• Saturday Chess
    We're playing chess again Saturday Dec 7. Win a free breakfast or lunch! See Chess Challenge above.

    Free copy of John Bain's Chess Rules for Students or Checkmate! Ideas for Students for beginners of all ages, while supplies last.

  • Crime Trends 2019
    Brief Update Dec 4, 2019
    109 (unofficial) homicides through November 2019.
    More Security in San Miguel de Allende Dec 2, 2019.

    109 x 12/11 = 119 annualized homicide rate.
    (The end of November is 11/12 of the way through the year.)

    119 / 1.7 = 70.
    (We have a population of about 170,000 people.)

    Current annualized murders per 100,000 in SMA = 70.

    The US Dept of State U.S. Citizen Deaths Overseas ...
    This is updated at six month intervals so no change since our last update.
    ... through the first half of this year includes 0 U.S. Citizen deaths due to non-natural causes in SMA in 2019.
    U.S. Citizen Deaths Overseas.

    Mexico Crime Report: October

    SMA official homicide rate ...
    Interactive infographics is available at this website.
    Mexico Crime Report

    Semáforo Delictivo: October
    Interactive infographics is available at this website.
    Semáforo Delictivo
  • Brief News and Views Dec 3, 2019
    I am curious to see future studies that compare the outcomes of blue zoners and their descendants as the descendants adapt different diets and lifestyles or maintain those of their ancestors.

    In the meantime, there is this evidence comparing Adventists with Adventists and demonstrating differing health outcomes based on diet:
    Fast forward 50 years to the Adventist-2 study, looking at 89,000 people and we see a stepwise drop in the rates of diabetes as one eats more and more plant-based, down to a 78% lower prevalence among those eating strictly plant-based. Protection building incrementally as one moved from eating meat, to eating less meat, to just fish, to no meat, and then to no eggs and dairy either.

    We see the same thing with another leading killer, high blood pressure. The greater the proportion of plant foods, the lower the rates of hypertension. The same with excess body fat. The only dietary group not on average overweight were those eating diets composed exclusively of plant foods, but again this same incremental drop with fewer and fewer animal products. This suggests that it’s not black and white, not all or nothing; any steps one can make towards eating healthier may accrue significant benefits.
    Plant-Based Diets and Diabetes
    (If you scroll below the video there are View Transcript and Sources Cited tabs with the text and links to the studies cited.)

    There are multiple factors involved but diet seems to be one of them in living a long and healthy life.
  • Brief News and Views Dec 3, 2019
    There can certainly be a genetic aspect. But, ...

    Studies have shown that Seventh-day Adventists, who have a broad range of ethnic backgrounds, live as much as a decade longer than the rest of us, which led to Loma Linda being identified as one of five longevity spots, called Blue Zones, on the planet and the only one in the United States.
    Why Loma Linda residents live longer than the rest of us: They treat the body like a temple.

    And ...

    So, 90 plus percent whole food plant-based makes it a highly anti-inflammatory diet, makes it a highly antioxidant diet. If you measure the level of oxidized fat within their system, there is compelling evidence of less free radical damage. Maybe they just genetically have better antioxidant enzymes or something? No, their antioxidant enzyme activity is the same; it’s all the extra antioxidants that they’re getting from their diet that may be making the difference—most of their diet is vegetables!
    The Okinawa Diet: Living to 100.
  • Make Sure You Know Who’s Renting Your Mexican Home
    I don't know the law about this. Is the purpose just to have proof that you paid?

    How are you paying? Is it self-documenting (like a check)?

    If cash, maybe you can get a receipt book, and have the landlord sign when you pay?
  • Saturday Chess
    We're playing chess again Saturday Nov 30. Win a free breakfast or lunch! See Chess Challenge above.
    Puzzle hint:
    White starts with a Rook move, then a Queen check.

    Free copy of John Bain's Chess Rules for Students or Checkmate! Ideas for Students for beginners of all ages, while supplies last.
  • Our Thanksgiving Meal

    And I think your DiscoverSMA listed over 20 restaurants with special thanksgiving menus yesterday. A great service. Thanks!
  • Brief News and Views Nov 26, 2019
    Thanks for your comment. I apologize that it not published sooner. For some reason it went to a moderation queue and I didn't notice it.

    I agree with the author that claims of literal apocalypse in 20 years are overblown. But to a large extent that is a straw man argument and a form of slow climate change denial.

