Thursday, December 27, 2007

Speedlinking 12/27/07

Quote of the day:

"Saying what we think gives us a wider conversational range than saying what we know."
~ Cullen Hightower

Image of the day (Tad Bowman):

~ It Looked Good on Paper -- "Certain things look good on paper, but most don't pan out. For instance, Eric Cressey thinks wave loading is a bunch of hooey, as are weight gain powders and, believe it or not, the notion that external rotation movements are a cure all."
~ Exercise of the Week: Single DB Overhead Squats -- "Those guys who think planks and Bosu Ball triceps kickbacks are giving their core a good workout are poor, pathetic slobs. If you really want to work the core, you've got to raise the weight over your head."
~ StrongLifts 5×5 eBook Updated, 4 New Articles & a Tip for The Holidays -- "Reader DB – who wanted to stay anonymous – corrected all grammatical and spelling errors in StrongLifts 5×5 eBook. Click here to download the December 2007 version."
~ How To Choose The Right Foods To Successfully Transform! -- "The following article will explain in simple terms how to choose the rights foods for every situation that will make it easy for you to incorporate healthy eating into your daily life."
~ Measuring Body Fat 101 -- "How many times have you stepped on the scale and either thrown up your hands in celebration or alternatively in disappointment and frustration? Amazing how the same physical action can result in two completely different reactions. Even more amazing though is how some people put so much stock in what that tiny number says. It’s only a number. Really. Here’s why."
~ Should you go the extra mile? -- "Can you get too much cardio? Is there an ideal amount of exercise for losing weight? And are you ever too old to shape up? Smart Fitness answers your workout queries."
~ Which Diet Plan Is Best? Study’s Surprising Results -- "As the old year comes to a close and everyone begins to look forward to the beginning of a New Year, many people are also anticipating the beginning of their New Year’s resolutions. For numerous individuals, New Year’s resolutions will involve vows to cut back on their food intake, get on a diet and exercise regimen and drop at least a few pounds. The question that hangs in the air for those who are anticipating the start of a new diet lies in exactly which diet might happen to be right for them and which diet holds the key to helping them lose the most weight." The best diet is a lifestyle change that you can stick to.
~ Cannabinoids May Inhibit Cancer Cell Invasion -- "Cannabinoids may suppress tumor invasion in highly invasive cancers. Cannabinoids, the active components in marijuana, are used to reduce the side effects of cancer treatment, such as pain, weight loss, and vomiting, but there is increasing evidence that they may also inhibit tumor cell growth. However, the cellular mechanisms behind this are unknown."
~ Why Exertion Leads To Exhaustion -- "Researchers have discovered the dramatic changes that occur in our muscles when we push ourselves during exercise. We all have a sustainable level of exercise intensity, known as the "critical power." This level can increase as we get fitter, but will always involve us working at around 75-80 percent of our maximal capacity. This research shows why, when we go beyond this level, we have to slow down or stop altogether."

