Weekend Wonderings: Holidays Edition

Written December 22nd, 2013 by Ken

 thinkerWelcome to this week’s edition of Weekend Wonderings. Due to holiday and travel plans, there will not be a WW next week; you may want to bookmark this page and re-read this next Sunday.  Grab your hot cocoa/hot toddie and let’s proceed.

Before we get too far along, I want to wish you and your families best wishes for the Holdays.

The James/Wexner, Cleveland Clinic

Of course, we have a couple items this week.

  •  We are already aware of likely benefits of men eating cooked tomatoes (sauces, etc) for the benefits of lycopene in lowering their risk of prostrate cancer. The earlier studies (linked, above) are now backed up by research in regards to tomato consumption in women and the effect of reduction of breast cancer.

“Based on these data, we believe regular consumption of at least the daily recommended servings of lycopene-containing fruits and vegetables would promote breast cancer prevention in a population at risk for breast cancer”

DoubleHelixThe lycopene appears to trigger the production of the hormone adiponectin which is the “risk-reducer”. Now, a couple caveats; first, this beneficial effect is more pronounced in women with lower body mass index. There are a lot of health benefits to having the recommended BMI, the efficacy of nutrients and hormones in disease reduction/prevention is one of them. So, eat your tomatoes and watch your BMI-driving calories this holiday season. There really isn’t any single thing that is the Magic Bullet with cancer prevention/cure, but a lot of little things can add up for you.

Speaking of food, here is a cooking video (34:00), courtesy of The James, on healthy meal preparation for the holidays. We’re here to help. You’re welcome.


The other day, I was kicking around in an internal email with Joe (our resident broadcast media guru), the topic of high school basketball of all things. I guess it could apply to just about any sport, though.

“For context, basketball was always a big sport in our family; in high school, my dad played, his brothers played, my brother & I played, our cousins, played, yadda yadda.. Consequently, Grandpa K never missed a game. If he couldn’t get off the farm to attend a game, he’d tune in on his radio and listen. He had his “listening post” all set up; it was their telephone desk. Next to his radio was a yellow pad where he transcribed the proceedings as they were being broadcast. Depending on circumstances, either later that evening and/or the next morning, Grandpa would be on the telephone with each of his four sons, recapping the game, with his commentary of course. He’d record such items as points scored (field goals & free throws), personal fouls, assists, turnovers and minutes played. The full stat sheet.

I was talking with my uncle about this last week, and we were both laughing about Grandpa’s dedication and meticulousness with his detail. My uncle made a good point; the whole experience brought great joy to Grandpa. He could visualize the action as it was being broadcast, almost as if he were in the gym watching it. So, Joe, I’m pretty sure you’ve got people in your broadcast area that get just as much enjoyment from your work as Grandpa would have.”

Meanwhile, my other Grandfather never missed a baseball game and his attendance was near perfect for games that  I and my brother played. From Little League through high school.. And he made a lot of friends of other parents/grandparents at these games. At the time, the running joke was that if you wanted to ransack a small town, check the sports page for local game schedules.

Ah, high school sports, the lifeblood and key thread in the social fabric of communities, particularly small towns. Yes, for the players, parents and fans, high school sports are a passionate activity. The other piece of this ‘thread’ that I want to mention are what I’d call the “facilitators”.

bbrefThe first facilitators are the game officials. These people are engaged in the game by their love of sports. Things may have changed over the years, but a generation (or so) ago, the per-game stipend for officials may have covered transportation, meals and maybe uniform cleaning. You don’t take on this commitment to get financially rich. The payoff is the gratification of being part of the game. To do this, these people, at the expense of time away from families, commit to untold hours of travel, officiating and off-season seminars. The ‘zebras’ just don’t happen to show up for games..
sports-journalismThe other facilitators, through their love of the game are the reporters, the “working press” of sports reporting. The same applies to these folks, except this is their job, and believe me to provide the game coverage that you enjoy, their work takes them to some out of the way, godforsaken locations and venues.

These reporters bring the game to their readers/listeners, so although not all fans cannot attend games, getting the recap is the next best thing to keep them involved in this social network. Some of them do it because this may be the apex of their careers, some do it because it is a necessary ‘dues paying’ prior to greater responsibilities, but they all do it because they love the game. So please keep this in mind the next time you attend a high school game or listen to / read about the game.

As someone who thoroughly enjoyed playing and watching high school sports, I want to thank these people for their dedication. To our tBBC Staff members who do/have officiated; WVa, Gary, Patrick, Charles, thank you. To our Staffers who bring/brought game accounts to their listeners and readers; Joe, Scott, thank you. A lot of people appreciate all of your contributions.

Sunday’s Song

Since it ’tis the season’, here is TSO’s Christmas Canon.  Since I won’t be Wondering next week, and for those of you who prefer a rock version, here you go. Enjoy.

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