Friday, July 06, 2007

Speedlinking 7/6/07

Quote of the day:

"The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life. I do not mean that if you are good you will be happy - I mean that if you are happy you will be good."
~ Bertrand Russell

Image of the day:

~ Interval Training Techniques Can Be Used By Every Exerciser -- "Athletes train by "stressing and recovering". On one day, they take a hard workout which damages their muscles, on the next day, they feel sore and take easy workouts, and when the soreness goes away, take a hard workout again. They also break down individual workouts into intervals of stress and recovery."
~ Potential Cure For Stress Related Obesity -- "The Director of the Neuroscience Research Program at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Professor Herbert Herzog, together with scientists from the US and Slovakia, have shown that neuropeptide Y (NPY), a molecule the body releases when stressed, can 'unlock' Y2 receptors in the body's fat cells, stimulating the cells to grow in size and number. By blocking those receptors, it may be possible to prevent fat growth, or make fat cells die."
~ Magnesium Deficiency In Older Adults May Contribute To Insomnia, Osteoporosis, Diabetes And Heart Disease -- "According to a recent fact sheet from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), older adults are at increased risk of magnesium deficiency. Factors that contribute to this are decreased Intestinal absorption of magnesium in older people and a greater excretion of it via the kidneys. In addition, the NIH Health and Nutrition Surveys found that older adults have lower dietary intakes of magnesium."
~ Researchers Create Snack Foods With An Extra Dose Of Fiber -- "Trying to get more fiber in your diet? Munching on cookies or tortillas probably doesn't come to mind. But a Kansas State University researcher is experimenting with ways to add fiber to the foods we love without changing what we like about our favorite snacks.Sajid Alavi is an assistant professor of grain science and industry at K-State's College of Agriculture. His expertise is in extrusion processing, which is used to make products from cheese puffs to pet food."
~ Core Strength Help In Sports? Study Shows Weak Correlation -- "How important is core strength to athletic performance? According to an initial study at Indiana State University, not very. In the study, which is the first of its kind, Thomas Nesser, assistant professor of physical education at Indiana State, has found that while there is a correlation between muscle strength in the core of an athlete's body, and their demonstrated strength and power in sports performance, the link is moderate to poor, and inconsistent." I'm not buying this -- core strength has a made a huge difference for me.
~ Diet pill’s icky side effects keep users honest -- "Dieters have been flocking to drugstores to pick up Alli, the first over-the-counter weight-loss pill to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, despite the scary warning: Stray too far from your low-fat diet, you just might poop your pants." This stuff is evil.
~ Don't Get Burned by Heat Stroke -- "Staying cool on hot summer days isn't just comfortable, it could save your life, according to the Pennsylvania Medical Society."
~ Are You Getting Enough Color in Your Diet? -- "Vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fiber -- the good guys in the food we eat. They make our bodies strong to help us fight disease and slow the natural aging process. So how do you know if you are getting enough of these food superheroes? Think color!" I like red -- meat.
~ Research suggests fitness reduces inflammation -- "Although a number of studies have suggested that regular exercise reduces inflammation - a condition that is predictive of cardiovascular and other diseases, such as diabetes - it is still not clear whether there is a definitive link. And if such a link exists, the nature of the relationship is by no means fully understood."

~ Dirty talking for the tongue-tied -- "Want to learn how to talk dirty? Or maybe just deal with the shock of what comes out of a lover’s mouth? Sexploration answers your most intimate queries."
~ The Validity Of Cognitive Testing Scores Questioned -- "The validity of tests used to diagnose learning disability, progressive brain disease or impairment from head injury have been questioned by Timothy Salthouse, PhD, a noted cognitive psychologist at the University of Virginia. He has demonstrated that giving a test only once is not enough to get a clear picture of a person's mental functioning."
~ Brain's Rapid Response Means That We Learn From Our Mistakes -- "An 'early warning signal' in the brain that helps us to avoid repeating previous mistakes has been identified by Psychologists from the University of Exeter. Published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, their research identifies, for the first time, a mechanism in the brain that reacts in just 0.1 seconds to things that have resulted in us making errors in the past."
~ Stanford Team Finds Hippocampus to Play Important Role in Depression -- "According to a new study at The Stanford University School of Medicine, depression may be triggered by changes in the part of the brain known as the hippocampus."
~ The Ups and Downs of Friendship -- "Friends don't always share the same penchant for fun." And: The Hug Drug -- "Friends are as effective as antidepressants."
~ Does self-help breed helplessness? -- "In search of an answer, Niesslein did what many Americans do when their lives need a few tweaks or an all-out overhaul: She turned to self-help experts. A slew of them, in fact, including personal-finance guru Suze Orman; natural health advocate Dr. Andrew Weil; relationship advisors Drs. Phil McGraw and Laura Schlessinger; and the granddaddy of self-help himself, Dale Carnegie...."
~ Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature -- "Human nature is one of those things that everybody talks about but no one can define precisely. Every time we fall in love, fight with our spouse, get upset about the influx of immigrants into our country, or go to church, we are, in part, behaving as a human animal with our own unique evolved nature—human nature."
~ Study: Meditators 'surprisingly' alert -- "Meditation produces changes in brain waves associated with being increasingly alert, say an Australian researcher."

