Monitoring Blood Pressure

It goes without saying that it’s important for diabetics to monitor their blood sugar levels. But, how important is it for those with cardiovascular conditions, specifically hypertension, to monitor their blood pressure?

Just as with diabetes, it’s very important to keep your blood pressure under control. Not only does a healthy diet and exercise contribute to that, so does monitoring. Fortunately, that’s something you can do at home using the familiar blood pressure cuff and stethoscope, or with an electronic monitor, such as a digital readout monitor.

Which monitor you use should be a discussion best had with your doctor. There are several different models available on the market and they can be obtained at most pharmacies and discount chain stores.

Vertical Leaping

From Wikipedia:  “Vertical leaping is the act of raising one’s center of gravity higher in the vertical plane solely with the use of one’s own muscles; it is a measure of how high an individual or athlete can elevate off the ground (jump) from a standstill.”

Vertical leaping ability is important in many sports, most especially basketball, football, volleyball, and track & field.  Many of the athletes in these sports regularly test their vertical leaping skills.  It will show how quick and explosive their bodies are.

Vertical Leaping measurements

The easiest way to measure your vertical leaping is to stand next to a wall, reach as high as you can, and measure the distance between the floor and the highest point.  This can be called your standing reach.  Next, jump next to the same wall and measure from the ground to the highest point reached.  Make several attempts and use the highest measurement.  Finally, subtract your standing reach measurement from your jumping measurement.  This gives you a vertical leaping measurement.  This can be measured more accurately with lasers, but most people don’t have those lying around.

At the annual NFL Combine, top college football players are tested in a number of ways.  Vertical leaping is one of those things.  The player stands flat-footed in front of a pole that has movable plastic flags.  The player then jumps from a standing position and tries to push away as many of those flags as possible.  See the picture below of the apparatus used.

What is Superb Vertical Leaping?
Vertical leaping is a common metric used to test athleticism.  So what is a good result?  A vertical leap of 40 inches or more is considered superb.  It would be the top tier of all leapers in the world.  Some professional athletes have recorded vertical leaps over 50 inches, with 52 inches being the current Guinness World Record.

Cheating to get higher vertical leaping measurements.
Yes, it can be done.  Most commonly, the athlete will not give a full reach from the standing position.  This measurement will be low, thus making the vertical leaping measurement higher than it should be.  It is often referred to as ‘shrugging shoulders.’

Some Misconceptions about Vertical Leaping
Vertical leaping is a measurement calculated from a running jump. WRONG!

THE TRUTH:  Vertical leaping is always measured from a standing jump.

Increasing one’s vertical leaping skills takes hours and hours of training. WRONG!

THE TRUTH:  Programs such as The Jump Manual are easy to follow and have guaranteed results with a minimum time commitment.

Learn How to Lose Weight Part 1

When you try to lose weight and look thinner instantly, probably you read a lot of weight loss tips that give advice on what you need you need to do and not to do to burn fat and lose weight. There are hundreds of tips and tricks available on the websites of online weight loss and health and fitness magazine shops that you must follow and to avoid? The first step is to understand exactly what the tips that tells you to do and see if that makes sense. Not all the information you read in magazines and on websites is necessarily true. It’s really essential to verify the reliability and the truth about what you read before making changes in your life.

The most common advice for you to lose fat is generally divided into three categories, which are psychological, fitness and eating. But sometimes you can find some suggestions. We encourage you to try new products or supplements; and you need to know more about the person providing the information. Professionals in the health and fitness generally offer the best weight loss tips that work best, but sometimes you come across a number of sites that offer tips and information to make purchases of certain products from them.

Also, be aware of why some pieces of fat loss is supposed to work. Just because someone says something works, you should have in his word and should try to understand the logic behind it. What works for one person may not work for others, so be sure to do something that will hurt your body.

Grapefruit Diet Review

Ah yes, the magical properties of the humble grapefruit!

This diet comes from way back around the 1930’s.

The easy version says that you eat a half grapefruit before every meal, and you’ll lose weight similar as another diet of Diuretic weight loss.

This is because apparently the grapefruit has enzymes which work on your insulin levels, helping weight loss.

If you buy any sort of plan based around the grapefruit diet though, you’ll see a familiar tactic involved – low carbohydrates!

