Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Speedlinking 12/26/07

Quote of the day:

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
~ H. L. Mencken

Image of the day:

~ The Mobility-Stability Continuum -- "There's a difference between mobility and stability. Mobility is the ability to produce a desired movement, while stability is the ability to resist an undesired movement. Knowing the difference is the key to performance."
~ Cyclists: Keep On Pedaling But Beware Below -- "More and more people are riding bicycles for exercise and recreation. Heightened interest in the sport brings along an increased possibility of lower body injuries."
~ Bulk Up, Don't Slow Down -- "Add lean beef and athleticism simultaneously with these strategies from NBA upstarts Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Troy Murphy, who have the Pacers back in the hunt. Our favorite part of the plan? More sleep."
~ High Altitude Soccer Teams Have Significant Advantage Over Lowland Teams -- "Football teams from high altitude countries have a significant advantage when playing at both low and high altitudes, finds a study in this week's Christmas issue of the BMJ. In contrast, lowland teams are unable to acclimatise to high altitude, reducing physiological performance. At altitude, lack of oxygen (hypoxia), cold and dehydration can lead to breathlessness, headaches, nausea, dizziness and fatigue, and possibly altitude sickness." Which is why a lot of athletes train in high altitude cities in Colorado, as well as in Flagstaff, AZ.
~ Really?: The Claim: Calories From Alcohol Go to Your Midsection -- "The effects of alcohol on the midsection are complicated, but studies show pretty clearly that beer, wine and spirits have a greater effect on belly fat in adults who drink sporadically than in people who drink regularly but in small amounts."
~ Honey making a medical comeback -- "Amid growing concern over drug-resistant superbugs and nonhealing wounds that endanger diabetes patients, nature's original antibiotic — honey — is making a comeback."
~ Resolution for Success: Learn Why Diets Fail -- "What are your plans for January? Perhaps you will spend the month putting away holiday decorations and easing back into a regular schedule. And, if you're like millions of people, your plans may include embarking on a new diet. Unfortunately, unrealistic diet expectations can sabotage the very best intentions, leading to frustration when diets fail. If your January plans include a change in eating habits, check out our top takes on why diets fail."
~ Gradual Change of the Weight Watchers Diet -- "As time has progressed, so has the Weight Watchers diet. Recently the diet has started to take into consideration how much people want to exercise and how that affects the point system in a whole new way. Certain exercises are given certain negative point values to offset eating some foods that might not have been allowed in earlier variations of the diet." WW is still ther most effective diet after one year.

~ Repressed Memory -- "Are some experiences so horrific that the human brain seals them away, only to recall them years later? The concept of “repressed memory,” known by the diagnostic term dissociative amnesia, has long fueled controversy in psychiatry. During the 1980s, claims of childhood sexual abuse based on recovered memories led to a spate of highly publicized court cases. A number of the supposed victims retracted their allegations in the early 1990s, admitting that they had been swayed by therapeutic techniques. Yet the scientific validity of dissociative amnesia has remained contested ground."
~ The Middle Path -- "Supposedly Buddha recommended avoiding extremism, suggesting we should instead pursue the middle path. But where exactly are the edges of the middle path? Does the middle path mean the average path, close to what everyone else is doing? No, I don’t think the middle path is something you can measure with an external yardstick. This is something you must evaluate for yourself."
~ 8 Ways to Achieve Success in 2008 -- "I don’t believe in resolutions. The idea that a trick of the calendar should be the driving force for real change in my life seems silly. And yet, there’s no denying that a year is a good block of time to think with — long enough to carry out big projects and short enough to keep the end-goal in sight. Plus, a year is a good block of time to look at to get a “big picture” view of your life — what you’re doing wrong, what you’re doing right, what you’d like to change."
~ How to Sell Yourself on Lifestyle Change -- "Depending on who you ask, up to 85% percent of all New Year’s resolutions involved some element of lifestyle change, be it weight loss, exercise, better nutrition, improved life-balance or more sleep. And, of those, nearly 50% have been broken by the end of January, while 90% bite the dust by June."
~ How to Survive (and Thrive) During the Holidays When You Feel Alone -- "While there are many ways to be happy by yourself, I think there’s something about the holidays and the festiveness of it all that gets people down if they feel alone. For some, it’s a real low point, so much so that depression can hit and times can get pretty dire. I was thinking about those of you who are going through this during this holiday season, and my heart goes out to you. If this time of year is getting you down, and you feel alone, here are some suggestions for things to do."
~ The 10 Step Cure for the Post-Christmas Letdown -- "The buildup to Christmas and all the year end holidays is so long and so pervasive that when Christmas finally comes and then goes, for many people a kind of post-Christmas slump sets in. If this happens to you, I have very good news. You can keep the delightful elements of Christmas alive throughout the year. You can feel the joy of Christmas all year. Here's how you can incorporate the special aspects of Christmas into your life."
~ Treating Self-Injury -- "In the Western world, public awareness of self-injurious behavior seems to have increased dramatically in the last ten years. As the topic of several popular films (Thirteen, Secretary) and popular television talk shows, self-injury is becoming much more visible."
~ Re-Engineering Philosophy for Limited Beings -- "Many current philosophers, even ostensively naturalist ones, are rightly accused of doing philosophy in a way that actually keeps it hermetically closed against science. In Wimsatt's hands, however, philosophy becomes part and parcel of science. The resulting book, even if aimed at philosophers (who are sorely in need of Wimsatt's counsel), may therefore be read with benefit by, among others, theoretically inclined biologists and psychologists."
~ Aristotle, Emotions, and Education -- "Aristotle, Emotions, and Education by Kristján Kristjánsson is a new interdisciplinary study dealing with the relations between psychology, education, and philosophy. More specifically Kristjánsson's book deals with the philosophy of Aristotle and its contemporary relevance to pedagogy (called "educational philosophy" by Kristjánsson)."

