging area for the long bus ride home.
Last Week's Poll Results