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Tech (and powering down) resolutions for 2013

Timothy Olyphant stars as Ralyan Givens  FX series 'Justified.' The show is its fourth seasis now Richard Roeper's watch

Timothy Olyphant stars as Ralyan Givens in the FX series "Justified." The show is in its fourth season and is now on Richard Roeper's watch list.

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Updated: January 7, 2013 7:31PM



All right, I’ll try “Justified”! You wore me down.

But I think it’s time to say goodbye to “Californication.” They had the perfect series ending before last season, but they just keep on going.

More pop culture and tech resolutions later in this column, but first I want to talk about the “Bigging of America.”

Ask someone around my age if they can remember the “fat kid” from grade school, and odds are one or maybe two names will spring to mind.

It’s not like there were a dozen overweight kids in most classes.

(Sorry about that “fat kid” thing, but that’s what we called obese children back in the day. Fat kids.)

Kids today are bigger in every way. Look at the roster of the 2012 Mount Carmel football team and they’re not much smaller overall than the 1985 Bears. The Caravan had players weighing in at 224, 227, 230, 234, 240, 247, 252, 259, 261, 264, 270, 273, 283, 285 and 295. The linebackers on the ’85 Bears weighed in the 220s and 230s.

Problem is, a lot of kids aren’t playing sports, or even going outside to run around in the snow (if we ever get any snow again).

An article on Salon.com (by way of the Pacific Standard) titled, “Put down your laptop, and lace up your hiking boots!” cites a study by neuroscientists examining the relationship between outdoor activity and creative thinking.

“David Strayer, a professor of cognition and neural science at the University of Utah, noticed that his brain felt more limber, his thoughts more fluid, on backcountry trips in the Southwest than they did in the lab,” writes Kevin Charles Redmond.

It makes sense. You’re out for a run or a long walk, or you’re taking your morning swim, and you have that great epiphany. Just about everyone knows that feeling.

Thing is, you have to go cold turkey with “tech deprivation” while you’re engaging in “nature immersion.” If you’re walking through the woods while sending texts and emails, you’re missing the whole point.

Plus you’re more likely to run into a tree.

This passage from the article really jumped out at me:

“The…average American child spends just 15 to 25 minutes playing outside each day, but some seven and half hours in front of a screen.”

Wow. We used to spend 15 to 25 minutes just rounding everyone up for an afternoon’s worth of baseball, football, basketball, street hockey or goofin’ off.

My heart sinks every time I see a young, really heavyset kid. You hate to envision an entire lifetime of someone dealing with health issues, social setbacks and the like because he’s so big. Life ain’t fair, especially so when you’re an overweight kid.

Not that kids are the only ones spending seven and half-hours in front of a screen every day. That would be a day off for me.

Justifying his take on “Girls”

Resolved: More time outside, a little less time in front of a screen.

A few of my other pop culture/techno resolutions:

† At the behest of a number of hard-core fans of “Justified” that keep telling me I’d love “Justified,” I’m going to start with Episode One, Season One of “Justified.” Promise.

† I will watch at least the first few episodes of the second season of “Girls” to see if I still feel it’s on the verge of becoming one of the 25 Most Overrated Shows in TV History.

† When sitting down in a restaurant, I will keep the iPhone pocketed instead of going with the phone-on-the-table move. That way I can fully engage with my dinner companion — and also be prepared when those kids from “the basketball team” approach and try to do that move where they leave the flier while swiping the phone.

† I will not Instagram photos of food. I will, however, acknowledge millions of people apparently like to check out pics of other people’s food, so I’ll keep the snarky comments to a minimum.

† On Twitter (and elsewhere), I will try to stop myself from saying, “So this just happened,” “So that’s a thing I do now,” “That thing where…,” “Epic fail,” “Just sayin,’ ” “This is really a thing,” “FTW (For The Win),” and “YOLO (You Only Live Once).”

† When people say, “Must be nice to watch movies for a living,” I will refrain from launching into the laundry list of other jobs I have and explaining that watching movies takes up about 10 percent of my workload. Except I just did that. Okay the resolution begins now.

† For long drives, I’m locking the phone in the trunk. That’s the best way to guarantee I won’t take a call, glance at a text or Tweet or ask Siri what it’s like to work with Samuel L. Jackson.



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