~ Ralph Waldo and the Word -- "One hundred thirty five years ago, on Christmas Day, an aged and ailing Ralph Waldo Emerson disembarked at Alexandria, the cradle of Hellenistic Christendom, whence the Holy Family had fled Herod long centuries before. Emerson was one of the first Americans to be conscious of living in what seemed to be a post-Christian age, though it was more precisely the post-Puritan, or perhaps post-Protestant predicament, and, at least to that extent, post-Modern."
~ A Question of Blame When Societies Fall -- "Dragoon is also home to an archaeological research center, the Amerind Foundation, where a group of archaeologists, cultural anthropologists and historians converged in the fall for a seminar, “Choices and Fates of Human Societies.” What the scientists held in common was a suspicion that in writing his two best-selling sagas of civilization — the other is “Guns, Germs and Steel” — Dr. Diamond washed over the details that make cultures unique to assemble a grand unified theory of history."
~ Please sir, can we have some more? -- "THE novels of Charles Dickens are not on sale in supermarkets, they have not been endorsed by Richard and Judy, and – having been dead since 1870 – Dickens does not share the golden Edinburgh postcode of JK Rowling, Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall Smith. Yet despite this failure to adopt any of these tested strategies for becoming a bestseller, Dickens remains one of Britain's most loved authors, and his nourishing books make much contemporary writing seem very thin gruel."
~ Will Durst: The Top Ten Comedic News Stories of 2007 -- "Okay. Just so you know: the Top Ten Comedic News Stories of the Year are as different from the Top Ten Legitimate News Stories of the Year as Peppermint Mini Marshmallow Froot Loops are from porridge. For instance, the Pakistani government transition didn't make our list. Why? Because it has the humor quotient of cider vinegar foot baths. Except for President Musharaff's first name being Pervez. Short for Perv? Prez Perv. Nice alliteration there. But funny? No. Subprime mortgage crisis? Yeah, right. Rusty-nail-through-the-bottom-of-your-Reeboks funny. Myanmar, Virginia Tech, you see my point. So let's go my route. Here are the stories of '07 that were the most lampoonable."
~ People Who Mattered -- "From the Subway Hero to the YouTube Snowman, from Barry Bonds to Burma's monks, those who made their mark in 2007."
~ Announcing the 2007 P.U.-litzer Prizes -- "Many journalists qualified for the sixteenth annual P.U.-litzer Prizes, but only a few were able to win recognition for turning in one of the truly stinkiest media performances of the year. As the judges for this un-coveted award, we have done our best to confer this honor on the most deserving."
~ What Time magazine gets wrong about Russia and Vladimir Putin -- "As an exercise in journalism, Time's annual selection of a "Person of the Year" has always been a strange ritual. Although the magazine annually devotes gobs of resources and dozens of print pages to selecting and reporting on a winner, the editors take great pains to emphasize that the choice is not an "honor." Rather, as Managing Editor Richard Stengel explains, the selection goes to "the person who has most profoundly influenced the world during the past year, for better or for worse." That Stalin and Hitler are previous winners underscores Stengel's point."
~ Happiness for Sale-- "It is reassuring to find that effective policies to boost the incomes of the less fortunate would make their lives easier and happier."

