Friday, April 06, 2007

Speedlinking 4/6/07

Quote of the day:

"Those who speak most of progress measure it by quantity and not by quality."
~ George Santayana

Image of the day:

~ Why Periodization Doesn't Work -- "Unfortunately, your old "what do ya wanna work today?" spur of the moment type training works a whole lot better than anything the Soviet Ministry Of Sport managed to cook up behind the Iron Curtain back in the 50's and 60's. Charles Staley explains why."
~ The Power of Doubles -- "I become a marathoner in my post-collegiate running. Once my mileage reaches over 80 miles/week, I typically start incorporating doubles between 1-3 days/week. Here’s why . . . ."
~ Foundation Pledges 500 Million Dollars To Reverse Obesity In US Chidren -- "The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has pledged 500 million dollars over the next five years to reversing childhood obesity in the United States. 25 million of America's 74 million children are overweight or obese; that is more than one third of the nation's youngsters."
~ Studies: Exercise can make your brain larger -- "With aging, your brain becomes smaller. This study showed that 60 to 79-year-old men who exercised regularly actually had their brains grow larger. Study participants who did only a stretching and toning program had their brains shrink."
~ Reduced Calorie Intake Can Increase Health And Longevity -- "Professor Stephen Spindler (University of California) and his collaborators* have discovered that reducing calorie intake later in life can still induce many of the health and longevity benefits of life-long calorie reduction. Importantly, this also includes anti-cancer effects."
~ Most Americans don't eat smart and exercise: CDC -- "Only one in seven Americans exercises enough and eats enough fruits and vegetables, and men are worse than women, federal health officials said on Thursday."
~ Exercise and frequent eating may keep kids slim -- "Kids who are frequent nibblers may pack on fewer pounds than those less frequent eaters, if they stay physically active, a study shows." Works for adults, too.
~ Another Myth Exploded -- Dieting Does Not Work -- I agree, which is why I advocate a lifelong eating strategy rather than a short-term diet approach.
~ Vitamin pills prevent low-weight babies -- "Extra vitamin supplements can reduce the risk of having an underweight or undersized baby, and all pregnant women in developing countries should get them, researchers said on Wednesday."

~ On PsyBlog Careers: Work, Stress, Burnout and Emotional Dissonance -- "The words 'job' and 'stress' go together like doctors and nurses. So PsyBlog Careers opens its doors for business with a series examining what psychologists can tell us about how they're related and what we can do about it. What is it specifically about work that makes it stressful?"
~ Psychology and Neuroscience [The Frontal Cortex] -- "You have to be a pretty staunch reductionist to believe that neuroscience makes psychology obsolete. After all, according to scientific materialism, neuroscience is ultimately just a subset of quantum mechanics. So should we all become physicists? Of course not. While our different levels of inquiry are obviously interconnected, they are also autonomous. As Dave points out, neuroscience and psychology really study separate phenomenon . . . ."
~ A Brief Sex Survey, Kinsey-style -- Inspired the movie Kinsey, a brief survey for both men and women.
~ Platform-Independent Intelligence: Octopus Consciousness [Developing Intelligence] -- "A new article by Jennifer Mather suggests that octopi may also possess consciousness, despite the vastly different architecture of their brain. If two very different neural architectures can both support forms of advanced cognition, then the similarities between them may help clarify the computational requirements for intelligent behavior."
~ Stress precedes volume reductions in the hippocampus in PTSD -- "There was a debate in the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for some time about whether the shrinkage observed in the hippocampus -- a structure involved in learning and memory -- was the result of the stress or was a vulnerability factor for the disease."
~ Multiple Intelligences and Mindsets: Positive Approaches to Education -- "[Gardner's] Theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI) resonated with all sorts of people who now saw themselves as having areas of relative intellectual strength rather than being some point on a bell-shaped curve where only a few people could be called 'very superior.' While not necessarily a 'positive psychologist” per se, Gardner is surely a “strengths psychologist.'"
~ Neurophysiologist Explores The Mysteries Of The Human Brain In New Book -- "New book provides a crash course on how the brain works from a leading researcher on the forefront of brain studies - The Evolving Brain The Known and the Unknown by R. Grant Steen.The human brain is arguably the most complex object in the universe."
~ Bacteria Found In The Soil Activated A Group Of Neurons That Produce The Brain Chemical Serotonin -- "Treatment of mice with a 'friendly' bacteria, normally found in the soil, altered their behavior in a way similar to that produced by antidepressant drugs, reports research published in the latest issue of Neuroscience.These findings, identified by researchers at the University of Bristol and colleagues at University College London, aid the understanding of why an imbalance in the immune system leaves some individuals vulnerable to mood disorders like depression."

