Friday, November 30, 2007

Speedlinking 11/30/07

Quote of the day:

"Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed."
~ Herman Melville

Image of the day (David Winston):

~ Fit Tip: Compound Your Workout -- "I love to do compound exercises because they save time along with training my body for everyday movements. Body builders are keen on compound exercises because they stimulate the maximum amount of muscle fibers. Those of us not looking for the body-building effect mainly do it because of the whole time-saving effect."
~ How Much Can You Lift (Wimp)? -- "If you can bench 300 pounds, how much should you be able to squat? What about your deadlift, your hang clean, push press, or EZ bar skull crusher? According to Brad K., it's all related and he's figured it out."
~ Carb Cycling for Idiots -- "It's wintertime and you're faced with the yearly seasonal conundrum: do I go on a mass building cycle and say goodbye to my abs until the spring, or can I possibly keep my abs while bulking up?"
~ Partner Yoga Pose: Backpack -- "Got a tight back? Here's a fun way to open your spine and stretch your hamstrings too. I call this Backpack."
~ Oprah's Weight Loss Show -- "I am not sure if any of you saw Oprah's show this week about weight loss, but it was inspiring — to say the least. Guests on the show had lost a significant amount of weight without the help of pills or surgery. One female guest (pictured here) even lost a whooping 530 pounds." I didn't see this, but the before and after pictures are amazing.
~ Menstrual blood tapped as source of stem cells -- "While the excitement continues to swirl around the recent news of converting skin cells to stem cells, other scientists are pursuing a new type of stem cell found in menstrual blood."
~ Weight Loss Experiment Takes Heavy Toll -- "Two journalists find out firsthand the risks of getting 'superskinny.'" Damn, that was serious dedication for a story.
~ You're Eating More Salt Than You Think -- "Some foods in your kitchen that may pack a hefty load of sodium."
~ 7 foods you may think are healthy, but aren’t -- "Are you going to eat that? 7 foods you may think are healthy, but aren't."

~ Art Therapy Helpful for Some Schizophrenic Patients -- "The creative impulse resides at the heart of the human condition. Art, in its many forms, allows us to marvel at the amazing capacities of the mind and its ability to construct often stunning material from empty space. The concept of art as therapy, while often considered unscientific, has a long history of study; "art therapy" has been a valid liberal arts major for more than 40 years, and psychiatrists have been studying their patients' work far longer."
~ My Favorite Experiments: Bransford and Johnson [Mixing Memory] -- "OK, so for a really long time -- like two millennia -- memories had been conceived of as copies, or in more recent parlance, traces of the experiences they represented. You can find something like this view in Aristotle, and especially in the British Empiricists."
~ Finding Inner Peace, Without the Quiet -- "'Living Loud' on a spiritual path does not mean that we literally shout at each other. It does mean we embrace personal development, and cultivate the ability to regulate the volume in the expression of our spirit (that serves our own growth)."
~ Brain changes associated with congenital amusia -- "About four percent of the population has congenital amusia, a lifelong disability that prevents otherwise normal functioning individuals from developing basic musical skills. The condition has also been variously termed note deafness, tone deafness, or tune deafness."
~ Key Cognitive Functions, Self-Control Improved By Pre-School Program -- "An innovative curriculum for pre-schoolers may improve academic performance, reduce diagnoses of attention deficient hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and close the achievement gap between children from poor families and those from wealthier homes, according to research led by a Vancouver neuroscientist who is an expert in the development of cognitive function."
~ You Are Self-Employed -- "Many years ago I listened to an audio program by Brian Tracy where he said that everyone is essentially self-employed and that even if you’re an employee, you should think of yourself as the President of your own personal services corporation. Call it Your Name, Inc."
~ Am I An Introvert? -- "This test for introversion will reveal whether you're an introvert or extrovert - or a little of both. It's a simple, effective self-assessment tool for introverts." I am super-introverted. But I already knew that.
~ Epigenetic Transmission of Biomarkers for PTSD? [The Corpus Callosum] -- "A great deal of evidence has accumulated that there is a problem with regulation of cortisol levels in persons with posttraumatic stress disorder. Several years ago, it was demonstrated that adult offspring of persons with PTSD had lower circulating cortisol than others, and it appeared that the lower cortisol was a risk factor for the development of PTSD."

