Thursday, November 29, 2007

Speedlinking 11/29/07

Quote of the day:

"Have the courage to be ignorant of a great number of things, in order to avoid the calamity of being ignorant of everything."
~ Sydney Smith

Image of the day (Tristan Campbell):

~ Obesity Rate In American Adults No Longer Increasing, CDC -- "A new study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released yesterday, 28th November, said that the rate of obesity among adults aged 20 and over in the US appears to be levelling off, and maybe even going down slightly in women, but at around 34 per cent of the adult population, it is still still too high." Well, that's good news.
~ How eating a burger and chips can make your baby a boy (and chocolate will produce a girl) -- "Folkore suggesting what mothers eat is the key to the sex of their child may be true after scientists discovered female mice with low blood-sugar levels produced girls - while high sugar made boys."
~ Maintaining Physical Activity In Middle Age Results In Better Basic Physical Abilities As We Age -- "Researchers from the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, UK, have concluded a study that proves a direct link between levels of physical activity in middle age and physical ability later in life -- regardless of body weight. Dr. Iain Lang headed the research team from the Epidemiology and Public Health Group at the Peninsula Medical School."
~ Preventing Muscle Soreness -- "Anytime you place an overloading stimulus on the muscle tissue (such as when you lift heavy weights), you are going to create tiny little tears in the muscle that basically are breaking down the fibres. When given rest, the muscles will rebuild themselves, growing back stronger so they can be more resilient in the future."
~ FDA debates stricter regulation of salt in food -- "U.S. health regulators on Thursday debated a consumer group's bid to boost regulation of salt in food and revoke the ingredient's "generally recognized as safe" status."
~ Graveyard shift linked to cancer risk -- "An idea initially dismissed as nutty is gaining acceptance: the graveyard shift might increase your cancer risk." Makes perfect sense -- anything that screws with melatonin will increase cancer risk.
~ High protein foods -- "A diet that is higher in protein than the regular diet is going to help you stay healthier in the long run. I find that most people eat a lot of carbohydrates and almost no protein and because of this your body will store a lot of those carbs as fat while your body has more trouble storing protein as fat. Also if you are doing any weightlifting it is important to eat more high protein foods." He makes the cardinal mistake that so many people make of listing nuts/nut butters as high protein foods -- they are, in fact, high fat foods with incomplete proteins.
~ The Top 20 Fast Food Items Highest In Calories -- "My friends over at went through the nutrition facts of every single item from the menus of 25 popular fast food restaurants to put together a list of 272 fast food items highest in calories."

~ Robert Emmons on the Positive Psychology of Gratitude -- "Prof. Robert Emmons studies gratitude for a living as Professor of Psychology at UC Davis and is Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Positive Psychology. He has just published Thanks: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, an interdisciplinary book that provides a research-based synthesis of the topic as well as practical suggestions."
~ How to Set an Appointment With Yourself -- "When you’re deep inside a jungle, your vision is blocked by the trees. In order to plan a route, you need to break out of the dense forest and see the entire landscape. Similarly, if you’re thick in the jungle of your own life, you might not be able to see much beyond next week. Setting an appointment with yourself can give you the broader perspective of what you’re doing to help make changes."
~ How to Get Where you Want to Go -- "You could fill a small library with books about goal setting. It seems like every major self help program, writer, website, etc. all have an emphasis on goal setting. Don’t get me wrong, it is very important. But odds are you already know how to do it. You do it all the time, every time you get in the car!"
~ Thinking Around Corners - A New Perspective On Creative Thought -- "In life, blind corners are everywhere. You are dealing with a problem or are faced with a challenge and you just can’t see the solution. You are blind to the solution because your perspective is limited by the position you are in. You can’t see the way forward because of who you are, what you believe and how you normally behave."
~ How Introverts Communicate -- "Introverts' communication style is different than extroverts'. Here's how introverts communicate, how to talk to introverts, & what "normal" introverted behavior is."
~ Ministry of Memory Distortions -- "In George Orwell's dystopian novel, 1984, Winston Smith works in the Ministry of Truth retouching photographs to remove people from the record of history. A recent psychology study suggests that these manipulations may change more than the historical record, they could affect our collective memories of what actually happened."
~ Study: Personality traits influence perceived attractiveness -- "A new study published in Personal Relationships examines the way in which perceptions of physical attractiveness are influenced by personality. The study finds that individuals - both men and women - who exhibit positive traits, such as honesty and helpfulness, are perceived as better looking. Those who exhibit negative traits, such as unfairness and rudeness, appear to be less physically attractive to observers."