~ European Vexation -- "Arctic science is vital to our understanding of climate change, and European scientists have begun to invest in it in a big way. Not that we'd know given the British media's indifference, says Tim Radford."
~ Bike-Sharing Is Caring -- "On a whim, the avid cyclist and environmentalist entered "public bikes" into a search engine and discovered images of Bycyklen, Copenhagen's then-new bike-sharing service. One glimpse and DeMaio was hooked. "The idea just blew me away," he says. "This was it." DeMaio arranged to study in Denmark, where he absorbed as much about bike-sharing culture as possible. Convinced that the idea would appeal to Americans, he created MetroBike LLC, a bicycle planning and bike-sharing consulting company based in Washington D.C. And now, more and more cyclists and legislators are turning their attention to DeMaio's cause."
~ How Mars Could Have Been Warm And Wet But Limestone Free -- "Planetary scientists have puzzled for years over an apparent contradiction on Mars. Abundant evidence points to an early warm, wet climate on the red planet, but there's no sign of the widespread carbonate rocks, such as limestone, that should have formed in such a climate. A new analysis suggests that on Mars, sulfur went through a whole cycle comparable to the well-known carbon cycle on Earth."
~ Solar Powered Bottle Sorter And Other Eco-friendly Inventions By Students -- "The assignment was wide open: Design something based on the principles of reduce, reuse and recycle, and develop it into a prototype product. The results ranged from simple mechanical devices to complex electronic machines, but all served that central purpose in original ways."
~ 'Hybrid' Semiconductors Show Zero Thermal Expansion; Could Lead To Hardier Electronics -- "The fan in your computer is there to keep the microprocessor chip from heating to the point where its component materials start to expand, inducing cracks that interrupt the flow of electricity -- and not incidentally, ruin the chip. Thermal expansion can also separate semiconducting materials from the substrate, reduce performance through changes in the electronic structure of the material or warp the delicate structures that emit laser light."
~ Who You Gonna Call? -- "Luis Agurto tailors each pest control solution to the problem at hand, and the plan today is to drill through the window frame, stuff the hive full of soap, and remove the nest from the wall. More unseemly pests, roaches, for example, the Agurtos bait with a blend of boric acid and sugar. No Raid here."
~ Something worse than deforestation -- "Several decades ago, the Kenyan government introduced a non-native plant aimed at stopping the spread of deforestation. Alas, like many stories of well-intentioned introductions, this one also ends ignobly - so far."

~ Basics of Buddhism -- "Siddhartha Gautama was a prince who renounced the life of luxury and sought the truth of existence. After several years he discovered the truth of suffering, his teachings are that truth. He was a man, who through his own efforts reached enlightenment. Each of us is capable of reaching enlightenment." This is VERY basic, but useful for newbies.
~ Zaadz/I/You Evolve(s) -- "I don't remember how I originally found zaadz, though most likely it was via ~C4Chaos, who is, either thru his blog posts or an invitation of some sort, behind many of the most interesting new net forays I end up on. I do remember feeling very excited about joining this new community of holistic minded folks. The raw thunk of My*space or high-pitched chatter of Face*book never felt resonant to me, but this, this gathering of folks that felt more like my tribe had me feeling connected to a group for the first time in a very long while."
~ My Electric (Wet) Dream -- "As I've said in my previous blog post, I'm rooting for Elon Musk to succeed in the transportation industry. Hybrids are cool but the Tesla Roadster is friggin' hot! It's a lot greener too. However, electric cars don't solve the root of the energy problem because electricity is still generated mostly from power plants powered by fossil fuels. But it's still a BIG step in the right direction."
~ Photo of the Year (Best of) -- Three great photos from John Craig.
~ Trusting Perceptions and Higher Communication -- "One of the most fundamental aspect of any growth or spiritual path is the trust in one’s own perception. There is no question it is an incomplete perception; so long as you have a body, you will not see even a minuscule fraction of the totality of the universe, or that of your Self. But it is still your perception. It is your link to your soul. It is the basis for all growth, for if you rely on someone else’s eyes and intuition, you are not living your own life, discovering your own Truth, but are being a guinea pig for other’s experiments with Truth."
~ The Beauty of the Renunciant Life -- "This post is partly based on my post on the tenuous life we live, and also reflections on Christmas itself. It occurred to me that the more stuff we have, the more we have to lose. If we had no stuff, we’d never have to worry about things breaking, or being stolen, where to put it (and paying for storage), or simply misplacing it. We would not have to worry having to clean up our stuff, either."
~ An interview with David Deida by Vijay Rana of The Watkins Review in London -- "David Deida is best known for “bringing sexy back” to contemporary spirituality, and now in his latest offering he’s bringing real life back. Instant Enlightenment contains a vast array of subjects that other ‘spiritual’ teachings fear to touch - oral sex, swearing, car crashes, death, masturbation, to name a few. These taboo areas get the much-needed shot in the arm they deserve."
~ Awards Categories for 2008 -- "The Awards Categories for the 2008 Blogisattvas, honoring English-language Buddhist blogging in calendar year 2007, have 'firmed up,' though appropriately for anything Buddhist,, all things remain subject to change. As of this hour, there are eight new categories, while three have gone by the boards, giving us a total of 26 happy categories in the new year. The expectation is that there will be five nominees in each category for a total of 130 nominations. Last year, there were 21 categories and 115 total nominations."
~ Heart practice -- "I am reading a book by my favorite spiritual teacher, Jes Bertelsen, on Christian heart practices, and it helps me review some of my own experiences with it and how it has changed over time."

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