Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Speedlinking 12/12/07

Quote of the day:

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."
~ Soren Kierkegaard

Image of the day:


BODY
~ Phoenix Theory -- "Chris Shugart was a fat bastard. Now he's not. His "rebirth" involved 4 stages: a traumatic event, anger and a decision to change, a physical transformation, and continued progress fueled by fear of regression."
~ Should Women Take Creatine? -- "A key change I made towards getting the body I now have was choosing to supplement with creatine. My results were phenomenal... Get over the fear with this simple Q&A about women & creatine!" Creatine is the most widely studied supplement in history, with no negative effects. Everyone should be using this stuff daily, especially older people and vegetarians.
~ The Adonis Advantage -- "Brady Quinn, the world's fittest quarterback, shares his simple plan for rising above his critics and succeeding in the NFL: Outwork the competition."
~ Obesity Weakens Immune Response (HealthDay) -- "Obese people find it harder to fight infections, and a weakened immune response may be to blame, suggests a new study from Boston University researchers."
~ Americans' Cholesterol Levels Improving -- "Average cholesterol in the U.S. is now ideal thanks largely to statin drugs."
~ Stem Cells May Ease Muscular Dystrophy -- "Modified stem cells from muscular dystrophy patients eased symptoms of the disease in mice, says a small study that raises hopes for treating patients with tissue from their own bodies...."
~ Drug May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence -- "The drug anastrozole reduced the risk of breast cancer recurrence among postmenopausal women who took it for three years following treatment with tamoxifen." This is a great drug for men with low testosterone (reduces estrogen without introducing exogenous test), too, but doctors refuse to prescribe and instead prescribe testosterone replacement.
~ Natural Human Hormone As The Next Antidepressant? -- "Novel treatment strategies for major depression with broader treatment success or a more rapid onset of action would have immense impact on public health, a new study published in the December 1st issue of Biological Psychiatry explains. This new study reports findings that support the evaluation of a potential new antidepressant agent."
~ The Stone Age Diet ? The Natural Way to Weight Loss -- "You’ve tried everything from starvation to sit ups and nothing seems to work. Everywhere you look there are countless so called solutions and you’ve tried them all, but the pounds still persist. Perhaps it’s time to take a look at our Stone Age ancestors for an answer; after all, they didn’t have to fight the battle of the bulge the way we do today!"
~ How to Go From Skinny to Muscular in 7 Steps (with a diet plan) -- "A lot of people who are skinny wish they could gain weight and a muscular physique, but don’t know where to start. And going to the gym can be intimidating when you’re a beginner."


PSYCHE/SELF
~ How to be happy again -- "Each year, approximately 2.5 million people in this country die, leaving behind an average of five close bereaved friends and family members. Yet how people heal from the death of a loved one has remained largely unexamined."
~ Perceptual Experience and Attention -- "Do you have constant tactile experience of the shirt on your back? Constant auditory experience of the background rumble of traffic? Constant visual experience of the tip of your nose? Or, when you aren’t paying attention to such things, do they drop out of consciousness entirely, so that they form no part of your stream of experience – not even vaguely, peripherally, amorphously – no part of your phenomenology, no part of what it’s like to be you?"
~ Is Early-Onset Bipolar Disorder Simply Normal Childhood? -- "[I]t was refreshing to see psychologist John Rosemond call out Dr. Dimitri Papolos and his wife Janice for becoming the leaders of their own little belief system where children who exhibit everyday, normal childhood behaviors should be labeled as “early onset bipolar disorder,” a non-existent diagnosis that the Papoloses are trying to push as a legitimate concern."
~ 10 Weird Psychology Studies: Vote Now For Your Favourite! -- "Psychologists are skilled at inventing unusual tests of human thought and behaviour, but some research is pretty weird. Over the past few months I've been examining some of the weirdest studies around. There's research into psychic dogs, invasions from Mars, the antidepressant properties of semen, pigeon-guided missiles and men's urination."
~ Did You Know? -- "Fast facts on antioxidants, depression, and multitasking."
~ How To Deal With Emotions -- "Overwhelming emotions, such as pain, fear, rage, jealousy, and sorrow, to name only a few, can be enormous in their magnitude when they hit, and if you have not made a practice of looking within (see also my May 2007 Newsletter: Tending Your Inner Garden), and this is the first time it happens, you may find that you are at a total loss as to what you can do with them. "
~ Can Developing Your Willpower Help You Be Successful In Life? -- "Yes, indeed, if you develop your willpower, you can definitely be more successful in life. In fact, the two are directly related. No one can underestimate the power of willpower in helping you achieve your goals."
~ Theories of Child Development -- "The study of human development is a rich and varied subject. We all have personal experience with development, but it is sometimes difficult to understand how and why people grow...."


