Assessing Osaka’s Sad Departure From the French Open – The New York Times

“PARIS — Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from the French Open was not the outcome anyone in tennis desired, and yet it happened just the same.

It could likely have been avoided through better communication and smarter decisions, but on Monday night the sport’s most prominent young star felt she had no better option than to pull out of the year’s second Grand Slam tournament.

Her second-round match with Ana Bogdan will be a walkover for Bogdan instead of another chance for the second-ranked Osaka, 23, to make steps forward on red clay, a surface that has long bedeviled her.

“Above all, it’s just really sad: for her, for the tournament, for the sport,” said Martina Navratilova, a former No. 1 who has seen plenty of tennis turmoil in her 50 years in the game. “She tried to sidestep or lessen a problem for herself and instead she just made it much bigger than it was in the first place.” . . .  “

David Lindsay Jr.

David Lindsay Jr.Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:

This is a sad and creepy story. Like many other commenters, I do not care for and sometimes detest and usually turn off most of the forced inteviews after matches, and am often appauled by how rude to the players they occassionally seem to be. I had no idea they were mandatory, and that seems a bit criminal.

This tennis fan has nothing but contempt for the managers of the the French Open responsible for this debacle, for their appauling insensitivity to one of of the games most extraordinary, well mannered and sensitve new talents. Claiming discomfort and depression is not a good enough excuse to skip an after match press conference? What sleezy bullies. Most if not all of us tennis fans do not turn on this sport to watch the awkward after game interviews. We want to watch and enjoy the brilliant and demanding game of tennis.

The Best Time of Day to Exercise for Metabolic Health – The New York Times

“Evening exercise may be more potent than morning workouts for improving metabolic health, according to a helpful new study of exercise timing. The study, which looked at high-fat diets and overweight men, found that late-day workouts moderated the undesirable health effects of a greasy diet, while morning exercise did not.

The study involved only men who were eating a fatty diet, but adds to growing evidence that exercise timing matters and, for many of us, working out later might have particular advantages.

Although we may be only dimly aware of this, operations inside our bodies follow busy, intricate and mutable circadian schedules. All of our tissues contain molecular clocks that coordinate biological systems, prompting our blood sugar to rise and dip throughout the day, along with our hunger, heart rates, body temperature, sleepiness, gene expression, muscle strength, cell division, energy expenditure and other processes.  . . . “

Alcohol and Cancer Risk Fact Sheet – National Cancer Institute

“There is a strong scientific consensus that alcohol drinking can cause several types of cancer (12). In its Report on Carcinogens, the National Toxicology Program of the US Department of Health and Human Services lists consumption of alcoholic beverages as a known human carcinogen.

The evidence indicates that the more alcohol a person drinks—particularly the more alcohol a person drinks regularly over time—the higher his or her risk of developing an alcohol-associated cancer. Even light drinkers (those who have no more than one drink per day) and binge drinkers have a modestly increased risk of some cancers (37). Based on data from 2009, an estimated 3.5% of cancer deaths in the United States (about 19,500 deaths) were alcohol related (8).

Clear patterns have emerged between alcohol consumption and the development of the following types of cancer:

  • Head and neck cancer: Moderate to heavy alcohol consumption is associated with higher risks of certain head and neck cancers. Moderate drinkers have 1.8-fold higher risks of oral cavity (excluding the lips) and pharynx  (throat) cancers and 1.4-fold higher risks of larynx (voice box) cancers than non-drinkers, and heavy drinkers have 5-fold higher risks of oral cavity and pharynx cancers and 2.6-fold higher risks of larynx cancers (49). Moreover, the risks of these cancers are substantially higher among persons who consume this amount of alcohol and also use tobacco (10).
  • Esophageal cancer: Alcohol consumption at any level is associated with an increased risk of a type of esophageal cancer called esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. The risks, compared with no alcohol consumption, range from 1.3-fold higher for light drinking to nearly 5-fold higher for heavy drinking (49). In addition, people who inherit a deficiency in an enzyme that metabolizes alcohol have been found to have substantially increased risks of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma if they consume alcohol (11).
  • Breast cancer: Epidemiologic studies have consistently found an increased risk of breast cancer with increasing alcohol intake. Pooled data from 118 individual studies indicates that light drinkers have a slightly increased (1.04-fold higher) risk of breast cancer, compared with nondrinkers. The risk increase is greater in moderate drinkers (1.23-fold higher) and heavy drinkers (1.6-fold higher) (49). An analysis of prospective data for 88,000 women participating in two US cohort studies concluded that for women who have never smoked, light to moderate drinking was associated with a 1.13-fold increased risk of alcohol-related cancers (mostly breast cancer) (5).
  • Colorectal cancer: Moderate to heavy alcohol consumption is associated with 1.2- to 1.5-fold increased risks of cancers of the colon and rectum compared with no alcohol consumption (4914).”

