HAMBURG, Germany (AP) — So many issues, so little time. Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have a scheduled half-hour meeting in Hamburg on Friday and a world of weighty topics to discuss, from the war in Syria to North Korea’s saber-rattling to Moscow’s alleged influence in the U.S. election campaign. Depending on how the two presidents hit it off, the meeting may run longer — or shorter.
That may not seem like much time, but a lot can be accomplished in 30 minutes. For example:
—LISTEN TO A BEATLES ALBUM: Early rock ‘n’ roll specialized in the short-sharp shock of the three-minute single and the half-hour album. Songs and albums grew longer over the decades with changes in recording and listening technology. But some of the greatest come in at just half an hour, including “Meet the Beatles” (26 minutes, 43 seconds), released in 1964 and the group’s first major U.S. album. “A Hard Day’s Night,” from the same year, creeps just over the limit, at 30 minutes, 13 seconds.
—WORK OUT: Many fitness gurus extol the 30-minute workout as the key to health, and some scientists agree. Several studies have suggested shorter daily workouts are better than longer, less frequent bouts of exercise. Even gentle exercise, such as a half-hour walk, is thought to have significant health benefits.
—READ SOME CLASSIC FICTION: It’s too short for a novel, but half an hour is plenty of time to savor a short story. Brief, powerful classics of the genre include Edgar Allen Poe’s chilling “The Tell-Tale Heart,” Shirley Jackson’s much-anthologized shocker “The Lottery” and J.D. Salinger’s “A Perfect day for Bananafish.” Short stories are experiencing something of a publishing revival, and contemporary masters of the form include Jhumpa Lahiri and George Saunders.
—COOK DINNER: According to celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, half an hour is plenty of time to whip up a delicious meal. His 30-minute recipes include mustard chicken with dauphinoise potatoes and spring lamb with vegetables and mint sauce. But beware: The internet abounds in unhappy cooks who complain the recipes took them more than an hour to prepare — and that doesn’t include the washing-up.
—TAKE A NAP: Millions of people are chronically sleep-deprived, and an increasing body of research points to the benefits of daytime naps for recharging physical and mental batteries. The National Sleep Foundation in the United States says a 20- to 30-minute nap “provides significant benefit for improved alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with nighttime sleep.” Famous advocates of a daily power nap include Britain’s World War II leader, Winston Churchill, who said an afternoon nap improved productivity and gave the napper “two days in one — well, at least one and a half.”
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