Friday, September 21, 2007

Speedlinking 9/21/07

Quote of the day:

"What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books."
~ Thomas Carlyle

Image of the day:

~ Are we really working hard? -- "I think there are definite parallels between work and fitness training. Over the past few years I think as a whole, in both areas, we've confused working "hard" with working long."
~ Does Explosive Lifting Build Muscle? -- "Strength training builds muscles and you should lift explosively. Period. Muscle definition depends on diet." The video is cool.
~ 7 Nutrition Myths Busted! -- "Find out the myths that could be making you fat."
~ Quick Burning Carbs May Cause Fatty Liver -- "Diets rich in rapidly digested carbohydrates not only expand waistlines, but may also cause fatty liver, a condition that can lead to liver failure and death, finds a new study in mice. If confirmed in humans, the findings suggest that fatty liver disease on the upsurge among Americans as a byproduct of the obesity epidemic may be preventable and possibly treatable through dietary changes."
~ An Interview With Lee Labrada - Advanced Training Techniques Exposed! -- "I had the chance to interview bodybuilding legend and Labrada Nutrition Founder and CEO Lee Labrada. In this interview, Lee discusses advanced training techniques and provides his Professional expertise of over 30 years."
~ Are All Calories Created Equal? A New Study Shows A Serving Of Almonds Can Help You Feel Full, Without Leading To Weight Gain -- "Scientists have noticed for many years that people who regularly eat almonds tend to weigh less than people who do not - even though they tend to eat more calories over the course of a day. Why? A new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition sheds light on the mechanisms behind almonds' ability to provide valuable nutrition and help lower LDL cholesterol levels without contributing to weight gain."
COMMENT: The idea that all calories are created equal is one of the worst myths in nutrition. More than 25% of protein calories are used to digest the protein, while 6-8% of fat or carb calories are used in digestion. And as this article shows, healthy fats are filling (and besides, good fats are used to build cells) while simple carbs are not filling and we are hungry again very soon.

~ Sleepless nights 'can make you grow up fat' -- "Children who don't get enough sleep are more likely to become obese when they grow up, scientists say. Research has found that a lack of sleep prevents the body from producing sufficient quantities of a hormone that suppresses the appetite." This has been found in adults as well -- we need good sleep to prevent obesity.
~ If you see it, you'll eat it, expert says -- "We are powerless to ignore the clarion call of the candy jar, the beckoning of the buffet, the summons of the snack cupboard, says Cornell University expert Brian Wansink, who's spent a career watching how people behave around food."
~ Chronic fatigue linked with enterovirus infection -- "Some patients with chronic fatigue syndrome appear to have a chronic enteroviral infection that can be detected by a stomach biopsy, according to a report in the current Online First issue of the Journal of Clinical Pathology."

~ Study Shows How The Brain Handles Pleasant And Aversive Stimuli -- "Whether it's a mugger or a friend who jumps out of the bushes, you're still surprised. But your response -- to flee or to hug -- must be very different. Now, researchers have begun to distinguish the circuitry in the brain's emotion center that processes surprise from the circuitry that processes the aversive or reward "valence" of a stimulus."
~ Why Are We Conscious? -- "Humphrey suggested that consciousness was selected not because it gives us any particular type of skill or reflects any special type of knowledge about ourselves or the world. Rather, he suggests, consciousness motivates us. It gives us joy in living and reason to exist."
~ Your Friday Dose of Woo: In which I am given a woo-ducation in neuroscience -- "It inspired me because it taught me things I never knew about cellular biology and neuroscience. Morever, it totally took me by surprise, because at first glance it just looked like typical New Age spiritualist B.S. But do not be fooled. Disguised under that veneer of references to "divine primordial energy" and "hidden secrets of the soul" was the most ludicrous bit of "science-y" sounding stuff I've heard in a while."
~ Advice for Students: How to Read Like a Scholar -- "Reading as an academic exercise involves not just gleaning the content form a book or essay but engaging with it. We read not just to learn some new set of facts but also to learn how facts are put together to form an argument, to learn what kinds of arguments are acceptable in our chosen disciplines, and to prompt us towards further research. Reading of this sort raises as many questions as it answers, or more."
~ How to Handle Rejection -- "Rejection can help you reinvent yourself."
~ Dumped But Not Down -- "Braving even the biggest brush-offs."
~ Down But Not Done For -- "Setbacks force us to take risks, learn, and grow."
~ Best of the Brain from Scientific American -- "The Dana Foundation kindly sent us a copy of the great book Best of the Brain from Scientific American, a collection of 21 superb articles published previously in Scientific American magazine. A very nicely edited and illustrated book, this is a must for anyone who enjoys learning about the brain and speculating about what the future will bring us."
~ Understanding The Basics Of Learning And Memory -- "A molecular "recycling plant" permits nerve cells in the brain to carry out two seemingly contradictory functions -- changeable enough to record new experiences, yet permanent enough to maintain these memories over time.The discovery of this molecular recycling plant, detailed in a study appearing early online in the journal Neuron, provides new insights into how the basic units of learning and memory function."
~ Eccentric Tips for Becoming Productive -- "This guide won’t make you productive: only you can really do that for yourself. Rather, here are some little, specific tips you can follow that might speed up your day without any excessive effort from yourself.

