Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Speedlinking 6/5/07

Quote of the day:

"People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest."
~ Hermann Hesse

Image of the day:

~ Growth Hormone Does Not Improve Sports Performance Or Increase Muscle -- "New research on the effects and the detection of growth hormone doping at the Garvan Institute in Sydney takes the international sporting community one step closer to stamping out drug cheats. Lead investigator and endocrinologist Professor Ken Ho said: We were surprised to find that human growth hormone has no effect on muscle mass or sports performance." That's what they said about steroids for the first thirty years, too. Morons.
~ 6 New Exercises For New Muscle! -- "More exercises from Christian that you probably never tried before. Each is terrifically effective and each is guaranteed to make your fellow gym rats assume you're some sort of mad scientist slash exercise physiologist."
~ Master Athletes Age Better than Non-Exercisers -- "Master athletes are older men and women who compete in sports at a very high level, no matter how old they are. They are healthier than age-matched people in virtually every category that has been measured. Of course they are more fit, as measured by their maximal ability to take in and use oxygen. They have lower cholesterols, comparable to those of people in their twenties."
~ Studies Dispel Myth Of Cancer-causing Red Meat -- "Recent studies published in the journal Cancer Science have disproved the common myth that consumption of red meat increases colorectal cancer risk. Published by the world's largest society publisher Wiley-Blackwell, the study also found that consumption of fish and fish products was similarly inversely related to the risk." Yeehaw!
~ Study reveals bias by pharma firms in trials -- "Clinical trials comparing cholesterol- lowering drugs are far more likely to yield results favoring the one whose maker paid for the research, scientists say in another study that shows bias in company-backed efforts."
~ Coffee associated with lower liver cancer risk -- "Drinking coffee appears to lower the risk of developing liver cancer, according to findings published in the medical journal Gastroenterology."
~ Older men may not live as long if they have low testosterone -- "Low levels of testosterone may increase the long-term risk of death in men over 50 years old, according to researchers with the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine." Some of us have been arguing this point for years.

~ Evolution Of Animal Personalities -- "Animals differ strikingly in character and temperament. Yet only recently has it become evident that personalities are a widespread phenomenon in the animal kingdom. Animals as diverse as spiders, mice and squids appear to have personalities. Personality differences have been described in more than 60 species, including primates, rodents, birds, fish, insects and mollusks."
~ Brooding weighs on mind and body -- "New studies suggest that those who ruminate a lot may have higher blood pressure and heart rates, less effective immune systems, surges of stress hormones that strain the heart, more depression and perhaps even shorter life spans." Ah, welcome to my world.
~ The Positive Psychology of Shopping -- "In fact, it has been so long since I have been in a mall that I wonder how they stay in business. I am not alone in wondering this. As a result, the competition for consumer spending—and marketing to consumer emotions—are increasingly critical to retail success. This past weekend, a crashed computer sent me out to America’s largest electronics retailer, Best Buy. Armed with the sales circular and a budget, I walked into a store where previously I have had frustrating experiences that have sent me off to competitors. But this time was different."
~ Innate kindness and the moral brain -- "The Washington Post published an interesting article last week on research suggesting that human traits like generosity and altruism may be innate."
~ Neuroscience and education -- "This week’s Economist has a short article about how neuroscience could be applied to education: Researchers hope that a better understanding of the way the brain works will improve education for all children, not only those with educational problems. But it will be some time before this grand vision becomes reality...."
~ Managing Emotions in the Workplace -- "How does the attitude of one employee affect those of others? "We engage in emotional contagion," says Sigal Barsade, a Wharton management professor who studies the influence of emotions on the workplace."
~ Why Susan Blackmore Has Given Up -- "Susan Blackmore, skeptical scientist, drug legalization advocate, former true believer in (and serious researcher of) psychic phenomena, and avid Zen practitioner explains why she has concluded all that psychic stuff is pure bunk."
~ Scientists study background brain activity -- "A U.S.-led team of neuroscientists has determined the 98 percent of brain activity considered background noise is, in fact, important."