For some reason the plan allows, even encourages, drinking as much black coffee as you want!

This one just seems bizarre to me.

The powers of the grapefruit are not proven, and since most plans surrounding the grapefruit diet involve a calorie intake of 800 per day, weight loss is hardly a surprise.

Weight loss on 800 calories per day is not unusual, in fact it’s fairly inevitable, since you simply are not getting enough energy into your body!

The plan calls for no more than 12 days on the diet, so by definition it isn’t sustainable.

This is also an admission that it’s a crash diet – basically treat your body badly by deliberately starving it, and then you can throw your arms up in delight at your weight loss!

Of course you may not have the energy to do any arm throwing after 8 rigid days of this diet!

A few years back an experiment was conducted whereby people did nothing else to change their diet except eat the additional grapefruit at meals.

They all lost weight – *but* – the experiment only featured 100 people, and also states that they added light exercise.

This ruins the experiment as any kind of scientific vindication.

Eating more fruit is always recommended, but to think that just by adding fruit and taking away loads of calories elsewhere is a magical formula – well that’s plainly not sensible, so if you’re planning on spending money on a grapefruit diet plan of any kind, why not just spend the money on a single grapefruit instead, along with apples, oranges, bananas,and simply eat your regular 5 portions of fruit and veg per day!

Actually, I’ve found an even easier and more effective way to lose weight. To see what I’m doing, just follow my blog.

Quick Weight Loss Tips

Getting quick weight loss tips is a great way to have some sort of reference material that can easily be checked for information every once in a while. In case one needs information about a certain method or scheme, they can just look it up quickly using credible reference weight loss materials. Here is a compilation of some of the greatest tips people have given in the name of shedding off unwanted weight.

Tip 1 – Increase the Number of Meals

When people read the name of this tip, they tend to go back or the title and first paragraph and see if they pulled up the wrong information. Believe it or not, one of the greatest things about losing weight is that one can eat more meals. However, these meals don’t have as much servings as the meals you used to eat.

When one increases the number of meals they eat, they should make sure that the said meals have really smaller servings. Eating small meals every two or three hours will signal to one’s body. Having a lot of smaller meals will trigger the body keep its metabolism high. This will then result to the continuous burning of fat. Eating five to six meals a day is enough to get one going.

Tip 2 – Avoid High Density Carbohydrates

Eating a lot of high density carbohydrates will definitely result to the body storing more fat. However this definitely doesn’t mean that one should stop eating high density carbohydrates forever. The ideal thing to do is only to reduce the amount high density carbohydrates one eats down to a minimum. Low density carbohydrates should become a natural substitute.

Tip 3- Thermionic Supplements

Our next item in the series of quick weight loss tips is to use thermionic supplements. These are otherwise known as fat burners that actually accelerate and boost human metabolism. Other than that, fat burners also encourage the discharge of fat from the human body’s fat stores.

As a bit of a warning though is that some people look at these fat burners as though they are magic pills. In reality, those who use thermionic supplements still need to go about their regular exercise routines in order to take advantage of the effects of these pills. As an added precaution, people interested in using these pills should consult with their doctors first before even taking their very first thermionic pill.

ALC Reports


LFF Reports

As part of its mission to support public libraries, Libraries for the Future known until recently as Americans for Libraries Council’ sponsors research and cross-disciplinary discussion on a range of issues relevant to libraries and society today. All reports are available for free download below. Topics covered include:

Economic Valuation
Health Information Services in Public Libraries
Libraries and Productive Aging
Innovation and Change in American Libraries
Intergenerational and Intercultural Reading/Discussion Programs in Libraries.


Published May 5, 2007
worth their weight cover

Worth Their Weight: An Assessment of the Evolving Field of Library Valuation

LFF/ALC’s newest report offers researchers and advocates an overview of the cutting-edge field of library valuation, or models for expressing a library’s multiple contributions to its community in dollars and cents.

Download the Report (PDF, 5 MB, 104 pages) updated May 21, 2007

Resources to accompany the report (PDF):

Executive Summary of Worth Their Weight
Fact Sheet: 6 Things Every Library Needs to Know About Economic Valuation
Fact Sheet: Key Findings from the Report
Fact Sheet: Key Recommendations

Library Valuation:
an Effective Advocacy Tool?