~ Spray-Fire Atonement -- "Fasting aside, most non-Jews I know envy Yom Kippur, holiday of atonement. While not intended as the only day for Jews to expiate their sin against God and man (the daily prayer of tachanun, or supplication, is supposed to give you annual coverage), Yom Kippur exists in the popular imagination as a kind of concentrated power-cleanse for the soul—the spiritual equivalent of the detox diet."
~ Embassy Builder Linked to Kickbacks -- "Pete Yost for The Associated Press reports that 'the Kuwaiti company building the US embassy in Baghdad has been accused of agreeing to pay $200,000 in kickbacks in return for two unrelated Army contracts in Iraq.'"
~ Gonzo for Beginners: A Hunter S. Thompson Reading Guide -- "Okay, let's assume that you're late to the party on this one. Maybe you've seen Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas movie, or you've read bits of Hunter S. Thompson's stuff here and there. You need a heads-up on how to get into the good stuff. Here's what we recommend, in order."
~ Into the Wild reviewed -- "After more than two and a half hours in the company of the idealistic, self-dramatizing, but resourceful and ultimately appealing Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch), it's hard not to feel at least a chin-chucking affection for this deluded youth. But it's also hard not to feel that Penn is stacking the deck heavily in his favor and losing out on the chance for a more sober meditation on the ambiguity of McCandless' quest."
~ Biblical Living: Following Every Rule for One Year -- "What if you spent one year following every rule in the Bible? A. J. Jacobs did exactly that."
~ Ahmadinejad to Speak Despite Protest -- "Columbia University said it does not plan to call off a speech by Iran's president despite pressure from critics including the City Council speaker."
~ How the Rich Hide Their Wealth -- "The rich go to great lengths to shield assets from the public and government."

~ Fight for the Top of the World -- "Russia has planted a flag on the ocean floor at the North Pole, Canada is talking tough and Washington wants to be a player. Who will win the race for the Arctic?"
~ Bioluminescence Genes Found Through Metagenomic Study Of Deep Mediterranean -- "A recent analysis of a metagenomic library from the deep Mediterranean shows a surprising high number of quorum sensing or lux genes that are only expressed when bacteria live in colonies. The deep ocean might be too depleted in resources for microbes to live independently. Some of the genes detected have been identified as directly involved in bioluminescence."
~ Asia-Pacific Nations Urged To Study Biofuels More Carefully, Expert Panel Suggests -- "Scientists say there is an urgent need to support the current rush toward major decisions on biofuel policies in Asia and the Pacific with solid research and unbiased information about their potential benefits, impact and risks."
~ Cave Entrances Found on Mars -- "Seven cave entrances along a Martian volcano were detected by a spacecraft."
~ Amazon forest shows unexpected resiliency during drought -- "Drought-stricken regions of the Amazon forest grew particularly vigorously during the 2005 drought, according to new research."
~ Plants and Animals: Long-Lost Relatives? -- "Does the tree of life need to be re-drawn from scratch?"
~ Cambridge makes music from 'dark energy' -- "An invisible force so mysterious that it has yet to be understood by even the most eminent astronomers is being turned into music at a new Cambridge University exhibition."

~ Scientific literacy as a means to inoculate against religion -- "Given the intricacies of the modern age and the ever-growing complexification of ideas and technology, it can be said that a scientific education is also increasingly necessary; if literacy can be considered a basic right, then so to must scientific literacy."
~ Does Peace Have a Future? -- Deepak Chopra -- "The anti-war movement has been completely blocked, and grass-roots efforts against the war have become more or less futile. In realistic terms war remains a stubbornly unchanging policy controlled by the right wing. Does that mean that the rest of us -- the vast majority who oppose the war -- are left without options?"
~ Monks up Burma's protest tensions -- "Monks have been protesting in Burma, adding to the rare public defiance seen in recent weeks. The BBC's Andrew Harding has just returned from the country and explains why the monks' involvement will make the military government nervous."
~ Norman Einstein RELOADED! -- "A couple of years ago I blogged the book, Stripping the Gurus by Geoffery Falk. During that time there was a chapter in the book about Ken Wilber entitled, Norman Einstein. I just became aware that Norman Einstein has evolved into a separate book! I'm a freakin' latecomer! Check it out."
~ Integral Responses to the New Atheists -- "As I've said to him in comments, I think if he's looking for a lengthy response from Wilber himself he's probably barking up the wrong tree. Wilber covered the ground tackled by the "New" Atheists back in 1999's The Marriage of Sense and Soul, and the question to ask is why haven't the "New" Atheists responded to these 1999 criticisms?" Likely because none of them, aside from Sam Harris, have ever heard of Wilber, let alone read his books.

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