1. Nullifidian says

    Gee, was that before you grew the beard, PZ?

    I sure do agree with the sentiment, anyways.

  2. blf says

    No illusions that I’d be at all capable in a physical altercation.

    Snort! With the evil cat, zebrafish hordes, kraken kamikaze kommittee (rather unfortunate acronym there), and katholic kracker kooks (rather more accurate acronym) all involved, how can you now be capable? Just point them at each other, sit back, and enjoy cheese and beer and mindless loonies running around to no effect.

  3. Nullifidian says

    Naaaah! You’re too modest, PZ. If that was Trump (the Chump) or Pence (the Dense), (or the rest of the sorry Trump crew), I bet you’d acquit yourself with honour. (Remember, it’s not how big the dog is in the fight, it’s how big the fight is in the dog.)

  4. says

    PZ #2, In that case please do take a few self defence lessons. It sounds like it will be something new/different for you which could be quite a lot of fun. Of course it would also be useful. There are self defence methods and techniques for every level of physical strength and ability.

    It has been my opinion for a long time that physical education in schools should not be primarily about “sportsball” or other such competitive nonsense but about swimming including rescue swimming (for obvious reasons), running/walking and calisthenics (as methods for people to keep somewhat fit, if they choose to, throughout their lives) and certainly self defence against most common attacks.

    One of the best things to learn in life is how to fall without breaking any bones. Such skills would inspire a level of physical confidence in even the most nerdy sports hating students.

  5. says

    Tell me about it. I had a major fall this morning — sidewalks were glazed with ice from some freezing rain. I managed to maximally distribute my points of contact with the ground, so everything from left knee to hip to shoulder to elbow slammed down simultaneously. Nothing broke, but ow, I’m feeling one long ache.

  6. says

    PZ #6, Sorry to learn about your fall. Good for you that you did not break anything. The ache will probably last just a short few days. If it doesn’t please do see a doctor.

    The “secret” to falling correctly as I am sure you are aware is to roll as soon as you hit the ground. I find it hard to explain in English but it has to do with converting your kinetic energy. That way you should even be able to fall/jump off a low wall or roof without major injury.

  7. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I just got it! [siderail alert] “Make America Great Again” is referring to taking us back to the WWII era, commonly known as “the greatest generation”.
    So to make us as great (colloquially) as that generation, he wants us to fight Natzis [sic]. So he’s providing the Nazzies by being a Tang™y copy of the leader that gave us “the greatest generation”. *barf*
    Why did it take me so long to see the obvious (rhetorical). I guess I was so repulsed by Dumpster I just kept looking for anything for hope. *retch*

  8. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 7 (snuck in while writing @8)
    to ad to your fall advice let me throw in the obvious advice. When falling, never to catch yourself with your hands, as that could result in severe wrist damage. Easier said than done. But gotta say it anyway.

  9. bojac6 says

    @5 I’d also include weight lifting or more general strength training in the list of things we should have learned in gym. I did years of recreational sports ball, but never really worked out for the sake of working out until I was diagnosed with MS and started seeing a physical therapist. It took just a few weeks of proper working out to feel much better (in the parts of me that still feel, of course, :p). In many ways, I am healthier and life is easier just because I started working on fitness. I really regret that this discovery came when it did and not 15 years sooner, when it frankly should have through school.

  10. magistramarla says

    I always prided myself on being able to fall safely on my most padded part – my rump – since my legs gave out and I fell often.
    I think that all of those falls contributed to the degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis, which have led to two very painful spine surgeries. I now tell everyone to exercise, strengthen their core and protect their back before it is too late.

  11. Nullifidian says

    Okaaaaay, as the conversation has gone this way, here’s my 5 cents’ worth.

    I’m on the wrong side of 70. I go for regular bike rides, varying from 35 min. to 1 hr 35 min. as hard as I can go, (which ain’t much nowadays). I also do some strength exercises using weights & springs.

    Now we’ve got sub-zero temperatures & a covering of snow, I work out on an exercise bike, interspersed with using weights for upper body strength. Duration from half an hour to an hour.

    About once a week I do a set of exercises to strengthen my core, lasting just a few minutes. This protects me from putting my back out.

    I recommend that everyone should do something similar. If you don’t like cycling, (& I believe that there are such strange people), then find a substitute, such as swimming, skating, etc.

    The benefits are mental as well as physical. But check with your doctor before starting a program, just in case.

  12. ledasmom says

    I once picked up my husband at the train station late after fighting traffic to get him a cane, which he needed because he broke a toe by whacking it on a chair in passing. Found him waiting for me with a sling on because he fell down on the sidewalk and broke his wrist. Coordination, shall we say, is not his thing.

  13. Rich Woods says

    @slithey tove #9:

    When falling, never to catch yourself with your hands, as that could result in severe wrist damage.

    Or in a partial dislocation of one shoulder. :(

  14. blf says

    So long ago there wasn’t even O2 in the atmosphere, I had some gymnastics and tumbling lessons in school, updated with wrestling lessons in a later school. All of which taught safe falling. Whilst I don’t specifically recall those lessons now, when I do fall I instinctively(?) react in a generally good manner, which I attribute to those yonks-ago lessons: Protect the head, land on the side, arms / hands tucked in, and roll onto the back on landing, loose bent limbs.

    To-date I’ve never seriously injured myself in a fall. Or needed medical attention, except for the time the bicycle went into a ditch (apparently at speed) and I (apparently, this is what I’ve been told, I have no recollection) landed on my head. Wearing a helmet (the original Bell Biker, to give an idea how long ago this was), which was throughly smashed. So was the bicycle, with pretzelled wheels, bent fork, and bent downtube.

  15. JustaTech says

    On falling: This is one place where yoga (or any other exercise with an emphasis on balance) can be very helpful, as falls get progressively more dangerous as one gets older. Yoga, tai chi, ballet, balance-specific PT can all help against most falls. Ice, well, I guess you could move?

  16. ledasmom says

    Those thingies with studs on them that stretch over your boots work pretty well. Yak Tracks, maybe? Me, I’m stubborn, so I just fall down a lot. There is no pain quite like that of hitting the ice hard. I more or less gave up sledding after flipping a tube going over a bump, landing on my hip and not walking for two days. Wasn’t so much the not walking as the being towed off the slope butt-upwards on my son’s sled.