~ Saul Bellow on God -- "This month, Vintage Books published “Do You Believe? Conversations on God and Religion,” by cultural critic Antonio Monda. In it, Monda offers a collection of dialogues between himself and a host of boldface names — including Martin Scorsese, Paul Auster, Jane Fonda, Spike Lee and Elie Wiesel. Our favorite, though, is Monda’s 2002 conversation with Saul Bellow in Brookline, Mass., excerpted, with permission, below."
~ Fascinating insights into a prolific writer -- "As one of America's most prolific writers, whose acclaimed literary contributions include novels, novellas, short stories, essays, reviews, even plays, it's no surprise Joyce Carol Oates also kept journals. It reflects what we know of this remarkable writer as obsessively reflective and creative, so disciplined she confesses a sense of "profound worthlessness" if a day or two passes without writing."
~ The Diving Bell and the Butterfly -- "The movie follows the outline of Bauby’s memoir, not only recounting his former, super-glam playboy life, but also reckoning with his current condition, asserting a self without speech or gesture—save for his left eye, whose blinking is his only means of communication."
~ Hunters Help Supply Meat for Food Banks -- "When Frank Moran shot a mule deer during a hunting trip in Montana, there was no question what he would do with the venison...."
~ Poll finds more Americans believe in devil than Darwin -- "More Americans believe in a literal hell and the devil than Darwin's theory of evolution, according to a new Harris poll released on Thursday."
~ Review: Complexity in World Politics (SUNY Series in Global Politics) -- "The book can be roughly divided into three main parts: the first part highlights the differences between the complexity paradigm and status quo positivist frameworks of structuralism and rational choice. The second section utilizes these theoretical concepts and applies them to empirical puzzles regarding ethnic conflict and the origins and evolution of international regimes. Finally, the last third of the volume debates the epistemological foundations of complexity theory and the preferred methodology of agent based models."
~ Novel thoughts -- "Neuroscience is helping us to understand how art works – and it may offer us a way out of narcissism."
~ For Christ's sake, it's Christmas -- "Surely, if anyone should refer to Christmas as "Christmas", we should: atheists, or secular humanists, or rationalists, even if we can't decide what to call ourselves. Because if one thing is essential to rationalism, it's calling things by their proper names." Damn straight.
~ How America Lost the War on Drugs -- "After Thirty-Five Years and $500 Billion, Drugs Are as Cheap and Plentiful as Ever: An Anatomy of a Failure."
~ Evel Knievel Dies at 69 -- "Hard-living motorcycle daredevil whose exploits made him an international icon in the 1970s has died." I grew up watching this guy jump over all kinds of stuff that no one should be jumping over on a motorcycle. Then I went outside and tried to jump over stuff on my bike. Ah, good times, and lots of road burn.