On June 25, 2007, a joint ALC/IMLS Panel Discussion was held at the Annual ALA Conference. The panel was moderated by Kendall Wiggin, Connecticut State Librarian. Panelists included:

РJos̩-Marie Griffiths of University of North Carolina;
– Jennifer Arns of University of South Carolina (and co-author of Worth Their Weight);
– Barbara Cole, Pennsylvania State Library;
– Amy Johnson, Florida State Library;
– Kevin Verbesey, Suffolk Cooperative Library System of New York

Representatives reported on the studies impact and explored new opportunities for dialogue between library researchers, library leaders, and library advocates on the subject of economic valuation.

Click here to download the PowerPoint presentation and notes from the session.
Public Libraries and Their Contribution

From Good To Great: A Competitive Library for a Competitive City
An Assessment of Louisville Free Public Library
by Americans for Libraries Council

The Louisville Free Public Library commissioned this study from ALC to answer two key questions: (1) Can the LFPL move from good to great and (2) if so, what will it take? To answer these questions, ALC draws upon planning studies concerning the future of Louisville and the LFPL, its own knowledge of current library developments, and recent research studies by ALC and other national organizations. The resulting report evaluates the library’s capacity to grow from many perspectives and concludes with “the possibility for LFPL not only to be a top-tier library but also to be a global leader with new public investment commensurate with the city’s needs and vision.

kids in green

Community Health Connections: Emerging Models of Health Information Services in Public Libraries
Based on the Langeloth Forum on Libraries and Health Information
by William Zeisel

Download the Report (PDF, 2.6 MB, 74 pages)

Sections (PDF):

Cover and Back Page
Outreach to the Underserved
Bridging the Academic- Community Gap
Consumer Health Information Centers
Electronic Information Centers
Partnerships and Coalitions
Youth-Oriented Programs
State Library Initiatives
Training Programs
Special Presentations
Forum Agenda and Participants

kids in green

Designs for Change: Libraries and Productive Aging
by William Zeisel

Our report from the 2005 Library Leaders Forum, sponsored by ALC and IMLS, calls for libraries to meet the “aging opportunity” with dynamic programs for baby boomers and other active adults re-imagining aging and creative retirement.

Download the Report (PDF, 1.8 MB, 44 pages)

kids in green

Libraries for the Future: Innovation in Action
by Nina Sonenberg

Our history of 13 years of library innovation captures the public library’s growing roles in emergent literacy, health, lifelong learning, technology, and other 21st century concerns, with specific information on EqualAccess, Family Place, Lifelong Access, Reading America, and other signature programs of Libraries for the Future.

Download the Report (PDF, 3.9 MB, 37 pages)

Sections (PDF):

Cover and Intro
Family Place Libraries
Expanding Outreach
Community Access
The Guiding Principles of EqualAccess Libraries
Arizona and Lifelong Access Libraries
Health Access
Reading America
Strengthening Advocacy
The Civic Library

kids in green

The Reading America Toolkit: How to Plan and Implement an Intergenerational and Intercultural Reading and Discussion
Program at Your Library
by William Zeisel and Elissa Young

A step-by-step guide to creating powerful programs around book and film discussions, with site profiles and tips from dozens of successful programs.

Download the Report (PDF, 3.2 MB, 74 pages)

Sections (PDF):

About Reading America
Getting Started
Creating the Programming
Doing Outreach
Raising Public Awareness
Putting on the Event
Documenting and Evaluating the Program
Supporting Materials
Resources and References
Program Descriptions
About LFF

Act for Libraries

Campaigns: New England

Southbury, CT

The House That Volunteers Built
Residents Lead Way to New Library at Heart of Community

Southbury (CT) Public Library

In A Nutshell

The rapid growth of Southbury, CT made the library too small to meet demand. Community volunteers organized an eight-year building initiative, which resulted in a new 32,000 square foot building, opened in April 2006. Since then, library use has increased by 54%. The new building serves as a destination for Southbury residents of all ages and reflects the community’s investment in its future.

southbury public library
The New Southbury (CT) Public Library.

