Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Thing About Life..

..Is That One Day You'll Be Dead.

This is the title of a new book by David Shields, excerpted in last week's The Week Magazine. If you are one of those people who gets all wee-wee'd up about turning 52 or gaining a pound or even simply discussing the fact that you will eventually go "tits up" as my Dad said, you will want to stop reading here. Everyone else needs to read this book which is as horrifying as it is entertaining. Here's an excerpt of the excerpt:

"Your strength and coordination peak at 19. Your body is the most flexible until age 20; after that joint function steadily declines. World-class sprinters are almost always in their late teens or early twenties. Your stamina peaks in your late 20s or early 30s; marathon records are invariably held by 25- to 35-year olds." It's a very interesting book on the human body, down to the cellular level. It discusses all the ways in which our physiologies change at each age level as a result of biologic processes. The one point he does make, which I love, is this: "The skin weakens and dries, the number of sebaceous glands declines dramatically, and all of the tissues of the skin undergo some change. You get wrinkles and gray hair. Wrinkles don't come from age, though. They come from sunlight which slowly maims the face causing wrinkles, mottling and loose skin."

So definitely get the book, if you can stand to do so. And, as always, wear sunscreen. :)

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