~ Where are the safest drivers in U.S.? -- Not in Tucson -- "Quick. Where are the safest drivers in the country? A new magazine ranking says Des Moines, Iowa."
~ Wanted in Next President: Honesty, Strong Leadership -- From Gallup -- "In addition to honesty and leadership, Americans attach a good deal of importance to managerial competence. A majority also say it is essential that the next president focuses on uniting the country. Americans assign far less importance to the candidates' experience, including whether they have served in Washington."
~ American Society Creates Unhealthy Population -- "Our destructive lifestyles are ensured and reinforced by the very structure of our society, leading to a "toxic environment" centered on material security at the expense of social and physical well-being."
~ Silence is Propaganda! [Dispatches from the Culture Wars] -- "Daniel T. Zanoza, director of a group called Republicans for Fair Media, has written a breathlessly overwrought column about the upcoming Day of Silence to protest anti-gay discrimination. The absurdity begins from the very first sentence: On April 18th, a number of public schools across the country will hold a so-called "Day of Silence." Bzzzt. False. Public schools do not hold or sponsor the Day of Silence; students in public schools do."
~ GOP Worries Over Dems' Fundraising Prowess -- "What most concerns senior Republican strategists as they assess the latest reports on presidential fundraising is the big collective advantage enjoyed by the Democratic candidates versus the Republicans."
~ $4.5B Cash Offered for Chrysler -- "Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian, who lost out in Chrysler's 1998 merger with Daimler-Benz, wants to buy the troubled automaker back from its German owners."
~ Giuliani Defends Pro-Choice Beliefs -- "Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani on Thursday defended his record favoring the use of public money for abortions, saying he wouldn't try to undo a Supreme Court ruling allowing the procedures."
~ What Message Was Iran Sending? -- "The release of the British captives was a victory for Iranian pragmatists over hardliners - and a sign that Western pressure on the regime may be bearing fruit."

~ Dust Bowl 2.0: Is the Southwest Drying Up? -- "New research shows that the current drought plaguing the American West is likely the beginning of a new trend brought on by global warming."
~ Famous Feud Caused by Disease? -- "The infamous Hatfield-McCoy feud may be partly explained by a rare, inherited disease."
~ Good new blog on climate science and communication -- "Climate scientist Michael Tobis has started a blog, not so much about climate science itself as about the challenges of communicating about it and the bizarre notions about it that remain puzzlingly persistent. Off to a good start."
~ Disease can be our ally, not just our enemy, says evolutionary biologist -- "In a time when we worry about bird flu and contaminated spinach, Marlene Zuk, an evolutionary biologist at UC Riverside, offers a fresh perspective on disease and the role it plays in our lives. Her new book, Riddled with Life: Friendly Worms, Ladybug Sex, and the Parasites that Make Us Who We Are (Harcourt, 2007), argues that disease is not always our foe; it can be a vital partner and friend."
~ Slow Food nation -- "Yale University students, staff, and other community members crowded a university conference room yesterday to watch Erika Lesser, director of Slow Food USA, give a talk on the Slow Food movement in America. Lesser spoke pretty generally about Slow Food USA's goals, philosophy, and achievements."
~ It's Hip to Live Past 100 -- "What's the secret of those who survive into the triple-digits? It might be that they are keen on keeping up the latest trends, including iPods, current events and even MTV, a new survey finds."
~ Mystery of Greek Amphitheater's Amazing Sound Finally Solved -- "The trick is in the seats, and even the ancient architects didn't know what they had accomplished."
~ Biofuels: More than just ethanol -- "Farmers have begun planting corn in the hopes that its potential new use for corn will be a new income source. What many don't realize, is the potential for other crops, besides corn, to provide an alternate energy source to fossil fuels."
~ Odd Body, Great Legs, Running Like the Wind -- "Ostriches look strange from head to toe, but challenging lab work (get out of the way!) reveals these birds have mastered running as no human can."