~ Experts: Pills becoming the new pot on campus -- "The prescription drugs allegedly found in Al Gore III's possession Wednesday are favorites among young people, according to drug abuse experts, who say prescription drugs may soon overtake street drugs in popularity."
~ Alleged DC Madam Can Distribute Records -- "Judge Lifts Restraining Order on Alleged DC Madam's Right to Distribute Phone Records."
~ Appeals Court Reinstates Warrantless Wiretapping of Americans -- "Friday, a federal appeals court ordered the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging President Bush's domestic spying program, saying the plaintiffs had no standing to sue."
~ Will Durst: It's His Government -- "I got your checks and balances right here. Well, right there, under Dick Cheney's foot, holding hands with individual liberties, writhing in their death throes."
~ Bloomberg Could Tie Centrists in Knots -- "When New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg looks at himself in the mirror, what do you suppose he sees? A hard-nosed, no-nonsense businessman? A non-partisan political operator? Perhaps a nuts-and-bolts manager? Kingmaker, spoiler, billionaire? The next president of the United States?"
~ SCOTT HORTON—Impeachment -- "A clear majority favor the impeachment, trial and removal from office of Dick Cheney as Vice President. Americans are equally divided on whether George W. Bush should be impeached, tried and removed from office. It’s interesting. The Republicans made a major pass at Clinton and the media hyped it for a solid seven months with saturation broadcasts. The American public never bought into it, indeed it was dismissive of the idea. Now the media dismisses talk of impeachment of the president and vice president, but the media will have no talk of the matter."
~ Man-Crush vs. Pretty Boy: John Edwards, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson's Leathery Scent -- "The American Prospect has a terrific piece up by J. Goodrich called "The Man-Crush Primary," ruminating on the images of so-called strappingly presidential candidates like Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson versus the more effeminate pretty-boy characterization of John Edwards and, to a lesser extent, Barack Obama, by the media."

~ Critics attack Bush wildlife record -- "Critics of the Bush administration's policies on wildlife protection say the endangered species list is itself endangered."
~ Italian scientists build atomic laser -- "Italian scientists said they have discovered how to achieve an "atomic laser" envisioned by Albert Einstein in 1925."
~ Mount Everest Ravaged by Warming? -- "The sons of famous climbers say Everest would now be "unrecognizable" to their fathers."
~ Life elsewhere in Solar System could be different from life as we know it -- "The search for life elsewhere in the solar system and beyond should include efforts to detect what scientists sometimes refer to as "weird" life -- that is, life with an alternative biochemistry to that of life on Earth -- says a new report from the National Research Council."
~ Team builds viruses to combat harmful 'biofilms' -- "In one of the first potential applications of synthetic biology, an emerging field that aims to design and build useful biomolecular systems, researchers from MIT and Boston University are engineering viruses to attack and destroy the surface "biofilms" that harbor harmful bacteria in the body and on industrial and medical devices."
~ Study finds organic tomatoes contain more heart-healthy antioxidants -- "Could organic fruits and veggies be better for you? A study of samples collected over 10 years found that organic tomatoes contained far higher levels of flavonoids -- antioxidants that reduce high blood pressure and have also been linked with reduced rates of some cancers and dementia -- than conventional ... "
~ Mega-corporations sign U.N.-sponsored climate compact -- "More than 150 companies, including Ikea, Unilever, and Coca-Cola, have signed a U.N.-sponsored climate declaration that commits them to setting and reporting on emissions-reduction goals, while asking governments to enact a post-Kyoto, market-based plan. OK, it's a voluntary pact with a touchy-feely name -- "Caring for Climate: The Business Leadership ... "

~ Exempla Classica -- "It essentially means the close study and imitation of models as the conventional method of learning. Of course, this implies not just any model; rather, the best models for the most advanced learning. Literally, the term translates as “classic model” or “classic prototype”. I think artists who are interested in great artistry can save themselves significant time and resources by focusing their study on exempla classica alone." This is how I teach poetry writing -- it works.
~ Storing The Broom -- "I don’t care much for rules. I’ll follow them if need be, but I seldom make them up on my own. When I first went to train at a Zen monastery, I was instructed in a fair number of precise procedures, rituals, and behaviors that I was expected to comply with in detailed and exacting ways. The resident monks seemed quite earnest about these rules and were studious in insisting on their implementation."
~ O, Unhappy Philosopher! -- "I’m currently reading a little book by Daniel Nettle on Happiness, which is an illuminating and intriguing read. One thing particularly striking about the book is the way that he compares philosophical approaches to questions of happiness, in particular in the 19th and 20th centuries, with global studies into the levels of happiness that people actually experience, and comes to the conclusion that in general people tend to report that they are happy whilst those gloomy philosophers insist that au contraire, the world is a grim and miserable place."
~ The Coming Dark Age -- "I often say during my presentations that the peer to peer logic of distributed networks, is a way out of the present crisis, a re-integration to a higher level of complexity. The alternative, since infinite material growth systems are untenable, would be a regress to a lower form of complexity, i.e. a dis-organisation of society followed by a stabilisation at a lower level."
~ Roundup on July 6, 2007 -- Lots of good stuff to read from Blogmandu.

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