~ The Dance of Evolution, or How Art Got Its Start -- "In the main presentation at the conference, Ellen Dissanayake, an independent scholar affiliated with the University of Washington, Seattle, offered her sweeping thesis of the evolution of art, nimbly blending familiar themes with the radically new. By her reckoning, the artistic impulse is a human birthright, a trait so ancient, universal and persistent that it is almost surely innate."
~ Religion and the Secular State -- "Far from being a mere vestige of the past, religion continues to be, even in a post-modern world, an essential component of a culturally vibrant society. Moreover, the latest world-wide social research shows that religion and democracy, far from being mutually exclusive, can in fact co-exist and support each other."
~ The Failure of Political Theology -- "The discourse of failed states has justified manifold military and security interventions. Reviewing two books which each take so-called failed states in Africa and South America as the object of their enquiry, Angela Mitropoulos questions the founding premise of this morbid discourse."
~ Going with the free flow -- "JUST as Norman Mailer, John Updike and Philip Roth were at various times regarded as the greatest American novelist since the second world war, John Ashbery and Robert Lowell vied for the title of greatest American poet. Yet the two men could not be more different." Personally, I think Levertov or Charles Wright should be in the discussion, but Lowell is better than Ashbery.
~ Speaking of Ashbery -- Books & the Arts: Dreamlife Without Angels -- "Ange Mlinko | John Ashbery has given us the ideal poetry for the Information Age."
~ Alan Ayckbourn: the joker -- "Ayckbourn is not only the most prolific playwright of his generation but also the most widely produced. He is probably, in fact, the most successful-in-own-lifetime playwright there has ever been, including Shakespeare. And nearly all of the 70 plays he has written have had their first performances at Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre."
~ US Ranked Low in Humanitarian Aid -- "Launched in London, the Humanitarian Response Index ranks Sweden at the top with the US trailing far down the list."
~ The heated GOP YouTube debate entertains but tells us little -- "Rudy Giuliani has an outsized personality, and so when he makes a mistake—as he did during the Republican debate Wednesday night—it is layered and messy. During an otherwise petty and uninformative squabble with Mitt Romney over which candidate had the better immigration record, Giuliani attacked Romney for hiring illegal immigrants to perform yard work 'at his mansion.'"

~ BP Unit Pleads Guilty in Oil Spill -- "The Alaska subsidiary of British energy company BP PLC pleaded guilty on Thursday to a federal environmental crime for failing to prevent a 2006 spill in America's largest oil field."
~ Green Energy Brings In The Dough -- "Venture investment in energy technology firms reached new highs this year, more than tripling the investment recorded for 2005, according to data released Wednesday by Thomson Financial and the National Venture Capital Association."
~ 7 federal wildlife decisions to be revised -- "Federal wildlife regulators will revise seven controversial decisions on endangered species and critical habitat made by an Interior Department political appointee who quit in the spring amid charges of improper meddling in scientific decisions."
~ Toxin From Coral-reef Bacteria Could Become Next-generation Cancer Drug -- "Researchers have acquired a new molecular tool that could help them transform a toxin from coral-reef bacteria into a next-generation cancer drug. They uncovered new functions for an ancient, well-known family of proteins found in many organisms, from microbes to humans."
~ Scientists solve cosmological puzzle -- "Researchers using supercomputer simulations have exposed a very violent and critical relationship between interstellar gas and dark matter when galaxies are born - one that has been largely ignored by the current model of how the universe evolved."
~ Venus: Earth`s twin planet? -- "ESA`s Venus Express has revealed Venus as never before. For the first time, scientists are able to investigate from the top of its atmosphere, down nearly to the surface. They have shown it to be a planet of surprises that may once have been more Earth-like, and still is, to a certain extent."
~ Imported Bees Not Source Of Virus Associated With Colony Collapse Disorder -- "The Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), a virus recently shown to be associated with Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) of honey bees, has been in the United States since at least 2002, according to an article in the American Bee Journal. The Agricultural Research Service has begun several experiments to determine what factors may be most involved in CCD."

~ Mindful Eating Crusader To Take Top US Nutrition Post -- "Wansink is the author of the book Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think -- a groundbreaking work on the psychology of eating. Both in his book and on his excellent web site, Wansink takes a tough look at the psychological reasons people, particularly Americans, overeat. His work has linked social factors that influence how we eat, and how much, to the epidemic of obesity in the US and around the world."
~ Towards an Integral Health Model -- "Integral Health is the process through which we humans achieve well-being by the ordering of consciousness. This includes the expansion of consciousness (knowledge) and the intensification of consciousness (wisdom). For the past decade or so, it has become obvious to many health professionals that a new model of medicine is needed."
~ The Heart of the Matter -- "I have been thinking a lot about the heart this week--prompted, in good part, by the review I have been writing of the new book by Ken McLeod, "An Arrow to the Heart: A Commentary on The Heart Sutra." (The review will be published here on The Buddha Diaries and probably elsewhere within the next few days.) For the better part of my life I was simply embarrassed by the heart. Specifically, my own."
~ SILENCE IS ALWAYS AVAILABLE -- Brad Warner -- "ANYWAY, I've been thinking some about silence lately. I started to say this at my last talk at the Hill Street Center. But I wasn't in the mood that day to get too deep and "spiritual" so I don't think I conveyed the idea very well."
~ Truth and Being -- "Which is more important, truth (reality) or possibility (change)? Both. They coƫxist."
~ Aesthetic Universe (the purpose of art) -- "My approach to art is a deconstruction process. The understanding of past aesthetic traditions that have influenced my technique is an incalculable act. As a lifelong developmental student of art/composition with an attraction for different genres and disciplines, I discover design by looking in reverse."
~ Theism, Atheism, and Yoga -- "I watch/hear a lot of debates between atheists and theists, mostly because it’s a fun exercise for me to try to see where both are right or where both have valid points to make." Includes links to three debates between atheists and believers.
~ Mindfulness and the Brain: The Neuroscience of Meditation -- "Down to a Science describes itself as 'an ongoing Science Cafe, a casual forum where leading scientists discuss their research with the public. The mission is to promote civic discourse through scientific dialogue with a focus on science here in the Bay Area.'" Audio download available.

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