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Waltzing: 3 steps to heart health
The way to a man's heart may be through his feet.
In fact, dancing a waltz may pump as much oxygen into the bloodstream as other forms of exercise, according to a study by an Italian cardiologist.
To test this theory, Dr. Rumualdo Belardinelli, director of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit of the Lancisi Heart Institute in Ancona, Italy, monitored the progress of 89 male patients and 21 female patients.
The patients were divided into three groups: Forty-four were assigned to a standard gym-based exercise routine three days per week for eight weeks; a second group of 44 patients danced, alternating between slow and fast waltzes lasting 21 minutes each, three times a week for eight weeks; the third group of 22 patients did no exercise.
As he suspected, cardiopulmonary fitness increased at similar rates in those who did routine exercises and those who danced, with dancers experiencing slightly greater benefits. In particular, oxygen consumption increased 16% among the exercisers and 18% among the dancers. Individuals' anaerobic threshold--the point above which muscles fatigued--increased 20% among the exercisers and 21% among the dancers. Meanwhile, there was no improvement in the patients who did no exercise.
But Dr. Belardinelli believes the secret is not so much in the waltz movements themselves, but rather, the general appeal of the activity, which makes it less likely patients will get bored and hang up their dancing shoes.
"Patients with heart problems have a very poor record when it comes to keeping up a program of physical exercise," Dr. Belardinelli said in a presentation given at a recent American Heart Assn. meeting in Chicago, according to a printed copy of his remarks.
"We need something that captures their interest and enthusiasm," he said.
'Borat' suit offers sobering lesson
The box office hit "Borat" isn't so funny to two fraternity brothers who had starring roles in the satirical mockumentary as drunken students with harsh opinions about women and minority groups. The duo is now suing the film's creators.
According to a lawsuit filed Nov. 9 in California Superior Court in Santa Monica, the men claimed they were tricked by the filmmakers into being a part of what they were told would be a documentary that would not be aired in the United States. The suit states that the men were provided alcoholic drinks in excess to "loosen up" and then given releases to sign before being filmed.
The suit states that, as a result of the film, the fraternity brothers have suffered "humiliation, mental anguish, and emotional and physical distress, loss of reputation, good will and standing in the community." They are seeking judgments against four California-based film production companies for lost income and earning potential as well as punitive damages. They also are asking to be cut out of the film and the film's promotional campaigns.
The defendants are One America Productions, Everyman Pictures, Gold/Miller Productions and 20th Century-Fox Film Corp.
The suit is reportedly the first against makers of the film, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," starring and created by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. Others, including the residents of the small Romanian village of Glod and a Turkish man claiming that Mr. Baron Cohen's character is based on him, have told the media they intend to seek legal action against the film's creators.
Greenberg interested in going to press
Longtime insurance industry executive Maurice R. Greenberg may be making headlines once again. Literally.
The former chairman of American International Group Inc. and now head of the C.V. Starr agencies is reportedly mulling a bid for media conglomerate the Tribune Co.--the parent company of 11 daily newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune; more than 20 television stations; and the Chicago Cubs baseball team.
Other interested bidders include billionaires Eli Broad and Ronald Burkle, as well as newspaper chain Gannett Co., media reports said.
A spokesperson for Mr. Greenberg would say only: "Mr. Greenberg is exploring several options regarding media companies."
No alternative but litigation
Sometimes even alternative dispute resolution firms go to court.
White Plains, N.Y.-based Cybersettle Inc. last week won summary judgment in a patent infringement case in New Jersey federal court against the National Arbitration Forum. Cybersettle developed and patented an online, blind-bid system that sides in a dispute can use to reach financial settlements quickly.
Minneapolis-based NAF used an online tool in administering New Jersey's no-fault automobile insurance personal injury system that infringed on the patent, according to court documents.
"Cybersettle's stated policy is that we always attempt to resolve disputes out of court. Suffice it to say, we attempted to pursue that" with NAF but were unable to resolve the matter, explained Charles Brofman, president and CEO of Cybersettle. "Obviously, we are firm believers in alternative dispute resolution," he said. "We've been faced with patent infringement before, but this is the first time we've had to go to court to settle it."
NAF said in a statement that it ceased using versions of its tool that infringed the patent and is considering whether to appeal.
Contributing: Regis Coccia, Lousie Esola, Rupal Parekh, Joanne Wojcik