    I don't think most people "get it" or don't take the long-term dangers seriously enough. Everyone in the U.S. (or the world) buying an electric car or installing solar panels will not solve the problem. Major lifestyle changes on a massive scale are going to be required and I don't expect that to happen until there are no other options.

    I more agree with the above article "Countries are not doing enough to keep Earth's temperature from rising to near-catastrophic levels, a UN report says.":
    Environmental recalibration will require fundamental structural changes across most of the world, the report acknowledges. It won't be cheap.

    Climate policies consistent with the 1.5-degree goal could cost up to $3.6 trillion per year globally, according to the UNEP. But the cost likely outweighs the consequences of inaction.

    The adaptations humankind would need to make to survive in a world where temperatures have risen more than 1.5 degrees Celsius would seriously damage the global economy and reduce food security and biodiversity, according to the report.
  • Saturday Chess
    We're playing chess again Saturday Nov 23. Win a free breakfast or lunch! See Chess Challenge above.

    Stalemate is a situation in the game of chess where the player whose turn it is to move is not in check but has no legal move. The rules of chess provide that when stalemate occurs, the game ends as a draw. During the endgame, stalemate is a resource that can enable the player with the inferior position to draw the game rather than lose.Wikipedia: Stalemate
  • On the topic of salt....
    Everyone has right to their own opinions and choices and one is responsible for their own actions. Like posting that "sea salt... adds to health" on a public forum when it is well documented that excessive salt consumption contributes to high blood pressure and "... high blood pressure may wipe out 400,000 Americans every year; 1,000 unnecessary deaths a day."

    For the first 90% of our evolution, we ate diets containing less than a quarter teaspoon of salt a day, because for the first 90% of our evolution, we ate mostly plants. We went millions of years without salt shakers, and so our bodies evolved into salt-conserving machines, which served us well—until we discovered salt could be used to preserve foods. Without refrigeration, this was a big boon to human civilization. Of course, this may have led to a general rise in blood pressure, but who cares if the alternative is starving to death because all your food rotted away? But where does that leave us now, when we no longer have to live off of pickles and jerky? We are genetically programmed to eat ten times less salt than we do now. Even many low-salt diets can be considered high-salt diets. That’s why it’s critical to understand what the concept of “normal” is when it comes to salt. ...

    Forty years ago, it was acknowledged that the evidence is very good, if not conclusive, that a low enough reduction of salt in the diet would result in the prevention of essential hypertension—that rising of blood pressure as we age— and its disappearance as a major public health problem. It looks like we knew how to stop this four decades ago. In that time, how many people have died? Today, high blood pressure may wipe out 400,000 Americans every year; 1,000 unnecessary deaths a day. High Blood Pressure May Be a Choice

    Like any group with vested interests, the food industry resists regulation. Faced with a growing scientific consensus that salt increases blood pressure, major food manufacturers have adopted desperate measures to try to stop governments from recommending salt reduction. Rather than reformulate their products and save lives, manufacturers have lobbied governments, refused to cooperate, encouraged misinformation campaigns, and tried to discredit the evidence. After all, salt is the main source of flavor in processed foods. Of course, they could improve the flavor by adding real ingredients, but like making a pop-tart with actual strawberries, that would be more expensive and cut into profits.

    The evidence that they’re trying to discredit includes double-blind randomized trials dating back decades. You take people with high blood pressure, put them on a sodium-restricted diet, and their blood pressure drops. Then, if you keep them on the low-salt diet and add a placebo, nothing happens. But if you instead give them salt in the form of a time-release sodium pill, their blood pressure goes back up. And, the more sodium you secretly give them, the higher their blood pressure climbs.

    Even just a single meal can do it. If you take people with normal blood pressure and give them a bowl of soup containing the amount of salt a regular meal might contain, their blood pressure goes up over the next three hours compared to the same soup with no added salt. Why though? High blood pressure appears to be our body’s way to push the excess salt out of our system. The Evidence that Salt Raises Blood Pressure

    If salt hidden in food kills millions of people around the world, why are efforts to cut dietary salt being met with fierce resistance? Well, salt is big business for the processed food and meat industry and so, according to the head of the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Center on Nutrition, we get the familiar story. Just like the tobacco industry spent decades trying to manufacture doubt and confuse the public, the salt industry does the same, but the controversy is fake. The evidence for salt reduction is clear and consistent. Most of the “contradictory research” comes from scientists linked to the salt industry. However, it takes skill to spot the subterfuge because the industry is smart enough to stay behind the scenes, covertly paying for studies designed to downplay the risks. All they have to do is manufacture just enough doubt to keep the controversy alive.

