Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Speedlinking 10/24/07

Quote of the day:

"A university is what a college becomes when the faculty loses interest in students."
~ John Ciardi

Image of the day:

~ 3 Ideas For Tougher Workouts -- "The boneheads in your gym only know one way to make an exercise tougher — add more weight. That's why boneheads never build more muscle, no matter how long they work out. Our resident Scotsman knows some remedies."
~ Restaurant Meals Can Be Healthful -- "Everyone can enjoy an occasional meal in a restaurant without worrying about the consequences. But if you have to eat in restaurants several times a week, you need to devise ways to make healthful choices and avoid the temptation to over-eat. If you are trying to control weight, diabetes, cholesterol or high blood pressure, you must find ways to meet your special requirements."
~ Mate Tea Lowers Cholesterol -- "When a study in her lab showed that mate (mah' ta) tea drinkers had experienced a significant increase in the activity of an enzyme that promotes HDL (good) cholesterol while lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, University of Illinois scientist Elvira de Mejia headed for Argentina where mate tea has been grown and taken medicinally for centuries."
~ NYC Tries Again for Calories on Menus -- "New York City takes a second stab at getting calorie counts on fast food menus." I wish this were true nation-wide -- knowing what we are eating is more than half the battle for health.
~ Obesity Can Hurt Kids' Hearts (HealthDay) -- "Obese children and those at risk for obesity show early signs of heart disease -- similar to that seen in obese adults, U.S. researchers say."
~ Vibration platform may help tone abs -- "A Maine researcher says standing on a vibrating platform for 15 minutes a day could help people achieve washboard abs." Call me skeptical.
~ Not all fats are created equal -- "Your body needs fat to provide energy and help you absorb fat-soluble vitamins. Certain fats such as omega-3 and omega-6 fats are essential for good nutrition and must be consumed as part of a healthy diet. It is important to choose fats wisely because some fats are healthier for you than others."

~ A 'fit' of panic is good when bad things happen -- "The military has given the English language two words that brilliantly articulate different types of crises: The first is snafu, an acronym for "situation normal, all f***ed up." The second is fubar, which stands for "f***ed up beyond all recognition." As we travel the bumpy road of life, we must prepare to deal with both."
~ Memory Decline Begins Later But Progresses More Quickly In The More Educated -- "A new US study suggests that people with more years of formal education experience the onset of memory decline associated with dementia later, but once it starts it declines more rapidly, compared to people with fewer years of education."
~ The Game of Jerk and Sucker (Freeway Version) -- "Almost no one who is a jerk thinks he's a jerk. So how do you know if you are one? The ordinary devices of introspection won't do the trick. You need to look, without blinkers, at your behavior. To do so, you need a situation where the line between jerk and not-jerk is clear and there are many others in essentially the same situation against whom to compare yourself."
~ The New "Third Base" and We're Not Talking Baseball... -- "As a therapist who has worked with adolescents, parents and families for 17 years, I was especially interested to read Logan Levkoff's new book on teen sexuality, Third Base Ain't What it Used to Be: What Your Kids Are Learning About Sex Today-and How to Teach Them to Become Sexually Healthy Adults. It's been my experience that most parents would rather hear their teen had a psychiatric or substance abuse diagnosis than deal with a sexual issue!"
~ How To Find Harmony In Conflict -- "Jon Symons recently moved into a new condo to find him and his wife living underneath noisy neighbors. Noisy at 1am neighbors. The story he writes is about his realization that this would be a regular conflict between his quiet, sleeping abode and the [relatively] party-centric unit above."
~ Aristotle vs. Aristippus: Were they both right? -- "The definition of happiness and the good life was much debated among early philosophers. Two schools of thought emerged: Aristippus’ solution was hedonism, or the pursuit of sensual pleasure and avoidance of pain. Aristotle, meanwhile, thought the ultimate aim was eudaimonia, or self-actualization."
~ Sustaining Motivation Over the Long Haul -- "If you’re anything like me then you experience motivation in waves. One day you’ll feel unstoppable and eager to work, as if success is a certainty. A few days later your confidence will drop and you’ll start to drag your feet and feel discouraged, hopeless, or worse — indifferent."
~ Brain Waves That Distinguish False Memories From Real Ones Pinpointed -- "For the first time, researchers are able to pinpoint brain waves that distinguish true from false memories, providing a better understanding of how memory works and creating a new strategy to help epilepsy patients retain cognitive function."

