Best Of The Web
“I’ve driven through the coal-rich soils of Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, past the apocalyptic towers of Yallourn power station to Maffra, a dairy town set amid farm-studded flatlands that sweep in a panoramic rise up to the serried peaks of Australia’s Great Dividing Range.
This is Karla McKinlay country.
On the undulating bitumen of the Maffra backroads, the 72-year-old retired anaesthetist has honed a physique that allows her to do things many people 50 years her junior would find impossible. Last year she completed the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. For the uninitiated, that’s a 3.8-kilometre swim and 180-kilometre bike ride, topped off with a marathon across the unforgiving windswept south-eastern tip of Oahu Island.
McKinlay greets me at the door of her modest house. She is elfin, clad in sports gear, and sprouts a shock of white hair above a steely gaze that reeks of determination. Across the kitchen table she gives clues to where all that grit comes from.
“When I was a kid I was always top of the class at school, but in sport, although I was sporty and I made the school team, I was never number one,” she says.
Our chitchat takes in an almanac of sporting achievement that would seem to have made up for the deficiency: 19 Ironman races since the age of 63; first Australian female over 70 to complete Kona; fastest time of 12 hours 54 minutes. To give perspective, that’s more than an hour faster than the time set by Australia’s younger, and famously fit former prime minister, Tony Abbott, in his debut ironman competition in 2010.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"Not even what one might think of as the most basic tenet of any religion, a belief in the existence of God, is a prerequisite: Agnosticism is a key principle of at least one major school of Hindu philosophy."
"The presidency of any particular incumbent is relatively short... but the precedential consequences of impeaching a president without complying with the specific provisions of the Constitution “as it was written” are enduring."
"After news that a judge allegedly provided sexual favors to Bar Association president Efi Nave in exchange for her appointment, several politicians said in their responses that the Judicial Selection Committee needed to be the “Holy of Holies.”"
"Two new documentaries take on Billy McFarland and his disastrous music festival... the secret villain of this story all along: the subtle menace of social media marketing."
"Eating out, ordering in. Throw in a bagel here, a coffee there, and it all adds up. "It's definitely a challenge for people my age to save on food.""
"Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. "
"Here in the good old U.S. of A, the third annual Women's March planned for Jan. 19 is in serious trouble, thanks to irreconcilable political disagreements."
"Nature, however, with its endless cycles of death and rebirth, fascinated her. Walking in the woods, she developed a method that has become the hallmark of her poetry, taking notice simply of whatever happens to present itself."
"Modern parents haven’t stopped playing favorites; they’ve just stopped doing it openly. Though few parents today will admit they have a favorite child, studies indicate that about two-thirds of parents do."
"The first science-based diet that tackles both the poor food eaten by billions of people and averts global environmental catastrophe has been devised."
"Sphen and Magic looked like they would make great, diligent, careful egg-warming parents. They made the biggest nest, and they sat on it constantly."
"How YMHAs, followed by synagogue-centers, and finally JCCs have tried—in different ways—to balance Judaism and Jewishness, by bringing Jews together in intellectual, spiritual, and physical pursuits"