    The likes of the World Hypertension League have been described as a mere pop-gun against the weapons-grade firepower of salt-encrusted industries who look disdainfully at the do-gooder health associations who erect roadblocks on the path to profits. Lest we forget, notes this editorial in the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association, high blood pressure is big business for the drug industry too, whose blood pressure billions might be threatened should we cut back on salt. If we went sodium-free and eliminated the scourge of hypertension, not only would big pharma suffer, what about doctors? The #1 diagnosis adults see doctors with is high blood pressure, nearly 40 million doctor visits a year, and so maybe even the BMW industry might be benefiting from keeping the salt debate alive. Sprinkling Doubt: Taking Sodium Skeptics with a Pinch of Salt
  • End of Life documents
    I've talked to two lawyers about related issues this week.

    One takeaway is that if you own real estate in SMA you probably want a will.

    On the other hand, one of the lawyers said if someone comes to him for a will, if they do not own real estate here, he generally advises them they do not need one. Notice the wiggle words probably and generally. For any specific question about a specific situation, ask a lawyer or maybe a notario.

    A few related notes / links from searching the internet (more details at each of the links):

    However, if absolutely all of your property in Mexico falls under operation of law or contract, then a Mexican Will may not be required. ... Another good example is bank account(s) with beneficiary designations. In either case, the property so designated will avoid probate. ...

    If the couple does not have a Mexican Will and they have children, it is probable that the surviving spouse will be disinherited. Most couples will want to have a Will for this reason alone. ...

    After a person dies, Probate provides the legal process for transferring title to those properties that do not transfer some other way. If there is a Will, probate in Mexico is generally carried out in private at a Notario’s office. If there is no Will, if the Will is contested, or if there are guardianship issues, the Mexican courts get involved.
    AccessLakeChapala: Will and Testament

    A foreigner with property in Mexico who dies will have their property distributed to their legal heirs, depending on whether they die without a Will (ab intestate), with a Mexican Will, or with a foreign Will.MexLaw: Who Will Inherit Your Property in Mexico?

    There is not a consensus of what the law requires so we advise you to get a legal advisor if you have valuable property in Mexico and you want to control what will happen to it in the event of your death. Estate laws are governed by each Mexican state and there are differences among them. Wills are not under Federal jurisdiction so the state laws governing Wills prevail.BaJa123: SETTING UP A LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT IN BAJA

    If the property is located in the interior of the country, outside of the “restricted zone”, the strip of land 50 miles wide along the coastlines and 100 miles wide along the borders, then more than likely the property is held outright in a fee simple deed.

    In Mexico, there is no such thing as right of survivorship permitting the property to automatically transfer to the surviving spouse. At the first death, assuming the husband and wife own the property 50/50, an undivided half will be transferred pursuant to the deceased’s will or pursuant to the state’s civil code.

    In the event the deceased does not have a will and there are surviving children, it is possible that, even in states with revised Civil Codes such as Guanajuato and Baja California Sur, the surviving spouse will have no more than an equal share with the children. In other words, if Mr. Jones has a wife and four children who survive him, Mrs. Jones will receive only a one-fifth undivided interest in Mr. Jones’s 50% interest in the property.
    Gringo Gazette: The Mexican Will – Is it Necessary?

    MEXICAN WILL. Anyone, whether or not they are a Mexican citizen, can make a legally binding Will in Mexico. It’s called a “Testamento”.

    Although a Private Will (typed but not notarized) and a Holographic Will (handwritten) are legal ways to make a Testamento, they may be difficult to validate and enforce in court. For that reason, I always recommend that the Testamento be made and registered by a Mexican notario publico. Mexican courts presume that a notarial Testamento is valid without the need to call the witnesses to court to validate the Will. That’s the great advantage of a notarial Will over private and holographic wills. Of course, in an emergency, you may not have the time or chance to make a notarial will, so in that case a private or holographic Will would be better than nothing.