~ Complaint puts Texas teacher on leave -- "Kaleb Tierce, 25, is being investigated for allegedly distributing harmful material to a minor after the student selected Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God" off the list and read it."
~ MediaCulture: Interfaith Group Blasts Horowitz' Islamophobia Promotion Week -- "The authoritarian mindset promoted by Horowitz and his gang of touring bigots is the real fascistic threat facing America today."
~ General Says Bush Personally Ordered Torture Tactics -- "The U.S. uses tyrannical methods including terrorizing prisoners with dogs, holding them in freezing cold cells and depriving them of human contact for months."
~ How the Colorado Rockies' fielding wizardry will change baseball forever -- "This year's Colorado Rockies are perhaps the greatest defensive team in baseball history. It's even possible that their defensive prowess will change the way the game is played and the way teams are constructed."
~ Judas Wasn't Even a Gnostic Hero -- "Biblical scholar says the translation of the Gospel of Judas was flawed."
~ Damage Control: Gay Minister To Open Obama's Gospel Tour -- "The Obama campaign just told gay activists a gay minister will open each gospel session this weekend. This to defuse brewing uproar among gay supports for having gospel tour with gay basher."
~ No Joke: Colbert '08 Could Be Illegal -- "Doritos sponsors show but cannot support candidate under campaign law."
~ Fox News Speculates: al Qaeda Behind California Fires? -- "Be scared, America! Al Qaeda is everywhere, and they know how to commit arson! They might have—maybe, possibly, this is...."

~ White House Alters CDC Climate Testimony -- "The White House significantly edited testimony prepared for a Senate hearing on the impact of climate change on health, deleting key portions citing diseases that could flourish in a warmer climate, documents obtained by The Associated Press showed Wednesday...."
~ The Future Is Drying Up -- "The West is the fastest-growing part of the country. It’s also the driest. And climate change could be making matters much, much worse."
~ Physicist Create Most Intense Operating Positron Beam Ever -- "There were high-fives all around NC State University's PULSTAR nuclear reactor earlier this month, as students, staff and faculty celebrated a new scientific benchmark -- they had just produced the most intense operating positron (antimatter electron) beam anywhere in the world."
~ Fossil Record Supports Evidence Of Impending Mass Extinction -- "Global temperatures predicted for the coming centuries may trigger a new 'mass extinction event' where over 50 percent of animal and plant species would be wiped out, warn scientists. Scientists have discovered a close association between Earth climate and extinctions in a study that has examined the relationship over the past 520 million years -- almost the entire fossil record available."
~ Dwarf galaxies need dark matter too -- "Stars in dwarf spheroidal galaxies behave in a way that suggests the galaxies are utterly dominated by dark matter, University of Michigan astronomers have found."
~ Study of Lions and Wildebeest Finds Being Social Stabilizes Ecosystems -- "Breaking with 80 years of ecological theory, scientists at the University of Minnesota and the Universities of Guelph and British Columbia have found that the best way to spot a sustainable relationship between social predators and prey is to count not the animals, but the groups they form."
~ Municipal Wi-Fi Spending Estimates Down -- "A leading industry analyst on municipal wireless projects is revising its 2007 spending estimates as cities find their projects costing more and drawing less interest from residential customers than expected."

~ Associated with the Associated Press + Ohio Gig List -- "It's always the same article with different titles, sometimes edited or expanded a bit. It's nice. The quote about "letting your mind shut off" doesn't sound like me to me. But who knows what the heck I say sometimes."
~ To learn and actualize the teachings of just a single Buddha -- "My knowledge, in an academic sense, is still pretty limited if one wants to talk about in depth Buddhist philosophy, history, etc. I suspect the same is true for most Western-born "convert" Buddhists, even though what they have studied and learned can seem quite impressive. This is not necessarily a problem, however, as the central premise of Buddhism is repeated in different ways over and over in the various sutras, discourses on sutras, vows, etc, so that any serious inquiry into the teachings of the historical Buddha will have likely yielded more than enough information for someone to begin practicing the Dharma in the tradition that is bested suited to their path."
~ J.K. Rowling’s pathetic and disingenuous attempt to retroactively introduce a gay character in Harry Potter -- "I can’t believe I’m blogging about this now-lingering Harry Potter story, but I suppose anything is possible in an infinite Universe. I’m motivated to write about this because I’m pissed off at what J.K. Rowling has done and how the news of a gay character has been received in some quarters."
~ Many Monks -- "Turned out the monks had just been evacuated from the Metta Forest Monastery in Valley Center, just north of San Diego, and were all headed to Laguna Beach in search of shelter from the firestorm. Our cottage, of course, stands empty until Friday, when we plan to return to the beach for the weekend, so we offered it in case of need."
~ Humor is the new sincerity (my new pet theory about the future) -- "This is something that I started thinking about a few years ago when The Daily Show was making waves because some poll found that The Daily Show was the source from which a significant number of people got their news. My theory for why people choose to get their news from a comedy show instead of a “serious” news show is that today’s news is so utterly devastating, depressing, and defeating that it’s painful to watch, unless it is presented in a lighthearted and humorous fashion."
~ Responses to my essay -- "I've been getting very positive feedback in response to my essay. I've also been interested in criticism (which I always value highly), and Joe Perez has written a passionate rebuttal, to which I wrote a counter-reply. It's all on Frank Visser's Integral World site now for anyone who wants to follow the whole thing."

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