CULTURE/POLITICS
~ Culture Speeds Up Human Evolution -- "Homo sapiens sapiens has spread across the globe and increased vastly in numbers over the past 50,000 years or so—from an estimated five million in 9000 B.C. to roughly 6.5 billion today. More people means more opportunity for mutations to creep into the basic human genome and new research confirms that in the past 10,000 years a host of changes to everything from digestion to bones has been taking place."
~ Do Film Critics Know Anything? -- "Our prizes certainly help determine which films get nominated, setting in motion the next round of ballyhoo before the final prizes are handed out. So almost all the nominees will be from worthy obscurities that can't draw much of an audience in the theater or, when the awards shows are aired, on TV."
~ Peter Clothier: Do You Need a Gun? -- "I don't. I hope never to find myself in a situation where I would have needed one to protect my life--though I concede that this is a dire possibility in a country where guns seem so prevalent. They are designed for only one purpose: to kill. And I myself am enough in tune with Buddhist teachings to believe that the taking of life is wrong in any circumstance--and, yes, that includes the saving of my own."
~ Restoring Habeas -- "Internee 10005 was first arrested less than a month after September 11, 2001. Lakhdar Boumediene and five other Algerians living in Bosnia were rounded up by local authorities after being told by the United States that the men were suspected of plotting to bomb the American embassy in Sarajevo. But after a three month investigation, Bosnia's Supreme Court found no evidence to support the charge and ordered the men released. At which point American peacekeeping troops promptly spirited the men off to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where they have been detained for six years."
~ Huckabee the Caveman -- "The darling of the evangelical right would be a dream GOP nominee—for Democrats."
~ And Everybody Hates the Atheists -- "The take-home message of Mitt Romney's recent speech on religion and politics was pretty clear: I may be a Mormon, but at least I'm not an atheist."
~ Baseball Steroid Report Due Thursday -- "George J. Mitchell’s report on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball will be about 300 pages in length, not including attachments, and will draw on three primary sources in providing the names of dozens of former and active players linked to such drugs...."
~ U.S. says homegrown attack poses biggest risk -- "The United States faces a heightened threat of terrorist attack "for the foreseeable future" but any attack will likely be homegrown, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said on Wednesday."


