A Booming Market for Fitness Trainers

By Guy Higgins

I completed a full workout this morning, and I feel like a spent round. I’m tired, and I can feel all the muscles I used. It was a hard and satisfying workout. I gained benefit from the entire workout even though I had to force myself to complete all the reps in all the sets. While I don’t work with a personal trainer, there are half a dozen or so trainers at my gym, and they always seem to be busy. Personal trainers aren’t cheap – they charge about as much as master plumbers. Why do people hire personal trainers when they can go to the library and check out a book on fitness that tells you everything that the trainer will tell you? Good question. Continue reading

Working at Democracy

By Guy Higgins

I just came across a quotation from Alexander Woollcott, “I’m tired of hearing it said that democracy doesn’t work.  Of course it doesn’t work.  We are supposed to work at it.”

That really struck me.  I have to confess that I watch The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News and endure Bill’s pomposity and bloviating because I appreciate some of his guests and features.  I particularly enjoy Watter’s World – Jesse Watters goes out into America and talks to people – some rich and famous, some not so much.  While I enjoy the feature, I am also frequently appalled by it.  Now, given that Jesse and Fox pick and choose from all of the “interviews” to present the ones most entertaining and astounding, it is still amazing that it seems to require so little effort to find people whose ignorance of… well, almost everything is staggering in its vastness. Continue reading

Dumbing Down Professionals

By Guy Higgins

I read an article in Bloomberg recently (http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-11/united-overweight-takeoff-on-computer-glitches-prompts-changes.html?cmpid=yhoo).  The article related several incidents in which pilots had used erroneous weight information to calculate their weight and balance (the takeoff, flight, control and landing performance of an airplane is intimately related to the how much the airplane weighs and exactly where the center of gravity is).  These were not minor errors – they ranged from ten percent to almost thirty percent.  In some of the cases, the airplane crashed and in others it nearly did so.

The good news is that the pilots reported the incident that prompted the article.  That reflects professionalism on the part of the pilots and wisdom on the part of the airline for creating a system under which employees (not just pilots) can report such incidents.  A spokesperson for the airline said that there had been technology issues with getting correct passenger counts.  The implication here that frightens me is that there is a “technology problem.”  Continue reading