Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Speedlinking 7/11/07

Quote of the day:

"We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems."
~ John W. Gardner

Image of the day:

~ Motivate Lagging Muscles -- "Thibs lists five reasons why you're not growing (not including the fact that your workout consists of 5 minutes on the Thigh Master you found in your mom's closet). Oh yeah, he also gives some pretty cool quick fixes."
~ Eat healthy on the cheap -- "Find ways to lose weight and save money."
~ The Bottom Line on Creatine -- "World's greatest muscle-builder? Kidney poison? We dig in to fitness' favorite supplement debate for the latest. Here's what you need to know." Mostly good info. But you don't need to take it with a lot of sugar, and you don't need to load it, and it has a LOT more health benefits other than bigger & stronger muscles.
~ Cross-Training: Climb Out Of Your Fitness Rut -- "Although fitness centers offer a wide array of options, it's easy to fall into a narrow rut of using the same treadmill or exercise machine day in and day out. No wonder "boredom" is among the top excuses for not sticking with an exercise program. "You hear about hitting a plateau - and it happens," said Andrea Sprik, personal trainer with the Avera Fitness Center. Muscles can also get in a "rut," never being challenged beyond a certain level of performance." Research indicates that 80% of gym goers aren't doing enough work, or working hard enough, to change their physiques.
~ Strange But True: Testosterone Alone Does Not Cause Violence -- "It's commonly assumed that testosterone, that stereotypically male hormone, is intimately tied to violence. The evidence is all around us: weight lifters who overdose on anabolic steroids experience "roid rage," and castration--the removal of the source of testosterone--has been a staple of animal husbandry for centuries." Not strange -- just stupid.
~ Older women should avoid hormone therapy: study -- "Women long past menopause should not use hormones to prevent heart disease, researchers said on Wednesday."
~ Your Spouse Can Pass On Good Health Habits -- "Being a good role model can truly help a spouse to adopt a healthy lifestyle. When one spouse quits smoking or drinking, gets a cholesterol screening or rolls up a sleeve for a flu shot, the other spouse is more likely to follow suit, according to a new study published in the journal Health Services Research."We consistently find that when one spouse improves his or her behavior, the other spouse is likely to do so as well," said study co-author Tracy Falba, Ph.D."
~ Researchers discover evidence of very recent human adaptation -- "A Cornell study of genome sequences in African-Americans, European-Americans and Chinese suggests that natural selection has caused as much as 10 percent of the human genome to change in some populations in the last 15,000 to 100,000 years, when people began migrating from Africa."

~ Can Women Separate Love and Sex? -- "Sex, like eating, is a biological drive, and you will lose your mind if you repress it for too long. But some women stave off the need much longer than others." Don't really agree with this, but I thought I'd toss it out there.
~ Joke Comprehension May Decrease With Age -- "New Psychology Study Finds Joke Comprehension May Decrease With Age."
~ Brain Pathway May Underlie Depression -- "High-speed camera snapshots may have pinpointed a spot in the brain that serves as a marker for depression. Investigators have observed that electrical chatter in the dentate gyrus-a C-shaped region of the hippocampus-contracts in depressed rats but expands again after the animals receive antidepressants."
~ This Wednesday: How to feel happier BY THE END OF THE DAY: Your menu of options -- "Do you need a happiness boost—right now? If so, take a look at this menu of options and make your choices. Remember, the more you tackle, the bigger the boost you’ll receive."
~ What Money Can't Buy -- "The link between self-doubt and materialism."
~ Field Guide to the Materialist -- "For some people, stuff reigns and to shop is to be."
~ Divorce begets divorce -- but not genetically -- "The first study to examine genetics as a culprit in the higher-than-usual divorce rate among children of divorced parents found that the parents' divorce itself, not genes or even problems such as parental substance abuse or delinquency, played a key role in the failed unions."