HABITATS/TECHNOLOGY
~ 50 things I love about city life -- " I had finally figured it out. I love cities the way other people love old growth forests, meandering river walks, and alpine lakes. Instead of apologizing for the natural wonders that I hadn't seen, I have decided to lay claim to all the urban glories that I had already discovered in my new city."
~ The 6 Most Overhyped Technologies -- "Contrary to what you learned in your economics classes, the market isn't always about supply and demand. Sometimes it's the opposite: supplying some technology nobody wanted, then trying to create the demand for it with hype."
~ Big Box Stores Will Sell Converters for Old Box TVs -- "Eight large retailers, including Best Buy and Wal-Mart, say they'll sell converters that will let the owners of analog televisions keep their TVs after the United States switches to digital broadcasting in 2009."
~ Scientists shed light on monster sea waves -- "Ocean waves as tall as an eight-story building, once dismissed as maritime folklore, can be studied using waves of light, offering hope of predicting where these monsters may appear, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday."
~ Threatened Birds May Be Rarer Than Geographic Range Maps Suggest -- "Geographic range maps that allow conservationists to estimate the distribution of birds may vastly underestimate the actual population size of threatened species and those with specific habitats, according to a study published online this week in the journal Conservation Biology."
~ Without its insulating ice cap, Arctic surface waters warm to as much as 5 C above average -- "Record-breaking amounts of ice-free water have deprived the Arctic of more of its natural "sunscreen" than ever in recent summers. The effect is so pronounced that sea surface temperatures rose to 5 C above average in one place this year, a high never before observed, says the oceanographer who has compiled the first-ever look at average sea surface temperatures for the region."
~ New technique could dramatically lower costs of DNA sequencing -- "Using computer simulations, researchers at the University of Illinois have demonstrated a strategy for sequencing DNA by driving the molecule back and forth through a nanopore capacitor in a semiconductor chip. The technique could lead to a device that would read human genomes quickly and affordably." This seems promising, especially since the future of medicine will be genetic matching.
~ Fresh fossil evidence of eye forerunner uncovered -- "Ancient armoured fish fossils from Australia present some of the first definite fossil evidence of a forerunner to the human eye, a scientist from The Australian National University says."
~ Physicists perform the first ever quantum calculation -- "University of Queensland researchers are part of an international team that made the first-ever execution of a quantum calculation -- the prime factors of the number 15 -- a major step towards building the first quantum computers...."


INTEGRAL/BUDDHIST BLOGS
~ Integral Review -- Issue 5 is live and online -- check it out.
~ The Universe Project -- Andrew Cohen -- "The theme for the weekend was a focused discussion about what exactly is the nature of our next developmental stage—sometimes called Third Tier, or post-postmodernism, or a Kosmocentric perspective (see my recent “Guru & Pandit” dialogue in What Is Enlightenment? Issue 38 for an in-depth discussion of these ideas)."
~ Spirituality in Higher Education: Part 2 -- "An emerging phenomenon on campuses and in the broader culture, spirituality in higher education reasserts the importance of a holistic understanding of life, one that acknowledges the place of spirit among ways of knowing. At the founding of the universities almost one thousand years ago, the prevailing worldview was grounded in religious ideas."
~ The Difficulty Helping People -- "I would like to get into something very basic to Buddhism, that has certainly been explored, but to my admittedly-very-limited knowledge, hasn’t been pulled together very well. Why is it so damn hard to help people?"
~ Tumbling with Passion and Compassion -- "Microblogging services like Tumblr is at the edge of the evolution of personal publishing. I've been aware of Tumblr but I haven't used it until today. And I already love it! In fact, I'll even commit a blasphemy and say that I like it much better than Twitter :) It only took minutes to create my Tumblr site and configure it to feed off from my main personal blog. Check it out."
~ Clarity and Confusion -- "From the viewpoint of the traditions of analytic philosophy, still the dominant philosophical tradition over here in the UK, the job of the philosopher is that of clearing up conceptual confusion. Which is why those depraved characters across the other side of the Channel, with their croissants and their Gauloises are considered to be pretty much beyond the pail. Curse those Frenchies with their wilful obscurantism and their strange dietary habits!"
~ Stress Reduction and Bodymind Awareness in Schools -- "As the principal of Needham High School, Paul Richards is making some radical changes. Among them -- homework-free weekends and holidays, and mandatory yoga classes! Mr. Richards asks his teachers to help develop healthy minds and bodies - teaching awareness for the WHOLE person. It's all aimed at reducing stress."
~ Abhisamayalamkara -- "The Treatise on the Exposition of the Perfection of Wisdom. An important commentary work of the Buddhist Mahayana tradition attributed to Maitreya and probably composed in the 4th century CE. The text is a commentary on the Large Treatise on the Perfection of Wisdom (Mahapraj√Īaparamitasutra), the teachings of which are summarized in 274 stanzas into a scheme of eight ascending stages (abhisamaya)."
~ Cleaning up a messy unconscious -- "Now a writer as well as a Buddhist priest, Warner, 43, combines his love of punk and Zen to produce straight-talking meditations on sex, death, God and the Buddha. His latest book, Sit Down and Shut Up, centers on “Shobogenzo,” a mysterious 13th-century text." Brad was on his good behavior.


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