~ LeBron James is just like Michael Jordan, on and off the court -- "Let us be quite clear. The Cleveland Cavaliers are the only team worth cheering in this year's NBA Finals. As admirable as Tim Duncan is, I have no desire to spend the entire offseason listening to how he and the Spurs—and the sainted Gregg Popovich—do things The Right Way, and how they are such good examples to The Children, especially after the way they thugged it up against the Phoenix Suns."
~ Why Libby's Sentence Was So Tough -- "The ex-White House aide, now facing 30 months in prison, was a victim of the quirks of federal sentencing guidelines."
~ Campaign Matters: GOP Should Debate Bush's Incompetence -- "Gingrich says his party has to confront the reality of the president's failure. The candidates should begin the process tonight."
~ Can McDonald's Alter the Dictionary? -- "The burger giant declares war on the definition of 'McJob' as low-paid, dead-end employment. Its first target: the OED."
~ Oprah picks latest book, gives rare interview with McCarthy -- "Nothing is predictable about Oprah Winfrey's book picks except for their sales."
~ Fahrenheit 451 misinterpreted, says author -- "Ray Bradbury declined to accept his Pulitzer in person because he wouldn’t have the chance to explain that Fahrenheit 451 is not about censorship but the ill effects of TV."

~ Geoengineering: a quick fix with big risks -- "Radical steps to engineer Earth`s climate by blocking sunlight could drastically cool the planet, but could just as easily worsen the situation if these projects fail or are suddenly halted, according to a new computer modeling study." See also: If Cutting Carbon Isn't Enough, Can Climate Intervention Turn Down the Heat? -- "Geoengineering could help stave off global warming, but it could also create some big problems."
~ Noise Pollution: The Next Frontier -- "It turns out that fossil fuel is interfering even more actively with our happiness than Bill McKibben wrote in a recent issue of Mother Jones. The daily noise created by fossil-fueled machines—traffic, and my two pet peeves, leaf blowers and jet skis—are making humans cranky and chronically stressed out. A growing body of studies has shown that noise—even noise we think we are "used to"—triggers the body's fight-or-flight instinct, depressing the immune system and taxing the heart." I HATE leaf blowers, especially right outside my door, at 7 am on a Saturday morning.
~ Melting Glaciers Flowing Faster -- "As glaciers melt, they pick up speed and add to sea level rise, research finds."
~ Economic impact of hunger affects all Americans -- "While thirty-five million Americans feel the physical effects of hunger each day, every household and individual in our nation feels the economic effects. So finds a new study released today by the Sodexho Foundation and researchers affiliated with Harvard University School of Public Health, Brandeis University and Loyola University."
~ China's unveils new climate change plan -- "On the heels of Bush's bluster of the week, China today released its first comprehensive plan for climate change. But as the NY Times reports, it too isn't much to sing about."
~ Tree Planting, Worm Farming on World Environment Day -- "Australian protesters held a "picnic rally" against the logging of native forests while hundreds of Indian policemen swapped guns for spades to plant trees on Tuesday to highlight World Environment Day."

~ Sesshin and ordination: the aftermath -- "I received Jukai (called, rather grandly, 'Bodhisattva Ordination' in these circles) from Taiun Jean-Pierre Faure who led it. Jean-Pierre was a student of Deshimaru and is head of Kanshoji and ex-head of la Gendronierre Temple, he has also received transmission from the Soto sect in Japan so you might say he has a good pedigree. He gave a number of very interesting taisho's on Dogen and teachings from his own heart. So I am now 'Shonin', meaning 'True human being', just like the famous Shinran Shonin and Nichiren Shonin. That's something to live up to."
~ Eros or Oops? -- "Isn't the proposition of a Kosmic force which magically accomplishes everthything that asks for explanation, as much, if not more, a philosophy of Oops? Of not asking and investigating further? I believe the answer to this question determines one's outlook on life."
~ Finding dharma in the 'me' era -- "The meaning of self is on the table at Chuang Yen Monastery - in particular, what Buddhism teaches about letting go of the self - when a quirky question comes up in class: Could the Buddha make it in America today?"
~ 4 Stages of Competence -- ebuddha links to a good article -- "Related to Integral Practice, in the evaluation approach to various skillsets, in various dimensions of life."
~ Life: Depression, Meditation, Wilderness -- "The fact is that the world shapes our brain and our brain shapes our mind and moods. There is no detached Cartesian 'cogito' from which we look out upon the world. We are our activity; we are the world around us, from the computer in front of us to the birds in the trees - all of these 'things' become mental as they are shaped by our brain, and they in turn shape the way the brain will enact the next moment of our reality."

No comments: