Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Speedlinking 9/25/07

Quote of the day:

"I finally figured out the only reason to be alive is to enjoy it."
~ Rita Mae Brown

Image of the day:

~ The Scientist and the Stairmaster -- "Just last month, the American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine published joint guidelines for physical activity and health. They suggested that 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week is necessary to “promote and maintain health.” What they didn’t say, though, was that more physical activity will lead us to lose weight. Indeed, the best they could say about the relationship between fat and exercise was this: “It is reasonable to assume that persons with relatively high daily energy expenditures would be less likely to gain weight over time, compared with those who have low energy expenditures. So far, data to support this hypothesis are not particularly compelling.” In other words, despite half a century of efforts to prove otherwise, scientists still can’t say that exercise will help keep off the pounds." I call bullshit on this article. His assumption seems to be exercise in the absence of a healthy diet, which no one suggests is optimal. If you want to lose weight, you must exercise and restrict calories. He's just pushing a book.
~ Bigger muscles: sets that get you there -- "While the most important thing you need in order to add lean muscle mass to your frame is a properly thought out program and a good nutritional intake, figuring out the proper protocol for how many sets and reps you should be doing is next up in importance." Useful, but partial.
~ Olympic vs. Powerlifting Squats -- "There are different ways to squat depending on whether you're a bodybuilder, a powerlifter, or an Olympic lifter. Robertson and Neupert dissect the differences and highlight the advantages to each. A must-read for squat freaks."
~ 'Fatal Flaw' Found In Vitamin E Trials -- "Generations of studies on vitamin E may be largely meaningless, scientists say, because new research has demonstrated that the levels of this micronutrient necessary to reduce oxidative stress are far higher than those that have been commonly used in clinical trials." It's about time some figured this out.
~ Omega-3 fatty acids protect against diabetes: study (Reuters) -- "A diet rich in fish and other sources of omega-3 fatty acids helped cut the risk that children with a family history of diabetes would develop the disease, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday." It will also help you get off drugs if you already have diabetes.
~ If we are what we eat, Americans are corn, soy -- "To a degree some may find hard to swallow, science is proving the old adage 'you are what you eat.'"
~ Fatty Fish May Protect Against Kidney Cancer -- "The heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids abundant in fatty fish like salmon and sardines may help protect your kidneys against cancer, new research suggests. A large, 15-year Swedish study of women looked at fatty and lean fish consumption and the risk of kidney cancer. The finding: Those who ate high amounts of fatty fish -- more than one serving a week -- had 44 percent less risk for developing renal cell carcinoma (the most common form of kidney cancer) than those who did not consume any fish."
~ Docs Hope to Tailor Treatments to Genes -- "The treatment that more cancer patients receive may one day depend on their genes. With an increasing number of biological clues available, doctors hope they will be able to customize more patients' treatments based on their genetic profiles...."

~ My brain has a politics of its own: neuropolitic musing on values and signal detection -- "In their paper, Thornhill & Fincher presents an evolutionary hypothesis for explaining the liberalism/conservatism ideologies: both originate from innate adaptation to attachment, parametrized by early childhood experiences. In another but related domain Lakoff (2002) argued that liberals and conservatives differs in their methaphors: both view the nation or the State as a child, but they hold different perspectives on how to raise her: the Strict Father model (conservatives) or the Nurturant Parent model (liberals); see an extensive description here)."
~ PR for the self: managing identity on social networks -- "The New Atlantis magazine has an intriguing article that considers the social effects of sites like MySpace and Facebook and discusses how we are increasingly using these tools to carefully manage our public image - something that was previously only a concern for celebrities and media figures."
~ Salon's Mind Reader -- "Salon have just announced the start of a regular series of neuroscience articles with the first tackling whether brain scans might enable us to communicate with people who are conscious but trapped in their paralysed bodies."
~ Mirror, mirror, on the wall… -- "In 2006, researchers Gurari, Hetts and Dtrube have found that looking at photos of thin, beautiful models tends to make women more concerned about their weight and less satisfied with their body. According to Kenrick and Guttierres, men are affected, too: after looking at beautiful women, men judge potential blind dates as less attractive."
~ How to Be Happier with What You Have -- "Misery shouldn’t be the price for ambition. Somewhere I believe many people got the idea that to want more, you have to be dissatisfied with what you have now. Believing this, your choice is either to dampen your passions or become miserable with what you have."
~ Inspiration in the City -- "How we find inspiration in urban living."
~ The Laws of Urban Energy -- "Why city living makes you smarter."
~ How to Transition from Work to Play -- "So how do you make a successful transition to home or personal life? What is the magic bullet for disengaging your mind from work and giving all your attention to family, friends, and leisure time?"
~ How to Start Embracing Change -- "Ever had a day where you woke up feeling ’stuck’? Has life thrown you an irony that’s totally thrown your life as you know it completely off course? Want to know how to deal with it?" Rather simple and general tips, but useful. For more ideas, see my Eight Behaviors for Coping with Change.
~ Being True To Yourself Will Set You Free -- "Being truthful and sincere to yourself can make you a better human being. And here is how it will help you...."

~ Naomi Klein Debates Alan Greenspan -- "Naomi Klein goes head to head with Alan Greenspan on the Iraq war, Bush's tax cuts, economic populism, crony capitalism and more."
~ Genius Grants, 2007 Overview -- This year's MacArthur Fellows Program award winners.
~ PBS is star of news Emmy show -- "PBS dominated the field Monday during the 28th annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards, racking up 10 wins for a collection of unflinching programs on varied topics, including the sex-slave trade, scientific research on chimpanzees, and the war in Iraq." Fittingly, Faux News won nothing.
~ Monah Li: Cultivating a Different Type of Beauty -- "Recently, I have started to take pictures of women over 40, who have that certain spark that we get when we are happy to be who we are. What I noticed unfolding in front of the camera, is when they put on a shirt, both tailored and feminine and the same time, they awake to a different kind of beauty that is awesome in its strength."
~ Diane Winston: Religion and Politics, Saffron-Style -- "American news outlets found photo ops when the "Saffron Revolution" drew thousands of demonstrators into the streets of Yangon, Myanmar's capital city, and other urban areas. But besides mentioning that Buddhist monks wear bright robes and are held in high esteem, there's little explanation of why they are protesting or the relationship between Buddhism and democracy. For that, see Professor Jay Garfield's essay. Garfield, who is now at Smith College, argues that Buddhist moral and social theory are compatible with democracy, a position shared by the Dalai Lama along with Buddhist monks Thich Nhat Hanh and Thich Quang Duc."
~ The top 10 hand gestures you’d better get right -- "Anybody remember when George H W Bush tried to signal ‘peace’ during a visit to Australia in the 90s by giving a huge crowd the time-honoured two-fingered salute? Though he didn’t know it at the time, he was actually telling the whole crowd to go screw themselves - and all because he made the seemingly innocuous error that his palm was facing inwards instead of outwards."
~ War Drums in the Senate -- "Senators John Kyl and Joseph Lieberman are gearing up for a confrontation with Iran via a resolution that could lead to serious blowback."
~ Episcopalians Try to Prevent Split -- "With the Anglican world anxiously waiting, Episcopal leaders weighed their response to demands that they bar any more gays from becoming bishops." I hope they don't cave.

~ Parallel universes exist - study -- " Parallel universes really do exist, according to a mathematical discovery by Oxford scientists described by one expert as "one of the most important developments in the history of science". The parallel universe theory, first proposed in 1950 by the US physicist Hugh Everett, helps explain mysteries of quantum mechanics that have baffled scientists for decades, it is claimed."
~ Agency Announces Recovery Plan for Bird -- "Federal wildlife officials released a long-range plan Monday for removing a tiny bird that nests on West Coast beaches from Endangered Species Act protections by 2047 with the help of volunteers from the Audubon Society, the Boy Scouts and other nonprofit groups."
~ New Keys to Keeping a Diverse Planet -- "Variation in plants and animals gives us a rich and robust assemblage of foods, medicines, industrial materials and recreation activities. But human activities are eliminating biological diversity at an unprecedented rate."
~ 10 More Future Web Trends -- "Our post a few weeks ago, 10 Future Web Trends, received a lot of excellent feedback. The most interesting was from people offering alternative future web trends to the ones we had chosen. In fact there were some grumblings that our 10 picks were not futuristic enough - so in this post let's see if we can address that!"
~ It's all in the spin: Quantum physics cools down computers -- "The future of Moore's famous law—that the number of transistors squeezed onto a computer chip can be doubled about every two years—is widely seen as threatened by the damaging heat generated by the chips themselves as their transistors become more densely packed."
~ Peru's new crater extra-terrestrial, but illness not [Highly Allochthonous] -- "One of the main risks of our media-saturated world is that although events can make it onto our TV and computer screens with unrivaled speed, this does not necessarily mean we have any idea of what's actually going on, which often leads to the speculation getting a bit out of hand."
~ City birds better than rural species in coping with human disruption -- "Birds that hang out in large urban areas seem to have a marked advantage over their rural cousins - they are adaptable enough to survive in a much larger range of conditions."
~ From Campus: Get hip to social entrepreneurship -- "Bill Clinton in the Atlantic Monthly touted a reinvention of charity, and Adam Werbach in Fast Company touted a reinvention of Wal-Mart. This whole social entrepreneurship thing is clearly "the new black." For the purpose of discussing it, I'll define social entrepreneurship as business that achieves profit through the delivery of public (social or environmental) goods."

~ What The Hell Happened To Me? -- "Suffering, I have unilaterally decided, is not actually a real emotion. It is the repression or restriction of the real emotions: Love, Joy, etc. Those ideals are what is really real. I came to tell you that we weren’t sent here to suffer. That’s not part of the plan."
~ How did you become a Buddhist? -- "To my Buddhist friend's/reader's out there, how did you become a Buddhist?"
~ Something I never quite got… -- "A Buddhist take on it, on the other hand, would be that there is no sin; there’s only cause and effect, and you have to decide what kind of effects that you want to have in the future. Yeah, when you steal the bike, you might wind up having a “good” effect- you have a bike to ride. Of course, you’ve caused some misery in someone’s life, and that “bad” karma is in your karmic account books no matter what." Good post from a new (to me) blog.
~ Introduction to Tantra—Discovering Buddhism (May 10, 2007) -- "Learn the definition of tantra, how tantra works and why it is a powerful form of practice. Get a broad overview of the four classes of tantra and learn how to practice simple Kriya tantric methods. In addition, find out how to integrate the practices of tantra with lam-rim meditation for optimal results." 16 minute audio file.
~ Ryan Oelke a buddhist and a geek -- "Just recently I spoek with and Ryan Oelke from the Buddhist Geek podcast about his start in Buddhism, his solitary retreat and his foray into podcasting."
~ Integral Consciousness and Future of Evolution -- "There is a new book with positive reviews from a remarkable spectrum of different people like Jean Houston, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Frank Visser, Ervin Laszlo, Don Beck , Carter PHipps and others."

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