Thursday, January 31, 2008

Speedlinking 1/31/08

Quote of the day:

"Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time... The wait is simply too long."
~ Leonard Bernstein

Image of the day (Francis):

~ Sodium, Your Secret Weapon -- "For years, the armchair physicians have been telling you to avoid sodium. The trouble is, anyone worth their salt will tell you that optimum amounts help prevent illness, ensure optimum energy, and help produce a leaner, harder, physique."
~ Recipe of the Week: The Paillard Method -- "If there's one thing Shugart knows, it's how to pound meat. Simply whip out your meat and proceed to abuse it. Then add heat to the meat. The end result is one great tastin' piece of chicken (what did you think we were talking about?)."
~ Choosing a Gym: Forgotten Points -- "I’ve seen more people doing tours of my gym this month than Epcot does in an entire summer. With the holidays ending and summer peeking around the corner, January and February are the most popular months to join a gym. Many people take the normal factors (cost, initiation fees, equipment, etc.) into consideration when scouting out a gym but some people forget the little things that are important in a fitness facility. Here are some of the forgotten points to remember...."
~ Personal Best: Staying a Step Ahead of Aging -- "Researchers find that while you will slow down as you age, you may be able to stave off more of the deterioration than you thought."
~ The Risk Of Alzheimer's Disease May Be Reduced By Fruit Consumption -- "Apples, bananas, and oranges are the most common fruits in both Western and Asian diets, and are important sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. A new study in the Journal of Food Science explores the additional health benefits of these fruits and reveals they also protect against neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's Disease."
~ Scientists study how HIV hides in body (AP) -- "The AIDS virus has hideouts deep in the immune system that today's drugs can't reach. Now scientists finally have discovered how HIV builds one of those fortresses — and they're exploring whether a drug already used to fight a parasite in developing countries just might hold a key to break in."
~ It Feels Good, and Everybody Does It -- "Scientists are using state-of-the-art technology to look at what happens in the brain when a person scratches an itch. There's more going on than you might think."

~ ADHD Kids May Make for Bigger Bullies -- "Bullying is a cyclical phenomenon: the child who suffers the wrath of his peers is more likely to take out his own violent urges on smaller or less capable classmates. Call it a very twisted sort of revenge. But new research implies that bullies and their victims are even more closely intertwined than we'd been led to believe."
~ Confucius Top 9 Lessons for Life -- "Here are a few of my favourite tips from Confucius that you may have heard many times before, perhaps attributed to him or someone else. You can of course read more about Confucius at wikipedia and other places online."
~ Seek and Destroy Your Stress -- "Stress is all around us - at home, at work and in the car. With it so prominent in our lives, it's important to look at what's causing all this tension, some warning signals that you're on the brink, but most importantly ways to reduce it. Stress can show up in our live in a variety of ways, the two most common are behavioral and cognitive."
~ Looking In All the Right Places -- "Where do you look when something goes wrong? What do you focus on when you can't seem to get ahead? Which thoughts run through your head when you've just bungled something? Which feelings course through you when your world turns upside-down? The answers to all of those questions tell you a great deal about the current quality (or lack of quality) of your life."
~ Vitamin Power -- "Vitamin deficiency may lead to depression and dementia."
~ Scientific American Mind: Affairs of the Lips: Why We Kiss -- "When passion takes a grip, a kiss locks two humans together in an exchange of scents, tastes, textures, secrets and emotions. We kiss furtively, lasciviously, gently, shyly, hungrily and exuberantly. We kiss in broad daylight and in the dead of night. We give ceremonial kisses, affectionate kisses, Hollywood air kisses, kisses of death and, at least in fairytales, pecks that revive princesses."
~ Scientific American Mind: Sex is Better for Women in Love -- "Women certainly know when they experience one, but science, on the other hand, knows surprisingly little about the female orgasm. Most studies have looked at animals rather than humans, focusing on how sensory information flows to and from the sex organs. Now a new study suggests that a woman’s orgasms have more to do with her brain than with her body. Not only do neural networks play a large role, but the feelings a woman has for her sexual partner are tied to just how good her orgasms are."
~ Scientific American Mind: A False Alarm -- "One minute you are feeling fine. Then suddenly you are trembling, nauseated and short of breath; your heart is racing, and your chest hurts. You fear you are about to die. A panic attack is a terrifying experience--and one that can strike anyone at any moment. Although the cause of panic attacks remains uncertain, new research suggests too much carbon dioxide might be to blame."