Southbury, Connecticut has a long tradition of library services. In 1776, one resident wrote in his journal: Went to library meeting. Over the centuries library functions were housed in private homes, a social hall, and, in 1969, a 7,100 square foot building on South Main Street. Over the next few decades Southbury experienced rapid growth, due in part to the development of a major retirement village. Between 1981 and 2001, the population of Southbury grew 31%, while library use increased 95%.

Space constraints increasingly affected the quality of library services. New books could not be added without purging others and there was insufficient room for programs, quiet study, new computers, children’s activities or parking. By 1998, the Board of Directors of the Southbury Public Library had formed a Committee to study ways of expanding the library. From the outset of the planning process, the Committee was dedicated to creating not only a library but a community center that would function as the heart of the community.

Advocacy Goals

Fund and construct a new library building through following steps:
Gain support from Town Board to underwrite the major portion of the planning, acquisition and construction of a new library
Achieve a majority vote by local citizens supporting a bond issue at the level of $7,350,000.
Gain state approval for a construction grant.
Raise private funds to complement public monies.
Build a sense of ownership by all residents and organizations in the community.

Getting the Work Done

The most remarkable aspect of the Southbury campaign was the level of commitment and achievement by volunteers. Some volunteers were part of the project from the outset, some became involved as the project evolved in scope and complexity, and some were recruited for their experience and skills. Volunteers oversaw development of a Long-Range Plan and Building Program, mobilized local legislators to help secure fiscal support from the Town and the State, selected and worked with a Planning Consultant and Architect, organized a campaign that garnered community support for a referendum, negotiated purchase of property, raised private funds, monitored construction, assisted with the library move, and organized events and publicity to celebrate the opening.

Board of Directors led the overall planning and established a special Building Committee to carry out the building project
Building Committee Chair had background in project management; potential Committee members were interviewed; members were selected to ensure the array of skills required for the project
The Planning Consultant, Nolan Lushington, worked intensively with library staff and Board and also carried out community focus groups and interviews
The Architect, Peter Wells, of Tuthill and Wells, was an integral part of the planning process, providing guidance and also listening to local volunteers
Library Friends took special roles in the fundraising process, including funding a mailing to every voter as part of the referendum campaign
Library staff, especially Director Shirley Thorson, assisted with outreach to community groups, information meetings at the library, and other aspects of communications.

Advocacy Strategies

Community Engagement

The following activites helped to inform and involve community members:

Breakfasts and after-work briefings at the library for community members
Presentations at community organization meetings
Outreach to retirement communities
Town meetings
Involvement of organizations and individuals in the planning process and the campaign.

Strategic Communications

Cultivation of working relationships with local media
Open planning process, enabling media to report fully on the project
Mailing to 7,000 + households in advance of referendum vote
Carefully developed “high-value” hand-outs at important meeting
Power point presentations, brochures and updates for the public
Gave credit whenever possible to allies and supporters.

Political Outreach

Advocates used the following strategies to involve local and state legislators:

Meetings with individual legislators to gain their trust and hear their points of view
Carefully planned meetings with Town Board to gain their support
Cultivation of every state representative and provision of the data they needed to make the case for a state grant.

Private Sector Fundraising

Consultation with pro bono experts on methods for identifying and cultivating private donors
Receptions and meetings with potential donors
Brick Campaign to stimulate support from wide array of community members
Recognition opportunities


Recruited Building Committee Chair with management skills at the moment when this type of leadership was essential
Presence of local individuals, including those in a local retirement community, willing to apply their professional skills and experience for the building project
Two donations of over $100,000; five donations between $25,000 and $99,000
Opportunity to acquire land at an accessible location
Supportive Town Board
Selection of Planning Consultant and Architect who were willing to work with volunteers and Town officials to build support for the project as it evolved.


The new Southbury Public Library opened in April 2006. It offers greatly expanded library services and houses an array of community functions. It is a symbol of what can be achieved by dedicated and skilled citizens working together for the public good.

Special features include state-of-the-art computers, large new spaces for children and for teens, a studio for recordings for the blind, an art gallery, and a meeting room that will seat 150 people.

Looking Ahead

The Library Board and Friends have already participated in a planning retreat to define their next goals and tasks. They are developing an outdoor space in the spring of 2007 and planning expanded programs to fulfill the potential of the new building as a civic, cultural and educational center.