Source: Alcohol and Cancer Risk Fact Sheet – National Cancer Institute

Frank Bruni | Is the Burger Nearing Extinction? – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

  • 1404

Credit…Ben Wiseman

“I liked my patties thin and then I liked them thick. There was the Cheddar period, followed by the Roquefort interregnum. Sesame-seed buns gave way to English muffins as ketchup traded places with special sauce or even, God help me, guacamole, which really was overkill.

But no matter its cradle or condiment, the hamburger was with me for the long haul — I was sure of that.

Until now.

A few days ago I tripped across news that McDonald’s was testing a vegetable-based patty, coming soon to a griddle near you. The McPlant burger, they’re calling it — a McOxymoron if ever I’ve heard one. And McDonald’s is late to the game. Burger King has been selling a meatless Impossible Whopper since 2019. Dunkin’ has been serving a Beyond Sausage Breakfast Sandwich for nearly as long.

Meanwhile, Bill Gates has been telling anyone who will sit still long enough to listen about his investment in a “pretty amazing” start-up that uses a protean protein made from an especially hardy fungus for meatless patties, meatless balls and vegan versions of various dairy products. Over the past weeks, he has plugged it on my Times colleague Kara Swisher’s “Sway” podcast and in Rolling Stone.” . . .

How long can you leave turkey broth out before it goes bad? | Charlotte Observer

Finally, I called Ben Chapman, the food safety expert at N.C. State University. He reassured me: The rules I follow are still absolutely correct: Once the stock cooled off, it only had two hours at room temperature before it became toxic stew. It didn’t matter if the lid was on or – as one commenter suggested – if I had strained it and discarded the bones first.The issue, he said, isn’t bacteria. It’s toxins produced by the bacteria. Bacteria are living creatures and like all living creatures, they produce things. Even if you kill them by “boiling them to hell and back,” you can’t remove the toxins their one-celled corpses produce.So why was I not seeing reports on outbreaks associated with tainted turkey broth? It probably happens, Chapman said. But in the foodborne-illness reporting world, an “outbreak” involves multiple people who aren’t related. In other words, if you make yourself and your elderly great-aunt Ethel sick, the world may never know, unless someone dies from it.

Source: How long can you leave turkey broth out before it goes bad? | Charlotte Observer

Tennis for the Future 2.0: Handicaps

At some point I need to write the beginning of Tennis for the Future 2.0.

In the handicaps section, I will explain how I insisted that one of my hitting partners for the last 20 years, Bob Migliorini, allow me to invent a handicap so that he doesn’t beat me all the time. 20 years ago I occassionally won a set off of Bob, before he fixed his forehand and serve. I haven’t won a set in over ten years now. I insisted that if there could be a viable handicap in golf, and even yatch racing, there must be a viable handicap to discover for tennis, and I needed it now.

Every idea I put forward intially, Bob vetoed. He didn’t want me to get a head start towards game, which is 15,30, 40 game, or 1, 2, 3, with game on the 4th point. He insisted, no one gets free points. So I came up with the following, which he accepted, and which actually works. I play regular tennis, by he, as the superior player, can only make a point for himself in the deuce court. In the add court, he can’t score, but he can stop me from scoring.  This turned out to be a very successful handicap system, because it meant I usually won with it, but not always. When Migliorini was on, and I was off, he could beat me even with the help of his only being able to score on roughly half the points. This handicap is so useful, I expect it will make us famous, so I have asked him to patent the entire idea as the Lindsay Migliorini handicap system for tennis. On this one part of his game, he is dragging his feet.