~ Keep the Manatees Safe -- "Just because they've grown in numbers doesn't mean we ought to relax in protecting them."
~ Global Warming Is Reversible -- "Major advances and technological breakthroughs are being made in the United States and throughout the world that are giving us the tools to cut carbon emissions dramatically, break our dependency on fossil fuels and move to energy efficiency and sustainable energy. In fact, the truth rarely uttered in Washington is that with strong governmental leadership the crisis of global warming is not only solvable; it can be done while improving the standard of living of the people of this country and others around the world."
~ Citizens Can Do Something About Climate Change -- " When the world begins a new round of negotiations on climate change next month in Bali, Indonesia, each of us will have a seat at the table. We are all emitters of carbon dioxide — the main cause of man-made climate change — each time we drive or use electricity. But even more importantly, we are all citizens."
~ The Simple Life: How To Bring The Land Back To Us -- " If my grandparents hail from outer space, it is from a planet quite possibly more sustainable than the one I have always called home, and despite having gone about their business not knowing their greenhouse gases from their carbon credits, they might still have a thing or two to teach me about being green."
~ Chemistry Helps Scientists Spot Geothermal Power Sources -- "By detecting helium isotopes, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley find a way to locate geothermal hot spots -- potential clean energy sources -- without drilling."
~ Recipe For A Storm: Ingredients For More Powerful Atlantic Hurricanes -- "As the world warms, the interaction between the Atlantic Ocean and atmosphere may be the recipe for stronger, more frequent hurricanes. Scientists have found that the Atlantic organizes the ingredients for a powerful hurricane season to create a situation where either everything is conducive to hurricane activity or nothing is -- potentially making the Atlantic more vulnerable to climate change than the world's other hurricane hot spots."
~ Cleanup Method Uses Activated Carbons To Anchor Toxins To Bottom Of The Bay -- "Imagine a Brita filter big enough to clean up San Francisco Bay. One researcher has a plan to clean polluted sediment at Hunters Point in San Francisco with activated carbon--the same technology in many water filters. He proposes to sequester dangerous toxins by mixing activated carbon, a type of carbon with a large surface area, into the bay's contaminated sediment."
~ Generating Hydrogen From Biodiesel Waste -- "Researchers have a potential solution to the problem of large quantities of low value by-product generated in the synthesis of biodiesel -- by turning it into high value hydrogen."

~ Ken Wilber Interview on Shadow Work -- "I just found the transcript of this really interesting interview in which Wilber is talking about shadow-work - which as most of you know is one of the three key elements i am trying to highlight in my work - along with critical thinking and inquiry-based practice..."
~ NOTEWORTHY: The Origins of the Integral Perspective -- "Free 20-minute audio!"
~ The Future of the Body (Part 3) -- Deepak Chopra -- "Even as alternative medicine becomes more popular, it faces a huge challenge. Can it reliably replace or enhance conventional medicine? In earlier posts I sketched in the faults of conventional medicine, which are well known, in any case. I don't want to gloss over its triumphs, however."
~ Northrop Frye: Forerunner of AQAL Integral? -- "I find his work more socially aware, communitarian, and realistic than say Bloom’s. Frye was an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada. I attend theological school with a number of Canadian United Church students. So that probably explains my simpatico-ness with Frye. Frye was Harold Bloom’s mentor. Bloom then in turn Paglia’s. Fascinating lineage." I've thought this same thing, but it's been years since I've read Frye -- loved Anatomy of Criticism.
~ The Buddha Diaries: Hows, Whats and Whys -- "My friend Mark over at Marko Polo invited me to participate in his survey of Buddhist blogs. As I answered his questions, I realized that he'd given me the opportunity to take a quick snapshot of The Buddha Diaries and what it's all about. Here are Mark's questions, and my answers." I'll be answering this same survey.
~ Adaptation & Bodymind Capacitiy -- "Using neural nets to simulate learning and the genetic algorithm to simulate evolution in a toy world of mushrooms and mushroom foragers, researchers placed two ways of acquiring categories into direct competition with one another: In (1) "sensorimotor toil,” new categories are acquired through real-time, feedback-corrected, trial and error experience in sorting them. In (2) "symbolic theft,” new categories are acquired by hearsay from propositions – boolean combinations of symbols describing them."
~ Milarepa: Magician, Murderer, Saint -- "Can there be such a thing as a Buddhist action movie? Well, one could argue that Buddhism itself, despite the contemplative imagery associated with the least dogmatic of major religions, is always about action. That is, about the congruity between thought and deed. And Milarepa: Magician, Murderer, Saint, for thousands who follow the monastic Tibetan strain, represents the place where that nexus dwells."

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