~ Foster Care Benefits Orphans' Cognitive Development -- "Children raised in orphanages experience worse cognitive development than children placed in foster care, according to an ongoing study appearing in the journal Science."
~ Why Do We Somtimes Perform Worse Under Pressure? -- "Why does pressure often hinder performance, causing our bodies to betray us when the stakes are highest? There are two major hypotheses: pressure breaks concentration, or pressure actually increases focus, but on actions that would be best left on autopilot."
~ Have You Planned Your New Year’s Resolutions? -- "The dawning of the New Years brings with it a thrilling and miraculous excitement to our lives. On New Year's Day, an exciting future awaits us. It's like a rebirth for many of us – a chance to wipe one's slate clean and start life anew. We eagerly anticipate the year unfolding before us."
~ How to Kick Your Motivation into High Gear -- "New Year's resolutions are right around the corner. The problem is not with setting goals, but with sticking with them until completion. For that you need a healthy helping of motivation. But where can you find this elusive ingredient? The resources are right under your nose. Here's how to get your motivation revving! They're not just for new year's resolutions, but for any goal or task you want or need to complete."
~ 10 Foolproof Tips for Better Sleep -- "There was a period in my life when I had a lot of problems with sleep. It took me very long to fall asleep, I was easily awaken, and I simply wasn't getting enough of rest at night. I didn't want to take medication and this led me to learn several tips and tricks that really helped me to overcome my insomnia. Some of these tips I try to follow regularly."
~ 14 Tips For Resolutions That Stick in the New Year -- "Statistics show that only about 15% of New Years Resolutions are kept. With an 85% failure rate, it’s no wonder that the amount of resolutions made is dropping. You wouldn’t buy a product that is defective 85% of the time, so why buy into the annual hype about resolutions? A strategy that fails over four fifths of the time is broken. The question is, how do you fix it?"
~ 20 Questions to Help You Reflect the Past Year -- "Now we are approaching the end of the year, and it’s the perfect time to reflect how we have done in the past year. We can then take some lessons for the new year. One good way to reflect, I believe, is using four facets of prosperity...."
~ Reversing Sleep Deprivation With A Whiff Of Orexin-A -- "This article might appeal to the beleaguered hospital intern or the college student during finals week, both of which must at times combat sleep deprivation. The loss of the hypothalamic neurons that produce orexin-A causes narcolepsy, and the administration of orexin-A produces arousal and increased attention. This week, Deadwyler et al. provide further evidence that orexin-A can counteract the effects of sleep deprivation."
~ Beliefs about intelligence affect mental performance -- "I've just found a fascinating five minute NPR radio report on work by psychologist Carol Dweck that has found that if a child thinks that intelligence is something that can change throughout life, they do better in school."

~ The BEAST - 50 Most Loathsome People in America, 2007 -- Definitely worth checking out -- and #9 is sadly accurate.
~ The Clinton Referendum -- "They might love Bill Clinton, but they loathe Clintonism. And it is this conflict that has, in recent weeks, become a subtle but important theme of the 2008 campaign, as Hillary Clinton’s rivals try to portray her as the Return of the Great Triangulator. Whatever else these Democratic primaries may be about — health-care plans, global warming, timetables for withdrawal from Iraq — they are, on some more philosophical and even emotional level, a judgment on the ’90s and all that those tumultuous years represent."
~ Why doesn't anyone read Dante's Paradiso? -- "The time is ripe to reconsider Paradiso's neglect, however, since three major new translations of the poem we know as the Divine Comedy are coming to completion. (Dante simply called it his Comedy; in what was perhaps the founding instance of publishing hype, divine was added by a Venetian printer in 1555.)"
~ Was Jesus a revolutionary? -- "In our age of vulgar atheistic polemics, Catholic-turned-Marxist Terry Eagleton brings a rare combination of intellectual depth and seriousness to his study of the gospels. But humanity will not find salvation in the ‘Good Book’."
Opening the Big Tent - Alain de Botton -- "Seven years ago now, I wrote a book (The Consolations of Philosophy) and broadcast a TV programme on Channel 4 which featured the work of Socrates, Epicurus, Seneca, Montaigne, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. The book sold hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide, the TV series has attracted millions of viewers. But the response from the holders of the philosophical flame was outraged and hysterical."
~ Sacha Baron Cohen: Killing off Borat -- "In a rare interview as himself, Sacha Baron Cohen tells John Hiscock about auditioning for Sondheim, the secret he kept from Tim Burton - and the pain of abandoning his comic creations."
~ What Darwin Could Tell Us About the "War on Drugs" -- "Although it may seem counterintuitive, the "law and order" response by our politicians only intensifies the problem."
~ Benazir Bhutto: 1953–2007 -- "The former Prime Minister is killed by an assassin."

~ Human-to-human bird flu case confirmed -- "The World Health Organization confirmed a single case of human-to-human transmission of the bird flu virus in a Pakistani family." And so it begins. . . .
~ Byron Williams: EPA's 'Uniformity' Standard Long on Absurdity, Short on Crediblity -- "As a liberal columnist, criticizing the antics of the Bush administration could understandably be viewed as an exercise in overkill. There has been so much to critique over the years; the challenge is to not make their actions the default position when deciding on a topic to write about. But the Environmental Protection Agency's recent decision to deny California and 16 other states the right to set their own standards for carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles is so outlandish and brazenly political that it warrants comment."
~ Warner Music Group Sells DRM-Free MP3s on -- "Another major label strips digital rights management restrictions from its songs to partner with the world's biggest e-tailer."
~ Crocodile Hunter Widow Turns Attention to Whale Research -- "Terri Irwin, the widow of TV "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, announces that a whale watching program she started in honor of her late husband will expand into scientific research in 2008. She hopes the non-lethal research of whales in Antarctic waters will show Japan's scientific whale kill is a sham."
~ Newly Discovered Properties Of Certain Crystals Could Impact The Miniaturization Of Electronic Devices -- "The dashing start of electrons in a crystal does not remain without consequences for their further fate. Researchers examined the ultrafast movement of electrons in a gallium arsenide crystal exposed for a short time to a very high electrical field. This conceptually new experiment shows for the first time a collective, oscillatory motion of the electrons with ultrahigh frequency, which arises additionally to the well-known drift motion of these particles. This newly discovered effect could play an important role in connection with the miniaturization of electronic devices."
~ Songbirds Offer Clues To Highly Practiced Motor Skills In Humans -- "The melodious sound of a songbird may appear effortless, but his elocutions are actually the result of rigorous training undergone in youth and maintained throughout adulthood. His tune has virtually "crystallized" by maturity. The same control is seen in the motor performance of top athletes and musicians. Yet, subtle variations in highly practiced skills persist in both songbirds and humans. Now, scientists think they know why."
~ Barcoding An Entire Ecosystem -- "In the middle of the South Pacific, about 12 miles west of Tahiti, is a tropical island that soon will emerge as a model ecosystem, thanks to the efforts of a U.S.-French research team led by University of California, Berkeley, biologists."
~ EPA, Dow Chemical Negotiate River Cleanups -- "U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 today extended a deadline with Dow Chemical to negotiate a settlement to conduct and finance an investigation, a study and interim cleanup actions for dioxin contamination in the Tittabawassee River system. In October the EPA called for negotiations under provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, or Superfund." Just make them clean up their mess, for crying out loud.

~ The Renaissance of Love -- "Love or fear in any of it's forms, that's what choice really amounts to. Just these two. But for most of us, ensconced in our comfortable modern lives, we forget this. By default we choose the latter and then there appears to be a gazzillion other choices. As Sir Winston Churchill once said, "Most people, sometime in their lives, stumble across the truth. Most jump up, brush themselves off and hurry about their business as if nothing had happened." Isn't that sad?"
~ Exploring the Larger Sutra of Pure Land Buddhism -- "At a suggestion from my fellow Jodo Shinshu Buddhist, Kyoushin, I decided to try exploring the Pure Land text, the Larger Sutra of Immeasurable Life, from the perspective of the Prajñaparamita texts. Because of my interest in the Heart Sutra, the Diamond Sutra and such, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to see if their teachings resonate in the Pure Land texts."
~ The Perfection of Wisdom Sutra -- "I mentioned in yesterday’s post that according to one research article, the Heart Sutra, is actually a descendant of a larger, more obscure Buddhist sutra called the Pañcaviṃśatisāhasrikā- prajñāpāramitā sutra, or the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra.* This is part of the whole Prajñāpāramitā** series of sutras which include the Heart Sutra, the Diamond Sutra and the Flower Garland Sutra, among others."
~ Brain Functioning and Body Awareness -- "I’m currently reading The Mindful Brain by Daniel Siegel. Last night I was reading about the functions of the left and right hemispheres of the brain. I’ll share what I learned with you in case you’re curious and then below are some of my morning reflections."
~ A Touch of Greatness and Success: A Different Definition -- "The New Year draws rapidly closer; people are starting to set their goals and resolutions – they’re looking for something, and very often this involves what we call success. But the strange thing is: For many, the definition of success relies on the failure of other people."
~ Dream Tripping: Dream Drugs as Metaphor -- "If someone takes a psychoactive drug while physically awake, it changes her brain chemistry and so alters her state of consciousness. Taking a drug in a dream is a very different proposition, however - in that realm a drug would actually be a metaphor for an intention to change your consciousness in a particular way, and as such is an interesting and useful technique for those who utilize state changes as part of a spiritual path (or just as a means of exploring the possibilities of their own mind)."
~ Jesus, Quetzalcoatl, Dionysos - Archetypal Yearning -- "This is a brief summary of a talk I gave in 2006 as part of a yoga and mythology workshop series. It being the holidays and all I though I might share the main points. I hope it is interesting to some readers."

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