~ Is Autism Caused by a Vaccine Additive? No -- "There has been no proven scientific connection between thimerosal and autism, and since being pulled from the market in the U.S. autism rates have not significantly dropped. But that didn’t stop the writers of the Eli Stone episode [on ABC] from suggesting otherwise and implicating the vaccine additive connection."
~ God, Science and an Unbeliever's Utopia -- "Last year's wildly popular Beyond Belief 1.0 scientific conference primarily focused upon and championed irreligion. The Beyond Belief 2.0 conference held at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif., this past November was wider in scope. Rather than aiming to be another undiluted atheist lovefest, it attempted to consider changes in the ideas of the Enlightenment that are necessary given advances in various disciplines since the 18th century."
~ The TNR Primary: Part One -- An assortment of endorsements, including a poet, a novelist, and a lawyer, among others.
~ America’s middle classes are no longer coping -- "The fact is, middle-class families have exhausted the coping mechanisms they have used for more than three decades to get by on median wages that are barely higher than they were in 1970, adjusted for inflation. Male wages today are in fact lower than they were then: the income of a young man in his 30s is now 12 per cent below that of a man his age three decades ago. Yet for years now, America’s middle class has lived beyond its pay cheque. Middle-class lifestyles have flourished even though median wages have barely budged. That is ending and Americans are beginning to feel the consequences."
~ Jim Wallis: Well Done, Thou Good and Faithful Servants -- "John Edwards has changed the shape and the agenda of this campaign. He has put the needs of the poor and working families on the political agenda for the first time in many years. His clear and consistent voice has made sure that universal health care, fundamental issues of economic inequality, and the plight of so many Americans who are barely getting by would be on the front burner of this election campaign."
~ The Year of the Youth Vote -- "Young people are voting in numbers not seen in decades. Barack Obama is both catalyst and beneficiary. Will they make the difference?"
~ Not So Superdelegates -- "Ari Berman | Elite, unelected insiders may hold the key to the 2008 Democratic nomination. How did things become so undemocratic?"
~ The Choice -- "Christopher Hayes | Incredibly, progressives are split between Clinton and Obama. Here's why Obama is the left's best chance to take back the country."
~ Banned: MySpace deletes world's largest atheist group -- "Social networking site MySpace, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, has sparked controversy by deleting the world's largest online atheist group following complaints from people who find atheism "offensive"."
~ Clooney speaks out on Darfur at U.N. -- "The new messenger of peace, whose scheduled speech was canceled amid objections, conducts his own meeting to give firsthand accounts of the troubled region."