At one point, I was feeling poorly, and my knees hurt, and I inisted on Handicap #2, the Uncle Bob’s handicap.  This one was useful, especially because it too, didn’t guarantee that I would win. Uncle Bob refers to my uncle from Chicago, Robert Foote, who played tennis with me in Wisconsin through most of my life, and Uncle Bob died on the tennis court at the age of about 93. We played together on summers visits to Wisconsin, and in his seventies, it became clear it was a better game if you hit the ball to him. In his eighties, if you gave him that courtesy, he remained a veritable ball machine, and it made for good tennis. I codified the Uncle Bob handicap as Weak and Strong. In either version, you have to hit the ball to your weaker opponent so that he or she can touch the ball while still in play. If for any reason they do not, in the weak version, the point is a let, and it is played over. I’n the strong version, which is what I use against Migliorini, if he fails to get the ball to my reach, he loses the point. There is a special value to the underdog, or a defect, depending on your point of view. You can game the handicap if you need to by hitting an approach shot and rushing to the net. Your superior opponent is not aloud to pass or lob you, but must hit the ball within your reach. As you approach the net, the geometry of the game changes dramatically in your favor, which is why serve and volleyer’s are so successful, especially in doubles.

Bob is a 4.5 rated player, with a 5.0 two-handed back hand. I have beaten all the other 4.0’s at the High Lane Club in Hamden on good days, usually by just hitting to their backhands. When you hit to Bob’s backhand, if it isn’t deep, he usually hits a winner.

This June, 2020, during the covid pandemic, I lost the first set 6-1, which is common, but I won the set with the Lindsay Migliorini handicap. This morning, I lost 6-1 or 6-0, and suggested my favorite turning of the tables, the double handicap, which I get the Lindsay Migliorini handicap, and the Uncle Bob’s Strong handicap.  Bob laughs, and flatly refused. He doesn’t want to lose 6-1. But he offers a new handicap, which I immediately disliked, but graciously tried, and it worked. We quit after 20 minutes, and the score was 2 to 2. This new handicap is the Migliorini Adjustment, and it states that the superior player has to win to sux points for game, 60, plus one more point, whild the weaker player has to win a regular 4 points. The stronger player must win, 15,30, 40, 50, 60, plus one more. The weaker player has to win 15,30,40 plus one more. 60 to 40 is the new deuce. If deuce is reached, either player then has to win by 2 more points, add, then Game, just like in regular tennis. Bob and I are excited about this new handicap, because it means the score is always odd in the add court, and even in the deuse court, just like in traditional tennis. This rule is abandoned in the Lindsay Migliorini handicap. If he wins the first point, the score is 15 to Love. If he wins the second point in the add court, we go back the deuce court, but he score is still 15 Love, which challenges the mind to concentrate more on keeping score without the traditional check of always always odd in the add court.

Opinion | We Made the Coronavirus Epidemic – By David Quammen – The New York Times

By 

Mr. Quammen is the author of “Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic.”

Credit…Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

“The latest scary new virus that has captured the world’s horrified attention, caused a lockdown of 56 million people in China, disrupted travel plans around the globe and sparked a run on medical masks from Wuhan, Hubei Province, to Bryan, Texas, is known provisionally as “nCoV-2019.” It’s a clunky moniker for a lurid threat.

The name, picked by the team of Chinese scientists who isolated and identified the virus, is short for “novel coronavirus of 2019.” It reflects the fact that the virus was first recognized to have infected humans late last year — in a seafood and live-animal market in Wuhan — and that it belongs to the coronavirus family, a notorious group. The SARS epidemic of 2002-3, which infected 8,098 people worldwide, killing 774 of them, was caused by a coronavirus, and so was the MERS outbreak that began on the Arabian Peninsula in 2012 and still lingers (2,494 people infected and 858 deaths as of November).

Despite the new virus’s name, though, and as the people who christened it well know, nCoV-2019 isn’t as novel as you might think.

Something very much like it was found several years ago in a cave in Yunnan, a province roughly a thousand miles southwest of Wuhan, by a team of perspicacious researchers, who noted its existence with concern. The fast spread of nCoV-2019 — more than 4,500 confirmed cases, including at least 106 deaths, as of Tuesday morning, and the figures will have risen by the time you read this — is startling but not unforeseeable. That the virus emerged from a nonhuman animal, probably a bat, and possibly after passing through another creature, may seem spooky, yet it is utterly unsurprising to scientists who study these things.”

25 Again? How Exercise May Fight Aging – By Gretchen Reynolds -The New York Times

“Regular exercise throughout adulthood may protect our muscles against age-related loss and damage later, according to an interesting new study of lifelong athletes and their thighs. The study finds that active older men’s muscles resemble, at a cellular level, those of 25-year-olds and weather inflammatory damage much better than the muscles of sedentary older people.

The study also raises some cautionary questions about whether waiting until middle age or later to start exercising might prove to be challenging for the lifelong health of our muscles.

Physical aging is a complicated and enigmatic process, as any of us who are living and experiencing it know. Precipitated by little-understood changes in the workings of our cells and physiological systems, it proceeds in stuttering fits and starts, affecting some people and body parts earlier or more noticeably than others.

Muscles are among the body parts most vulnerable to time. Almost all of us begin losing some muscle mass and strength by early middle age, with the process accelerating as the decades pass. While the full causes for this decline remain unknown, most aging researchers agree that a subtle, age-related rise in inflammation throughout our bodies plays a role.”

No Kneeling During Super Bowl LIII National Anthem- but Still Plenty of Talk – The New York Times

 

David Lindsay:  Kathleen and I watched the super bowl, without our usual guests, who were all on family leave. By and large, it was good football, though I felt that the game is getting more violent in that the definition of of interference with the receiver has gotten looser, not tighter. It was a guilty pleasure, since I have at least three reasons to boycott the event. First, the black quarterback Colin Kaepernick hasn’t been allowed to play since the season in 2016 when he took a knee against police shootings of unarmed black men, and second, the brain disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., makes the whole thing something to revise or avoid. Third, the NFL is guilty of false claims. They insist this is the world championship, which is nonesense. They are not international like the real international sport of football at the World Cup.
The reason for this post is to share the rap video by Ava Duvernay in honor of Colin Kaepernick in the NYT article below. I’m afraid it is exactly what the white billionaires’s club of NFL owners deserves.

By Ken Belson
Feb. 4, 2019, 1
ATLANTA — Dr. Bernice A. King, the youngest child of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, was brought out to midfield for the coin toss before the start of Super Bowl LIII. She was joined by two other titanic civil rights leaders, Ambassador Andrew Young and Representative John Lewis.

Before the game began, the N.F.L. also played a video in the stadium that included images of Dr. King and other civil rights leaders, interspersed with images of N.F.L. players doing charity work.

On television, CBS ran a public service announcement that showed Commissioner Roger Goodell and other league executives touring the Ebenezer Baptist Church and other landmarks associated with Martin Luther King Jr.

For the many Super Bowl viewers who do not closely follow the league, and perhaps many who do, such imagery probably came across as proper and right for a game played in Atlanta, known as the cradle of the Civil Rights Movement.

Yet it underscored something else, a league still struggling with race and seeking a balance between fans and players who find no reason to talk about it and those who find it front and center in a simmering controversy over a player who has not played a down since the 2016 season.

The presence of the civil rights leaders did not seem to win over supporters of the player, Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who in 2016 began taking a knee during the national anthem to protest racism and police brutality against people of color and has not played a down since that season.

Even before the game, many resolved not to watch, including the film director Ava DuVernay, who accused the N.F.L. of “racist treatment of @Kaepernick7” and lamented an “ongoing disregard for the health + well-being of players.”

Ava DuVernay tweets:

@ava
I will not be a spectator, viewer or supporter of the #SuperBowl today in protest of the @NFL’s racist treatment of @Kaepernick7 and its ongoing disregard for the health + well-being of all its players. To watch the game is to compromise my beliefs. It’s not worth it. #ImWithKap

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Opinion | Martina Navratilova: What Serena Got Wrong – The New York Times

Quote

“Serena Williams has part of it right. There is a huge double standard for women when it comes to how bad behavior is punished — and not just in tennis.

But in her protests against an umpire during the United States Open final on Saturday, she also got part of it wrong. I don’t believe it’s a good idea to apply a standard of “If men can get away with it, women should be able to, too.” Rather, I think the question we have to ask ourselves is this: What is the right way to behave to honor our sport and to respect our opponents?”

via Opinion | Martina Navratilova: What Serena Got Wrong – The New York Times