Archive for July 17th, 2009

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner: Why Running is Bad for You

I went running today. One and one-tenth of a mile around my neighborhood. It was mostly downhill, except for right near the end, which was one prolonged inclined plane. I didn’t time myself because, well, I’m the kind of person who prefers to ignore bad news.

Thirty strides in, I was in complete, Ron Burgundy “I immediately regret this decision” mode. I considered turning around before deciding such a move would look bad to my older brother, to whom I’d already announced—unnecessarily proudly—that I was going for a run. Of course, I only decided this would look bad after carefully considering the various places I could hide from him during the 10-15 minutes I would be “running.”

It was a tortuous thing to do. This was unsurprising because running has always been tortuous to me. I have tried running on numerous occasions—at least biennially since my youth. I tell myself I should run at least once a week throughout the year, and one percent of the time, I talk myself into it with things like (cue the Mitch Hedberg voice), Last time wasn’t so bad. I was just really out of shape then; you know, that time two years ago after I finished that basketball season. I was totally tired and out of shape by all the exercise I had been doing. Now that I work 12 hours a day on a computer and sit around watching TV when I’m home, running will be a breeze.

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Religious Diversity and the Supreme Court

Sonia-SotomayorIn the New York Times, Law Professor Ann Althouse poses an interesting hypothetical question for Sonia Sotomayor:

“If a diverse array of justices is desirable, should we not be concerned that if you are confirmed, six out of the nine justices will be Roman Catholics, or is it somehow wrong to start paying attention to the extreme overrepresentation of Catholicism on the court at the moment when we have our first Hispanic nominee?”

On her blog, she further argues:

“I think religious diversity is particularly important, because it has more to do with the individual’s mind. It’s part of one’s thinking, and legal analysis is thinking. Race and ethnicity might have an effect on your thinking — in that it may involve various personal experiences and feelings of identification — but it is not a characteristic that you have by deciding to have it or by believing you have it. Religion is different.”
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