~ Hunger Could Be Alleviated And Rural Development Bolstered By African Fruits, Resulting In Environmental Stability -- "Africa's own fruits are a largely untapped resource that could combat malnutrition and boost environmental stability and rural development in Africa, says a new report from the National Research Council."
~ ZAP Says its $30K Electric Sports Car Is Coming in 2009 -- "Can't afford $98,000 for a Tesla Roadster? The Zap Alias costs 69 percent less money and has 25 percent fewer wheels."
~ Study: Climate Change Escalating Severe Western Water Crisis -- "A new paper from climate scientists finds that dropping water supplies in the West are primarily due to manmade global warming through the increase of atmospheric greenhouse gases."
~ Author Delivers Sobering Vision of a Hotter Planet -- "Environmentalist and author Mark Lynas paints a gloomy picture of Earth's future in Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet. But in an interview with Wired News he says it's not time to despair just yet."
~ Oil Exploration In Arctic Highly Risky: 'Response Gap' In Case Of Oil Spill, According To New Report -- "Arctic marine conditions contribute to an oil spill "response gap" that effectively limits the ability to clean up after an oil spill. A new report concludes that the only way to avoid the potentially devastating environmental risks is to ensure that no more of the Arctic is opened up to oil development until the response gap is closed."
~ Supernova Surprise: Black Holes May Pull Apart, Reignite White Dwarf Stars -- "A strange and violent fate awaits a white dwarf star that wanders too close to a moderately massive black hole. According to a new study, the black hole's gravitational pull on the white dwarf would cause tidal forces sufficient to disrupt the stellar remnant and reignite nuclear burning in it, giving rise to a supernova explosion with an unusual appearance."
~ Scientists solve mystery of glassy water -- "Water has some amazing properties. It is the only natural substance found in all three states — solid, liquid and gas — within the range of natural Earth temperatures. Its solid form is less dense than its liquid form, which is why ice floats. It can absorb a great deal of heat without getting hot, has very high surface tension (helping it move through roots and capillaries — vital to maintaining life on Earth) and is virtually incompressible."
~ Impoverished areas of Africa and Asia face severe crop losses from climate change in 20 years -- "Many of the world`s poorest regions could face severe crop losses in the next two decades because of climate change, according to a new study by researchers at Stanford University`s Program on Food Security and the Environment (FSE). Their findings will be published in the Feb. 1 issue of the journal Science."

~ Discussion ad hominem -- "Not long ago I decided to effectively leave the Zaadz community and abandon my post there for several reasons. First, I felt the promised transformative platform was being pampered and traded for an irritating LOHAS chic, soon to be confirmed with Zaadz (a Friend of the I-I) being sold to Gaiam (origin: "Gaia+I am", OMG) and then adequately renamed to Gaia dot com (on the web, semantics is everything). Second, it was becoming obvious that even the best discussions at Zaadz are inescapably tainted with endless and painful logical and emotional circularity, defended as PC tolerance at this crucial time when the unsophisticated, deeply narcisistic sensitivity of so many is assaulting every trace of authenticity to be found in so few."
~ Infinity Hymn - Stuart Davis -- "Meditation and Creativity Three A.M. Though I’m lying in bed next to my zonked-out girlfriend with my eyes nearly closed, I’m wide awake. Or maybe I should say wide aware. This year, in addition to sitting meditation, I’ve started meditating in bed before and during sleep. I use simple practices focused on breathing in order to move my awareness to a place where I witness events (internal, external, physical, cerebral, et cetera) without identifying with them."
~ Sheldrake on Dennett -- "Whatever the benefits of religions, Dennett believes that they arise entirely inside human minds. No spiritual realities exist outside us. He also takes it for granted that the mind "is the brain, or, more specifically, a system or organization within the brain that has evolved in much the same way as our immune system or respiratory system or digestive system has evolved . . . by the foresightless process of evolution by natural selection." He assumes what he sets out to prove." This is from a review of Dennett's Breaking the Spell.
~ Felt sense -- "The last few days have reminded me of the importance of inviting in the body when there are shifts in view. Staying with the shifts in view, taking the time to allow the rest of me to realign too. Feeling it with all of me."
~ Does Time Exist? -- "The fundamental reality and concepts of science, religion, and spirituality depend directly upon the basic understanding of time. For example, the big bang, creation, creator (God), evolution, the big crunch, cycles of birth/death/rebirth, and transitory soul etc. are all related to the presumption of the existence of an absolute time in the universe."
~ The Art, Science & Morals of Power -- "Guided by centuries of advice like Machiavelli's and Robert Greene's, we tend to believe that attaining power requires force, deception, manipulation, and coercion. Indeed, we might even assume that positions of power demand this kind of conduct that to run smoothly, society needs leaders who are willing and able to use power this way. As seductive as these notions are, they are dead wrong."
~ Not So Simple: Difficult Distinctions in Integralism -- "This is a bare bones beginning of what I want to end up being part three of the Power of Worldviews series.... I am struggling a little to get into it but do have a list of issues that I wanted to post now - and elaborate on later."

No comments: