Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Speedlinking 4/10/07

Quote of the day:

"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted."
~ Aldous Huxley

Image of the day:

~ 7 Exercises From Thib's Toolbox -- "Throw on your favourite wife beater and lace up your Chucks before reading this article because you're going to want to run straight to the gym to try these movements!" Very cool -- I'll be inflicting some of these on my clients.
~ Interesterified Oil: Why you should watch out for this trans fat substitute! -- The food companies have found a way to bypass the trans fats bans.
~ Coffee Lovers, Smokers at Lower Parkinson's Risk (HealthDay) -- Coffee good, smoking bad.
~ Severely obese fastest-growing U.S. overweight group -- "People who are 100 pounds (45 kg) or more overweight are the fastest-growing group of overweight people in the United States, researchers reported on Monday."
~ Diabetics found more prone to mild memory problems -- "Diabetics are at higher risk of getting a type of mild memory impairment that may later develop into Alzheimer's disease, U.S. researchers said on Monday."
~ Study: Cocoa calms blood pressure -- "Some may see a cup of tea as soothing, but chocolate is more likely to lower one’s blood pressure, German researchers reported."
~ Menopause tied to sexual dysfunction -- "Women who have particularly low levels of the hormone DHEA during menopause may be more likely to have sexual dysfunction, a new study suggests."
~ The Facts About Fats -- The WaPo column points to a cool online tool for figuring daily calorie and fat needs.
~ Milk beats soy for muscle gain -- "Got milk? Weightlifters will want to raise a glass after a new study found that milk protein is significantly better than soy at building muscle mass." As if there was any doubt.

~ Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Linked with Increased Pain Tolerance [Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)] -- "A recent study by Dutch scientists has found that people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be less sensitive to physical pain than those who don't suffer from the condition. PTSD patients experience panic attacks, flashbacks, anxiety and depression following a traumatic event. Scans reveals that the PTSD subjects' brains were less active than those of their unaffected counterparts."
~ Twin studies show high heritability of brain volume for certain regions -- "I just thought this paper was kind of cool. It reviews the evidence from twin studies that shows that certain regions of the brain show very high levels of genetic heritability. Heritability, as I discussed in an earlier post, is a gross measure of the genetic as opposed to the environmental contribution to a particular trait."
~ Sexuality at Hand -- "Are left-handers more likely to be gay?"
~ Queer IQ: The Gay Couple's Advantage -- "Gay relationships are less mired in deception and friction."
~ Is Success a Secret Or Is “The Secret” Just Positive Snake Oil? -- Even the Positive Psychology folks think The Secret is a scam.
~ 17 Inspirational Quotes on People Skills -- "I hope you can get a bit of wisdom and inspiration out of these quotes and from the people who have walked before us."
Sex Energy -- From Steve Pavlina, so take it for what it's worth -- "In this article I’ll explain how to use sex energy to set goals that align with your natural biochemical arousal triggers, such that you find yourself taking action towards your goals more easily."
~ Relevancy and Spirituality -- "One of the primary tasks that I see for those of us who wish for our spirituality to have an impact on the world is to identify its relevancy for other people. Obviously, if you embark down a spiritual path, you find it fulfilling and relevant (or at least you hope that you do…). You study, you practice (or whatever), and go about your life."
~ Birds Do It. Bees Do It. People Seek the Keys to It -- "The definitions of sexual desire can be as quirky and personalized as the very chromosomal combinations that sexual reproduction will yield." See also: Pas de Deux of Sexuality Is Written in the Genes.