    A Mexican Will should be strictly limited to the assets you own in Mexico. It can govern your bank trust rights in property, bank accounts and any other Mexican assets you may have.
    Banderas News: If You Own Property in Mexico, You Need Both a Mexican Will and Beneficiary Notice

    US and Canadian citizens living in Mexico frequently ask, “Do I need a Mexican Will? While there is no legal requirement to have a Will executed in Mexcio, our recommendation, even for people whose only asset in Mexico is their real property held in trust, is to be proactive and draft a Mexican Will. The principal reason is that Mexican property is often caught outside of the trust arrangements: automobiles, jewelry, objects of art, shares in golf clubs, business interests, etc. The second reason is that intestate laws in Mexico are not always favorable to surviving spouses and seldom distribute property in the manner in which the decedent would have liked. If you have property in Mexico and die without any Will, the state courts will look to the intestate provisions of their respective civil code to determine the disposition of assets and establish guardianships.

    If absolutely all of your property in Mexico will pass by operation of law or contract, then a Mexican Will may not be required. For example, if you hold property in a fideicomiso (Mexican Trust), the trust document will determine who inherits the beneficial right to the property. Another good example are bank accounts that have beneficiary designations. In either case, property will avoid probate.
    Mexican Wills - How Foreign Residents Can Avoid Losing Control of Their Estates
  • On the topic of salt....
    Most salt in most peoples' diets comes from processed food.

    Reduction of salt consumption by just 15% could save the lives of millions. ...

    The #1 source of sodium for kids and teens is pizza. For adults over 51, it’s bread. But, between the ages of 20 and 50, the greatest contribution of sodium to the diet is not canned soups, pretzels, or potato chips, but chicken—because of all the salt, and other additives, that are injected into the meat.

    This is one of the reasons, in general, “animal foods contain higher amounts of sodium than plant foods.” Given the sources of sodium, complying with the recommendations for salt reduction “will require large deviations from current eating behaviors.” We’re talking a sharp increase in vegetables, fruit, beans, whole grains, and lower intake of meats and refined grain products. As might be expected, reducing the amount of sodium would necessitate a “precipitous drop” in meat consumption for men and women of all ages. You can see why there’s so much industry pressure to confuse people about sodium. Salt of the Earth: Sodium & Plant-Based Diets

    Is sea salt better? I don't know and The Health Scams Exposed link offers no evidence and cites no sources (compared to the NutritionFacts link which cites 9 studies in a four minute video).
  • Saturday Chess
    New Time and the Chess Challenge start tomorrow Nov 16.
  • La Quincena: How to Avoid Long Lines at the ATM in Mexico
    The worst-case scenario is if your Quincena Friday should happen to fall on a Puente. “Puente”, meaning “bridge” in Spanish, is the term for a 3-day weekend in Mexico. If you should happen to have a Mexican holiday land on Friday the 15th, then you can expect conditions similar to Black Friday in the United States.

    Heads up. This weekend is El Buen Fin, Friday is the 15th and Monday is a paid holiday (Revolution Day). If you need money from a bank before Tuesday, don't wait ...
  • End of Life documents

    Zoe (not Glenn) said:
    She did do a pointless (but dramatic!) will. Pointless because she owns no real estate and thus probate cannot be opened.Zoe

    Zoe, can you elaborate?
  • Will Killers Walk Free in Cartel Ambush of Mormon Family in Mexico?
    It seems, at this moment, it is not clear who the perpetrators were:
    He said that it is not defined who is responsible for what happened, "there are many opinions and many ideas but we really do not know what it was."Marcial LeBarón
  • End of Life documentation
    Great info! Thanks!
  • Crime Trends 2019
    Brief Update Nov 11, 2019
    103 (unofficial) homicides through October 2019.
    Unidos por la Seguridad SMA Nov 1.

    103 x 12/10 = 124 annualized homicide rate.
    (The end of October is 10/12 of the way through the year.)

    124 / 1.7 = 73.
    (We have a population of about 170,000 people.)

    Current annualized murders per 100,000 in SMA = 73.

    The US Dept of State U.S. Citizen Deaths Overseas ...
    This is updated at six month intervals so no change since our last update.
    ... through the first half of this year includes 0 U.S. Citizen deaths due to non-natural causes in SMA in 2019.
    U.S. Citizen Deaths Overseas.

    Mexico Crime Report: September
    The official homicide rate for GTO is about the same for September as it was in August ...

    SMA official homicide rate ...
    Interactive infographics is available at this website.
    Mexico Crime Report

    Semáforo Delictivo: September
    Interactive infographics is available at this website.
    Semáforo Delictivo