~ Essential Bohemian Development -- From Victoria -- "About 6 weeks ago, I had a profound epiphany of life changing proportions all beginning with the color red. I was sitting on a red velvet settee in a huge red room with red lanterns and red beaded lampshades, and a multitude of other Victorian bordello turned shabby passionate funky accessories while swaying slightly to the strains of old and new tango music and wondering if I should dance with the guy next to me, who was obviously working up the courage to ask me."
~ The Inferno of the Living -- From Will at Think Buddha -- "A couple of years ago, I read The Unexpected Way by Paul Williams, an account of the author’s conversion from Buddhism to Catholicism. Williams, for those who have not come across him, is one of the UK’s most well-known Buddhist scholars, and his introduction to Mahayana Buddhism is probably the best book on the subject available. In The Unexpected Way, he is writing in a more confessional vein, explaining how it is he came to reject the Buddhism to which he had previously assented, and to embrace Catholicism."
~ The concept of Nirvana from a psychological point of view -- "The word Nirvana comes from the root meaning 'to blow out' and refers to the extinguishing of the fires of greed, hatred and delusion. When these emotional and psychological defilements are destroyed by wisdom, the mind becomes free, radiant and joyful and at death one is no longer subject to rebirth. Nirvana is the ultimate happiness."
~ Buddha Break 2007.04.05 -- Cool links from Sentient Development.
~ Buddhism and Buddhists -- not so non-violent -- Matthew Dallman posts a National Review article on the history of force in Tibetan Buddhism (more Tibet than Buddhist, but still interesting). The article is essentially rejecting the PoMo adoption of the Dalai Lama as a peace symbol. Buddhism rejects the notion of violence under most circumstances, but recognizes the need to protect the dharma and its followers from tyranny. My sense is that the article is attempting to justify the US war on terror by saying, "if Buddhists do it, then it must be OK." Faulty logic since much of the US military efforts abroad have little or nothing to do with al Qaeda.
~ Ten Commandments for a Simpler Way of Life -- Not really Buddhist or integral, but cool.
~ Another steal from Integral Options Cafe - America... -- "Is the nature of the big We that it's always going to be somewhat parasitic? Do you suppose there's always a little bit of unconscious sabotage going on in the way we set up our businesses and nonprofits and governments? After all, the first rule of any organism is survival, be it a single cell, individual person, or group. So I think it's important to consider this deep seated motivation whenever "we" form some sort of organization."

1 comment:

MD said...

Hi Bill,

With regard to the article on Buddhism that I linked to, you write:

My sense is that the article is attempting to justify the US war on terror by saying, "if Buddhists do it, then it must be OK." Faulty logic since much of the US military efforts abroad have little or nothing to do with al Qaeda.

I don't think anything other than a plain reading is required. What the article "attempts to justify" isn't anything sneaky or back door. In fact, the article thesis is stated up front:

Can an ethical follower of Tibetan Buddhism kill someone in order to save the Dalai Lama? Or in order to fight religious totalitarianism in general?

Absolutely yes. Although some Westerners imagine that the Dalai Lama is an absolute pacifist, the teachings of the present Dalai Lama and of his predecessor, as well as the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, all legitimize the use of deadly force against killers and would-be tyrants.

I would bet money that some people, many people, think Buddhism categorically non-violent. The point is simple: they aren't. Which, I think, is interesting.

take care,