~ Religious bias colors doctors' views: survey -- "Few topics are more likely to cause argument among doctors than the influence of religion on healing, but a survey suggests most physicians bring their ideas about religion into their practice, U.S. researchers reported on Monday."
~ Matrixism: Religion Based on the Matrix Movies? -- "I suppose it was only a matter of time until a "real religion" emerged based on the tenets of the Matrix story: Matrixism. What are the tenets of Matrixism, you might ask?"
~ Study Demonstrates Remarkable Power Of Social Norms -- "Most people want to be normal. So, when we are given information that underscores our deviancy, the natural impulse is to get ourselves as quickly as we can back toward the center. Marketers know about this impulse, and a lot of marketing makes use of social norms. This is especially true of campaigns targeting some kind of public good: reducing smoking or binge drinking, for example, or encouraging recycling. The problem with these campaigns is that they often do not work."
~ Christians being persecuted in Oregon [Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge] -- "In a nutshell, the law would offer gays the same protection as any other minority group. The bill specifically allows churches to go on discriminating in accordance with their merry traditions, but this isn't good enough for conservative Christians, who, thanks to the inorganic brain damage resulting from indoctrination by Bible, believe that no one should think it's okay to treat faggots, dykes and bis equitably."
~ Two new proposals for exiting Iraq -- "Two new essays on how to disengage from Iraq are making the rounds, and though they hail from very different quarters (one, by Steven Simon, is published by the Council on Foreign Relations; the other, by Juan Cole, appears in the Nation), their conclusions are strikingly similar."
~ The critical buzz on the Conceptual master -- "Sol LeWitt, R.I.P. The pioneering contemporary artist died Sunday at age 78 at his home in Connecticut. Many of LeWitt's most famous works were installation pieces, painted directly onto gallery walls—and had to be destroyed when the shows were over. The Associated Press recalls that "LeWitt's first wall drawing, part of a 1968 display in New York, was so striking that the gallery owner couldn't bear to paint over it. She insisted the LeWitt come and do it himself, which he did without hesitation." LeWitt was a leading figure in the Conceptual and Minimalist movements."
~ John McCain's Iraq problem -- "His rosy statements about Iraq were aimed at GOP primary voters, but they suggest the would-be president doesn't understand the war he'd be fighting."

~ Just How Smart Are Ravens? [Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)] -- "Some of you know that Bernd Heinrich has spent many winters studying ravens and their behavior. This month, Heinrich and his colleague, Thomas Bugnyar, published an article in Scientific American that explores the intelligence of ravens. In this article, they investigate the question; do the birds consciously contemplate alternative behaviors and choose the most appropriate ones, or are they merely relying on instinct or learning to perform specific actions by rote?" Ravens are smarter than a lot people I know.
~ The Ethanol Hoax -- "Nicholas von Hoffman writes that corn is the magic cure of the moment, which Bush and the global-warming naysayers contend will save the planet. Don't buy it."
~ Deforestation May Add to Climate Changes -- "The effect of deforestation on climate depends on three things - location, location and location."
~ Space Tourist Docks at Station -- "Microsoft mogul Charles Simonyi becomes the third tourist in space."
~ Giant Crystal Cave's Mystery Solved -- "The "Sistine Chapel of crystals" gained its nearly bus-length gems over millions of years of volcanic cooking in a rich watery mixture, a new study says."
~ Cavemen Chose Caves on Five Criteria -- "Cavemen "shopped" for caves much like modern house hunters choose their homes."
~ Apple hails 100 millionth iPod -- "Apple Inc. said Monday that it had now sold 100 million iPods, describing the iconic device as the fastest-selling music player ever"

~ Buddhist Geeks 14: A Crisis of Curiosity -- "In this episode Gwen Bell interviews Anne McQuade, a current student of Genpo Roshi and regular reader of our site. A large part of their conversation focuses on a controversial article that Brad Warner—who will be one of our future guests—urchinTracker ('/outbound/article/suicidegirls.com');">published on suicidegirls.com (an alt porn site), criticizing Genpo Roshi and the Big Mind process."
~ TinyThinker at Peaceful Turmoil takes a look at The fundamentalist atheist flap.
~ Matthew Dallman is intent on Battling "postmodernism" down -- I'm with him on this one.
~ A Methodology for Complex Problems (version 3) from How to Save the World.
~ Sam Harris: Orange Meanie or Teal Secular Humanist? -- An interesting discussion at the Zaadz I-I pod.

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