~ Kings don’t rule the castle — queens do -- "Men might throw their weight around at the office, but at home, women are the bosses. A study, which was just released, finds that wives have more power than their husbands in making decisions and dominating discussions."
~ The perpetuation of bad arguments [Respectful Insolence] -- "Lately, I've been becoming increasingly interested in how bad scientific arguments make it into the collective consciousness and stay there. While it's true that there are such things as astroturf campaigns and paid flaks whose job it is to get such messages in the medium and keep them there, but it's more than just that. I shudder to use the dreaded M-word here, but it's probably appropriate. What happened two weeks ago showed how these sorts of memes can propagate in even the least expected places."
~ Brand it like Beckham -- "Now in its eleventh season, Major League Soccer is a relatively young sports franchise in North America, but games are televised on ESPN and enthusiasm is growing steadily. In January, the legendary British soccer player David Beckham gave MLS its biggest boost yet by signing on with the Los Angeles Galaxy, bringing his game to the United States after several seasons with the Real Madrid club in Spain. Beckham's move has triggered an avalanche of publicity."
~ Behind McCain's Campaign Chaos -- "With key staff resignations and dwindling cash, the Republican hopeful tries to keep his campaign from imploding."
~ Look Who's Talking -- "Remember when GOP Senator David Vitter, caught in the DC Madam sex scandal, inveighed against Clinton's moral failings? David Corn savors the irony."
~ Philosopher Daniel Dennett On Religion, Gould and UFOs at Monsters & Critics -- "Philosopher Daniel Dennett, author of Darwin's Dangerous Idea, Freedom Evolves, and most recently, Breaking the Spell, is interviewed by Dan Schneider over at Monsters & Critics. Wading through the overwrought, pretentious and often confused questions, there are some Dennettian gems to be mined from it."
~ The Notion: Michael Moore v. CNN -- "Filmmaker turns an insurance-industry friendly attack on 'Sicko' into an exposé of the cable news network's flawed journalism."

~ Online Help Sought to Organize Galaxies -- "Scientists need help sorting through an unusual digital photo album: pictures of about 1 million galaxies."
~ CO2 hurts reef growth -- "Coral reefs are at risk of going soft, quite literally turning to mush as rising carbon dioxide levels prevent coral from forming tough skeletons, according to UQ research."
~ Water Found Outside Solar System -- "The first extrasolar planet found to house water is an uninhabitable gas giant."
~ E.O. Wilson on Bill Moyers Journal -- "In a great interview with Bill Moyers, Wilson talks about his new Encyclopedia of Life project, and what it will take to spark a new green revolution. "We desperately need leadership," he says." Follow the links.
~ A First-Principles Model of Early Evolution -- "In a study publishing in PLoS Computational Biology, Shakhnovich et al present a new model of early biological evolution - the first that directly relates the fitness of a population of evolving model organisms to the properties of their proteins."
~ The Mandelbrot Set [Good Math, Bad Math] -- "The most well-known of the fractals is the infamous Mandelbrot set. It's one of the first things that was really studied as a fractal. It was discovered by Benoit Mandelbrot during his early study of fractals in the context of the complex dynamics of quadratic polynomials the 1980s, and studied in greater detail by Douady and Hubbard in the early to mid-80s."

~ History and Dharma (8) -- "Development in states and structures is obviously distinct, though not entirely separate. The nature of growth is quite different, though in both cases we find a shift in one's "center of gravity" (COG). However, one cannot "peak-experience" a higher structure, and also structures cannot be skipped. On the other hand, you can peak-experience any state plus you can master the formless without developing serious competence in the subtle domain, and vice versa. Hence, the states are much more fluid and overlapping than structures."
~ Banging My Head on Steps Two and Three -- "Tonight, I am picking up my 11-year sobriety chip. I can still remember what it was like living through the Hell of my previous life. I feel a lot of compassion for that young lady that I was who longed for peace, but with little hope of finding it. How many nights did I cry out to God for a way out? My soul ached for years."
~ Evolution and Religion: Why "The God Delusion" is also a Delusion -- "Here's a lecture by David Sloan Wilson criticizing the mainstream intelligent design vs. evolution and atheism vs. religion debates, calling them merely as "sideshows." Very mind-expanding. Check it out and see why Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett (and other angry atheists) are missing the point when it comes to religion."
~ A Bird In The World, my new record -- "I’m excited to announce that my newest record releases soon! Ceremonially, it releases July 26 — Twyla’s birthday. That is because the album is dedicated to her. And specifically, it is dedicated to her emergence into the world. The EP of seven songs will be available through iTunes,, and other outlets."
~ How do you Meditate? -- "I'd like to open up a thread for readers to discuss the ins and outs of meditation--especially since I'm aware that some readers are new to the practice. What specific techniques have you found useful, or problematic? Does anyone need help/advice? I'd be happy to hear from you... "
~ Anatomy of resistance -- "Resistance to experience is one of those things that seem so solid and substantial, but turns out to be ephemeral and even fall away (at least as something identified with) when seen more for what it is."
~ Kundalini Yoga -- "The word Kundalini is a familiar one to all students of Yoga, as it is well known as the power, in the form of a coiled serpent, residing in Muladhara Chakra, the first of the seven Chakras, the other six being Svadhishthana, Manipuraka, A nahata, Visuddha, Ajna and Sahasrara, in order."
~ Is Your Ego Your Enemy or Your Friend? -- "Isn't it interesting that people who would never think of killing anything else think that killing the ego is so important?"

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